Shops warned about Easter trading laws

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Latin Larder cafe, Takapuna. Cafes are among the few business allowed to stay open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday as long as they stick to strict rules. Photo / Natalie Slade
Latin Larder cafe, Takapuna. Cafes are among the few business allowed to stay open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday as long as they stick to strict rules. Photo / Natalie Slade

Retailers are being told to comply with strict trading restrictions over the upcoming Easter weekend or risk prosecution.

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said all shops must close their doors on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, under the The Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.

There are some exemptions - such as pharmacies, duty-free stores and real estate agencies - which are allowed to remain open so certain types of essential services are still available.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are also allowed to open for business as long as they sell only prepared or cooked food that is ready to be eaten immediately.

MBIE also issued a reminder to employees about their entitlements under the Holidays Act 2003.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays which means people who normally work on these days are entitled to a paid day off.

If employees must work, they are entitled to time-and-a-half for hours worked and an alternative holiday if the day is an otherwise working day for the employee.

Easter Sunday is not a public holiday so employees are not entitled to a paid day off or time-and-a-half for hours worked.

Last Easter, The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment obtained 30 convictions for breaches of the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.

It carried out visits to 64 shops around the country over the weekend, based on complaints received, those who were warned or prosecuted the previous year, and those overtly advertising that they would open.

Of the shops visited by Labour Inspectors, 41 were found to be open in breach of the law.

The Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act also stipulates that most shops have to shut their doors on Christmas Day and Anzac Day until 1:00pm.

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