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Position On Act Shop Trading Hours Bill

Government Position On Act Shop Trading Hours Bill

Labour Minister Margaret Wilson announced today that the government will be supporting amendments to the Act Party bill on shop trading hours to strengthen protections for workers and shop owners.

Amendments will also be moved to give Parliament the opportunity to decide which of the days covered in Act MP Rodney Hide’s bill it wishes to have open for shop trading.

Currently the Hide bill enables all shops to be open on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Margaret Wilson said that the government is aware that strongly held, differing views are held within the community over which days shops should be open. So that members of Parliament can exercise a genuine choice, Graham Kelly MP will move amendments to the Hide bill concerning each of those days.

“Labour MPs will exercise a free vote on the amendments with respect to each of the days, but will exercise a party vote on the amendments giving greater protection to workers and shop owners.

“The amendments supported by the government as a whole will:

- Protect the right of shop employees to refuse to work on the days currently restricted ( i.e., Anzac Day morning, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday)

- Ensure that shop owners with mandatory opening provisions in their shop leases are not now forced to open on previously restricted days, unless they are already permitted to open on those days (e.g., some malls require retailers to open all days designated)

“The current restriction applying to the closure of shops on Anzac Day until 1 pm continues under the Hide bill.

“Notice of these amendments is being given well in advance of the next day on which the Hide bill will be debated in the House, Wednesday 20 February, so that all members have time to think about how they would like to exercise their vote,” Margaret Wilson said.


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