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Easter Sunday trading

Easter Sunday trading

The shop trading hours working group recommends easing Easter Sunday trading restrictions.

The working group was established in February by Labour Minister Margaret Wilson to provide assistance and independent advice to the Commerce select committee currently considering the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act (Abolition of Restrictions) private member’s bill.

The committee has decided to call for public submissions on the group’s report.

The report, available on the Department of Labour’s website, puts forward two options. Both allow more shops to open on Easter Sunday.

The first option would see the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990 amended to allow Easter Sunday trading across the board.

The second option would empower territorial local authorities to use by-laws to allow shops to open on Easter Sunday. Local authorities would be able to exempt particular shops, groups of shops or all shops in their area. Under both options, the responsibility for enforcing the rules would remain with central government.

The group recommends both options be subject to employee protections – essentially, working Easter Sunday would be voluntary for employees facing new opening hours. The group did not reach agreement on whether employees should receive extra pay for working Easter Sunday, which is not a public holiday.

The Commerce select committee will receive submissions on the working group’s report until 4 September, and is due to report back to parliament on 18 December.

The report is at

Enquiries about submissions should be directed to the select committee.

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