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Easter Trading hits Kapiti
January 31, 2018
Easter Trading has hit Kapiti with rights and obligations for employers and employees.

Employment expert Julia Palmer of Star People HR & Recruitment in Kapiti says the Kapiti Coast District Council's decision to become one of the territorial authorities that allows trading on Easter Sunday needs some analysis by businesses.

Ms Palmer says if you have a business that is going to trade on Easter Sunday and you have staff, there are some important details you need to know.

"All shop employees have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday and they don't have to give their employer a reason for refusing. This applies to all shop employees," says Ms Palmer.

She says there are a number of must dos for Employers:

  • Notify the employees in writing that they have a right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday.
  • Deliver the notice to the employee. This could be in the form of a letter or memo delivered in person, or by email or via group email or in a way that could be specified in the employment agreement. This must be done at least four weeks before the relevant Easter Sunday, but no earlier than eight weeks before the Easter Sunday. If an employee has started work within four weeks of the relevant Easter Sunday, the employer must give this notice (of the right to refuse) as close to the start date of the employee's employment as possible.
  • This notice must be given every year that the business wishes to trade on Easter Sunday.
  • For a copy of a template you can use to notify your employees, go to www.starpeople.nz/Resource.php and download the template under Easter Trading.

    Ms Palmer says if an employer doesn't follow the notice requirements and requires an employee to work on Easter Sunday, this is considered to be compelling them to work and the employee could bring a personal grievance.

    She says shop employees who are given notice of their right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday and want to refuse to work, must give notice of this to their employer.
    If an employee is going to refuse work on Easter Sunday they must:

  • let the employer know in writing no later than 14 days from the date they received their employer's notice.
  • deliver the notice to the employer. This could be in the form of a letter or memo delivered in person, or by email or in a way that could be specified in the employment agreement.
  • For a copy of a template employees can use to notify an employer, go to www.starpeople.nz/Resource.php and download the template under Easter Trading.

    "Employers can't compel their shop employees to work on Easter Sunday or treat them adversely for refusing to work. A provision in an employment agreement which requires a shop employee to work on Easter Sunday is unenforceable."
    Ms Palmer says legally, there are no days in lieu or penal rates payable for working on Easter Sunday, although employers may want to consider an incentive to encourage their employees to work on that day.

    If you want more information about Trading on Easter Sunday, please contact the local employment experts at www.starpeople.nz

     
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    KC News: the Internet Newspaper for the Kapiti Coast