An Employer’s Guide To Easter/Anzac Trading 2019

5 April, 2019 | Carolyn Ranson

Easter and Anzac Day trading can be a challenging time of year as business owners as you decide whether you can (or want to) open during that period and as you grapple with the complexities of the Holidays Act and understand employee entitlements.

This year Easter and Anzac Day are very close together. We set out here the requirements specific to Easter/Anzac 2019.

Easter Sunday/Anzac Day Trading

Easter Sunday and Anzac Day (to 1.00 p.m.) are not Public Holidays but are Restricted Trading Days.

Each individual Council can decide whether or not retailers in their Districts can open on a Restricted Trading Day. Your first step is to check on your local council website.

Even then, only certain retailers/shop owners can open. Shop owners are responsible for determining if they meet the criteria. If your business is one of the following you can probably open:

  • Service Station
  • Dairy
  • Garden Centre
  • Real Estate Agency
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Duty free shop
  • Pharmacy
  • Service provider (such as hairdresser) if not providing goods
  • Cafes and restaurants (including takeaways)

You may also have an area exemption to open on Easter Sunday under a local territorial authority Easter Sunday shop trading policy, otherwise you can’t open.

If you can open, you should be aware that shop workers have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without repercussions for their employment relationship.

As Anzac Day and Easter Sunday are not public holidays any employee that agrees to work will be entitled to be paid only their normal pay. The employer and employee may agree otherwise.

If you trade on a Restricted Trading Day and you do not meet the criteria (whether an owner or manager/agent) you are subject to a fine of up to $1,000.00.

Monday to Friday Workers

Easter Friday and Easter Monday are Public Holidays and are observed on the days they fall (Friday 19th April 2019 and Monday 22nd of April 2019).

Employees will be paid for those days (at their normal daily rate) if they would otherwise be working days for them.

An employee can only be made to work on a public holiday if:

  • it falls on a day that they would have otherwise worked on, and
  • their employment agreement says they have to work on the public holiday.

If an employee is required to be available to work on a public holiday that doesn’t fall within their agreed and guaranteed hours, this must be covered by an availability clause in their employment agreement. The employer will have to pay reasonable compensation for this unless there is agreement that reasonable compensation is provided through their salary. The employer must also have genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds for including an availability provision and for requiring the employee to be available on the public holiday.

If employees work on a public holiday and it is a day they would normally work they are entitled to payment at one and a half times their usual daily rate and a day off in lieu.

If employees work on a public holiday and it is not a day they would normally work they are entitled to payment at one and a half times their usual daily rate, they are not entitled to a day off in lieu.

Transferring the Observance of Public Holidays

If employees work on a public holiday, employers and employees can agree to transfer the observance of public holidays to another working day. Any request must be considered in good faith and any agreement must meet minimum statutory requirements.

Casual/On Call Workers

Casual/On Call Workers are entitled to receive payment for a public holiday if it would otherwise have been a working day. For example if an employee can show a pattern of working on Mondays and/or Fridays, they would more than likely be entitled to be paid for Easter Friday and Easter Monday.

If you would like to discuss any matters relating to Easter and Anzac trading, holiday leave entitlements or any other employment related matter, please contact: Employment law specialist, Carolyn Ranson 
Phone on 09 836 0939 or
Send an online enquiry here.


Do you need assistance with understanding your obligations as an employer?

Prevent problems before they happen — contact expert Employment Lawyer, Carolyn Ranson today to set up an appointment.

email Carolyn
+64 9 837 6891

About the author

An experienced employment, estate litigation and elder law lawyer, Carolyn completed her law degree at City University, London in 1996. She was in house legal counsel for a large retirement village operator, before entering private practice at a city law
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