Local Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy
We have reviewed our Local Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy, as it's important we review it at least every five years.
Legislation allows Councils to have a policy that permits all shops to open on Easter Sunday, either in specified parts of the district or the entire district.
Our current policy allows trading on Easter Sunday throughout the entire district for any businesses that wish to open. This gives businesses the option of being open and benefitting from the holiday trade and/or trade from passing traffic. Under current employment legislation, employees can still refuse work on Easter Sunday without providing a reason to their employer.
We think this policy still meets the needs of our community, so we’re not proposing any changes. However, we also recognise that Easter Sunday is an important day on the Christian Calendar, and is a day of significance to many people in our community – so asked to hear your views on our proposed approach.
Following the consultation process, we've noted the following themes from the submissions received:
- The majority of submitters were in agreement with the policy, and supported businesses to be allowed to open on Easter Sunday. Therefore, careful consideration of each submission was made so as not to rely on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer with many submitters providing written comments. As a number of topics were consulted on, a generalised question across all of the topics was asked and the same submission form was used for all topics.
- Some submitters did not support business to be able to open on Easter Sunday for religious reasons. Legislation that allows Councils to set a Policy allowing Easter Sunday trading and this is a matter for Central Government. Option three in the Statement of Proposal provided for Council to revoke the Local Easter Sunday Trading Policy.
- Other submissions thought businesses should close to allow employees and families an opportunity for rest and relaxation.
- Submissions were received that discussed the economic benefit of allowing businesses to open, particularly as they recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Following consideration of all submissions received, we have resolved to no changes with the draft Local Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy.
Summary of Decisions:
- We have decided to continue to allow trading across the district on Easter Sunday for the following reasons:
- We've noted the wide range of belief systems in our district and acknowledges that Easter Sunday is a day of significance to many people in our community. We believe it should be up to the individual businesses to make the decision themselves about whether or not to open on this date. We do acknowledge that Easter Sunday is an opportunity for rest and relaxation. Also the opportunity for businesses to benefit from those travelling through our district to shop if they desire.
- Council notes that under the current legislation, employees can refuse to work on Easter Sunday without being required to give a reason. For some employees it may have a positive impact because they have the ability to work and be paid on Easter Sunday, essentially allowing them to be paid for an additional day than they would be otherwise. Council does acknowledge, however that although employees have the right to refuse to work, they may feel an obligation to their employer to work.
- We have also determined that a district-wide policy would help to reduce any confusion on the part of businesses between those who can and cannot trade on Easter Sunday. It will also remove any enforcement costs as a district wide approach requires no monitoring of areas which are not in the permitted area
The above policy will be finalised and made available on our website in due course, and will become operational from 1 July 2022.