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Working over Easter

Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays, so employees are entitled to a paid day off if they would normally work on these days. If they choose to work instead of taking a day off, they are entitled to time-and-a half pay rates, and another paid day off later (an alternative holiday).

Easter Saturday and Sunday are not public holidays.

To check the dates for these holidays each year, press F7 from anywhere in Ace Payroll, then click Public Holidays to open the Public Holiday Calendar.

The days that are public holidays are set out in Section 44 of the Holidays Act 2003The rules for restricted trading are set out in the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990.

Restricted trading

The Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 stops many shops from trading on three-and-a-half days a year.

Two and a half of these days - Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Anzac day until 1pm - fall on public holidays.

Employees who work or would normally work on these days have paid holiday entitlements, even though your business may be restricted.

Employee entitlements on Easter Sunday

The third restricted trading day, Easter Sunday, is not a public holiday. This means your business may need to close, but your employees are not owed a paid public holiday on that day.

One of four things can happen to employees whose workplaces must close on Easter Sunday:

  •  You can give an employee fourteen days notice to take a day of annual leave owing to them (or taken in advance) on the Easter Sunday.
  •  Your employee's employment contract or agreement may spell out whether or not the employee will be paid, or if they will undertake alternative duties that day.
  •  If your employee is entitled to an alternative holiday, they may choose to take it on Easter Sunday.
  •  If your employee doesn't agree to any of the above, they may have a claim for wages owed if they cannot work through no fault of their own. As an employer you may have a defence by claiming that you could not provide work through no fault of your own. In this instance, you may withhold pay, and an employee may lodge a recovery of wages claim with the Employment Relations Authority.


My employee never works on Mondays but always works on Sundays. Does Easter Monday transfer to the Sunday in this case?

No, the entitlement does not transfer to a Sunday. In this case, if your employee works on Sunday pay them their regular hourly rate, and pay nothing for Monday because it is a regular day off for them.



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