Working on Good Friday

Here am I sitting at my office desk in a big call centre.  Hardly any calls, not my regular day at work.  Certainly not indeed, Good Friday being a statutory holiday.

In New Zealand, there are 3 ½ days when almost all shops are required to be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.

These days are:

  • Christmas Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday; and
  • ANZAC Day, until 1.00 pm on 25 April.

Exemptions include dairies and service stations that are able to sell essential items, pharmacies able to trade as usual, and garden centres opening on Easter Sunday.

Shops in tourist destinations Taupo and Queenstown are also exempted.

Retailers can be fined $1000 for each outlet breaching the law, plus court costs. However, many are prepared to face the penalties because they can make much more money by trading.

Retailers remain opposed to the law, which they say is outdated.

While many restaurants and cafes opened on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, some chose not to because of the additional costs of paying staff (time-and-a-half) on public holidays. Others pass the charge onto consumers implementing a holiday surcharge.

There are again two sides to a coin.

Family First NZ Party is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve this special annual break to spend time with their families.  A Research NZ poll in 2010 found that almost two out of three New Zealanders oppose a change to the legislation to allow retailers to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

“Easter, Christmas and Anzac Day each remain as one of the few times when the whole country stops and takes a break.”

What are you views?  In your country is there any Statutory Holiday that the country stops and takes a break?




Wishing everyone a blessed Easter.        Image credit Bay of Plenty Times


Related Articles
Easter Trading Laws Should Be Maintained, Enforced
What shops can open on restricted trading days?


9 thoughts on “Working on Good Friday

  1. Interesting post! In the U.S., I’m not familiar with any laws about holiday closures. I think most supermarkets are open Thanksgiving and Christmas but they close earlier than usual. It is too bad though, since everyone deserves a day off on holidays!
    Have a good holiday!

    • Hi Lia, Major supermarkets are closed here. Only Dairies and others are opened. I don’t really mind the closure as it give workers time off to celebrate the season and time with the family. Have a blessed Easter. Jess

  2. Very similar here in Australia. All grocery stores and major shopping centres with the exception of a handful of convenience stores, some call centres and tourist attraction places are shut. I’m on the fence on the closure. It does mean time off from work, but with many places closed I can’t do what I normally can on a working weekday. I remember the times when I worked in an incoming phone based job – when the days were quiet, it was really quiet. Loved it 😀 Happy Easter, Jess. Hope you have your stash of chocolates to keep you company 🙂

      • And you get paid overtime too. I ate all my Easter eggs already, such a fatty. Now back to my regular snacks of nuts, much more healthier.

        You know what? Yesterday work gave me a chocolate easter egg with popping candy. You enjoy your chocolate, Jess 🙂

  3. Here nearly everything is also closed these days however I think there is not a special law in place for it, it is just closed due to religous tradition. I saw nearly everything because yesterday I saw on a few stores that they are open these days (bakeries and few restaurants at least)

    • Hi, it’s Easter Sunday and some shops here are closed again. Yesterday there was a huge queue at our local supermarkets as shoppers rushed to get their groceries. I guess all these closures make everyone get into the holiday mood be it spending time with families or just celebrating the resurrection of the Lord. Wishing you and family a Blessed Easter.

  4. In France , Spain and Portugal many small businesses , shops , petrol stations , restaurants etc etc are open on public holidays as this is the time they make money . Any country where tourism is a big part of the economy allows opening on public holidays , but has legislation in place to protect staff from being pressured to work . Imagine shutting down the ski stations in the mountains because its a public holiday or shutting things down on the Mediterranean coast during the summer .
    Unfortunately for many countries legislation is orientated to city dwellers , and not adapted to
    countryside life . The one size fits all legislation is an easy way out for politicians and civil servants , who often lack imagination/creativity , and in many cases idle .

  5. One other thought , many people work on public holidays , can you imagine life without electricity , water etc on those days

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