Retailers on the Coromandel now have the choice whether they trade on Easter Sunday. Our Council approved a new Easter Trading Policy on 6 March 2017 which allows shops to trade on Easter Sunday throughout the Thames-Coromandel District. Our district is a popular holiday destination and Easter weekend is one of the peak holiday periods with a high demand for goods and services from our visitors and local residents, and business owners may want to be able to provide for this. There were 40 submissions received during the consultation period, 28 of which supported the proposed policy while 12 opposed the policy. Four submitters supporting the policy made submissions on behalf of multiple businesses. Significant support was shown for the policy during public consultation for reasons including providing business owners and operators greater financial security, providing services to tourists and visitors, benefiting local and visiting customers, as well as noting their support for employees to not work on Easter Sunday in line with the exemptions provided for in the Shop Trading Hours Act. The issues raised in opposition to the policy such as being a day for family, religious observance and protection of worker rights, are adequately protected by the Act or by the exercise of personal choice. This policy will not force any retailers to open, but provides for those who do want to trade on Easter Sunday to be able to do so and is at the discretion of the individual business owners. Our Council can not define specific opening hours, or determine what types of retailers may open. It is important to note that this policy does not control or override shop trading provisions in other legislation, such as restrictions made under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Employees have the ability to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without providing a reason to their employer. Further information for employers and employees is available here www.employment.govt.nz. To read over the policy click here.