Restricted shop trading days

On three and a half days each year almost all shops must close. But some shops can open with conditions, or they have an area exemption or Easter Sunday local policy.

The days when almost all shops must be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 are:

  • Christmas Day (a public holiday)
  • Good Friday (a public holiday)
  • ANZAC Day, until 1.00 pm on 25 April (a public holiday)
  • Easter Sunday (not a public holiday)

Shops that can open

There are three types of shops which can open on restricted trading days:

  • Shops that can open with conditions and provided they meet certain conditions.
  • Shops that can open because of an area exemption.
  • Shops that can open on Easter Sunday because the local territorial authority (council) has adopted a local Easter Sunday shop trading policy. This doesn’t mean a shop can open on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Anzac Day before 1pm.

Local Easter Sunday shop trading policy.

Easter Sunday rights and responsibilities

All shop employees have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday. They don’t have to give their employer a reason for refusing. This applies to all shop employees, for example:

  • working in shops in an area with a local council policy
  • working in garden centres
  • working in shops that are exempt from shopping restrictions, such as dairies and petrol stations
  • doing ‘non-trading’ work such as shelf-stacking or stocktaking in or from a shop. This includes areas with or without local policies or exemptions.

Employers and employees have specific responsibilities to each other and a process they must follow when:

  • employers want a shop employee to work on Easter Sunday
  • shop employees don’t want to work on Easter Sunday.

Opening on a restricted trading day is an offence

Shops that don’t fit into one of the exemption categories, or are not in an area where a council has made a local Easter Sunday shop trading policy, commit an offence if they open and trade on restricted shop trading days.

The “occupier” of the shop may be liable for a fine of up to $1,000. The occupier of a shop includes:

  • any agent, manager, supervisor, person acting or apparently acting in control of the shop
  • any hawker or person who carries on business by selling goods, or offering goods for sale by retail, or delivering goods to a customer; otherwise than in a shop.

Use our tool to find out whether you can trade on restricted shop trading days.

Restricted shop trading tool


The mondayisation of a public holiday for an employee has no effect on shop trading restrictions. The trading restriction isn’t mondayised and shops don’t have to close twice. If ANZAC Day or Christmas Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday:

  • Shops must close on 25 April or 25 December because of restricted trading (unless they can open with conditions or have an area exemption).
  • Shops can open with no restrictions on the following Monday (even if the holiday is mondayised for some or all of the employees).

Restricted shop trading for ANZAC Day only occurs on 25 April. Restricted shop trading for Christmas Day only occurs on 25 December.

Mondayisation and public holidays falling on a weekend

Selling alcohol

Opening on a restricted trading day has no effect on conditions for the sale and supply of alcohol. 

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 continues to apply and premises selling and supplying alcohol (such as bars, some cafes and restaurants) must comply with it. 

This means they are not permitted to sell alcohol on restricted trading days unless this is with a meal. For more information about the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, visit (external link)


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Page last revised: 03 February 2022

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