20 Apr 2014

Easter work pressure expected by union

11:53 am on 20 April 2014

The FIRST Union says shop assistants will be pressured by employers to work at Easter if the Easter holidays are done away with.

Retail employee.

Photo: PHOTO NZ (file)

Caritas, a Catholic social agency, says there should be no change to Easter trading laws, citing the need for retail workers to spend some time with their families.

But the Retailers Association, which supports change, particularly to Easter Sunday, says tourists have to be taken care off and entertained, and employees could negotiate extra pay or another day off if they had to work those days.

Maxine Gay of the union, which represents 11,000 retail employees, said that means retail employees will be coerced into working yet more days.

Ms Gay said the union has numerous examples of the pressure applied to shop assistants to work hours that other people expect as leisure time.

She said it can be covert, such as being passed over for promotion.