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Boxing Day - FAQs 

1. Can shops trade on Boxing Day?  

Yes. Retail shops are allowed to trade on Boxing Day, but only if they are staffed by employees who have freely elected to work. You cannot be coerced, harassed, threatened or intimidated to work on Boxing Day. Merely rostering a person to work on the day does not mean they have freely elected to work.

  

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2. Can a retail tenant be forced to open their shop on Boxing Day? 

No. A landlord cannot force a retail tenant to open on Boxing Day and any provision of a lease that requires a shop to open is void.

 

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3. What penalties apply if a retailer has found to have coerced an employee to work on Boxing Day? 

Penalties of up to $11,000 per employee will apply if retailers are found to have coerced, harassed, threatened or intimidated an employee to work on Boxing Day.

 

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4. What penalties apply if a landlord has forced a retail tenant to open their shop on Boxing Day? 

Penalties of up to $22,000 will apply if a landlord is found to have forced a retail tenant to open on Boxing Day.

  

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5. What should I do if I feel my employer will try to coerce me to work on Boxing Day? 

If you wish to seek further advice regarding working on Boxing Day you can call the Boxing Day hotline on 13 16 28 or visit NSW IR Website and select Boxing Day 2017.

 

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6. My Head Office has told me that as a Store manager I am required to work on Boxing Day because the store will be open. Does this mean I must work?  

No. The Retail Trading Act 2008 provides that staff must freely elect to work.

 

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7. My workplace agreement states that I am required to work on Public Holidays. Does this mean I must work on Boxing Day? 

No. The Retail Trading Act 2008 overrides any workplace agreement or contract of employment in so far as it relates to the shop opening on Boxing Day with staff that have freely elected to work.

 

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8. Head Office has advised that we cannot take leave of any kind over the Christmas Period. Does that mean that I have to work on Boxing Day? 

A Public Holiday is distinct from other types of leave under the Retail Trading Act 2008, shops can only open for trade on Boxing Day if staff have freely elected to work.

 

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9. Do all staff have to freely elect to work for a shop to open? 

Yes. The Retail Trading Act 2008 requires that every staff member freely elects to work on Boxing Day. Penalties of up to $11,000 per staff will apply if retailers are found to have coerced, harassed, threatened or intimidated a staff to work on Boxing Day.

 

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10. My staff member previously agreed to work on Boxing Day and were rostered to work, however, now they want to take the day off. Can they be made to work if they agreed to previously? 

No. If an employee no longer wishes to work on Boxing Day, they cannot be forced to work. Staff must freely elect to work on the day.

 

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11. I have been told I will lose my job if I do not work on Boxing Day. What are my rights? 

Forcing an employee to work on Boxing Day through harassment, intimidation or threats about ongoing employment is unlawful and severe penalties apply.

 

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