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Retail Industry 

Changes to the law applying to Boxing Day


Retail Trading Amendment (Boxing Day) Bill 2017 


Boxing Day 2017 - What you need to know



Retail Trading - Factsheet

Retail Trading - FAQs

 

Retail Shops

Commencing Boxing Day 2015, retail shops that have previously been required to stay closed on 26 December may open for trade on condition that all persons working in the shop freely elect to do so without any coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation by or on behalf of the occupier of the shop. Merely rostering a person to work on the day does not mean that they have freely elected to work.

Retailers that want to open should take care to ensure they comply with this condition. Fines of up to $11,000 per person found to have been coerced to work may apply.

Any person who chooses to exercise their right not to attend work on Boxing Day or any other restricted trading day and who experiences adverse consequences as a result, may be able to lodge a claim for adverse action, discrimination or bullying under the Commonwealth’s Fair Work Act 2009.

If you require further information on your workplace rights under the Fair Work Act you should call the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or seek legal advice.

Note: Whether adverse action, discrimination or bullying has occurred will depend upon the particular facts of each case.

Landlords of retail premises leased by shopkeepers may also be liable for fines of up to $22,000 if they compel shopkeepers to open on restricted trading days. This applies even if the shopkeeper may be allowed to open under the Retail Trading laws, including the new Boxing Day exemption.

Banks and other financial institutions

Banks

Banks will now be permitted to open their retail branches for business on the August Bank Holiday and all public holidays (apart from Good Friday, Easter Sunday, before 1pm on Anzac Day and Christmas Day) on the condition that all persons working in the bank freely elect to do so without any coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation by or on behalf of the bank. Formal applications to the Secretary of Treasury will no longer be required for these days.

However, banks that want to open should take care to ensure they comply with this condition. Fines of up to $11,000 per person found to have been coerced to work may apply.

Financial Institutions

A ‘financial institution’ as defined by the Act, such as credit unions, will now be permitted to open their retail branches for business on the August Bank Holiday on the condition that it must be staffed by persons who have freely elected to work.

Compliance measures

NSW IR’s Compliance Branch will be devoting resources to ensure any complaint made in regard to an employee being forced to work or a shopkeeper being forced to open on Boxing Day will be comprehensively investigated.

NSW IR will also significantly increase education activities in the lead up to Boxing Day so that employers and employees know their rights and responsibilities – this will include webinars – online seminars.

 Information on this page is currently being reviewed.

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