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Boxing Day Exemption – Section 8A of the Retail Trading Act 2008 

From Boxing Day 2015, retail shops that have previously been required under the old law 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, including those in the former Sydney Trading Precinct, 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.