On the 13th day of Christmas: your guide to boxing day trade

Posted on October 13th, 2017

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In 2015, the Retail Trading Act 2008 was amended to permit state wide trading on Boxing Day in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 amendments allowed all shops and bank branches to open on Boxing Day on the condition that staff freely elected to work without being coerced, harassed, threatened or intimidated to do so.

The 2015 amendments were required to be reviewed in 2017 to see whether Boxing Day trade should continue beyond 2016. A review of the legislation was conducted earlier this year in consultation with major retailers, their representative organisations, unions and other industry stakeholders to ascertain their experience of Boxing Day trading in 2015 and 2016.

The review found that the extension of Boxing Day trading was a success. As a result of the findings made, on 25 September 2017 the Retail Trading Amendment (Boxing Day) Act 2017 came into force allowing Boxing Day trade to continue.

Employers should be aware that while the 2017 amendments permit Boxing Day Trade to continue, it is an offence for an employee to be coerced to work on Boxing Day. An employer can be fined up to $11,000.00 if they are found to have forced an employee to work on Boxing Day. Employers who do not wish to trade on Boxing Day should also be aware that the legislation introduced fines of up to $22,000.00 for any landlord who forces a retailer to open on Boxing Day.

 

Katie ThompsonKatie Thompson is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practises in the Commercial dispute resolution and litigation team. If you require any assistance in this area please contact Katie Thompson to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle or Sydney office. 

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