With all retailers in NSW able to share in the benefits of Boxing Day trade this year, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Gladys Berejiklian said they should also be aware of their responsibilities under the new legislation.
Ms Berejiklian said the legislation introduced by the NSW Government allows all shops across the State to open on Boxing Day subject to staff freely electing to work.
The changes removed restrictions on Boxing Day trading which were inconsistent and out-of-date.
“We have created a level playing field, but my message to retailers, shopping centre owners and managers is very simple: if you want to trade on Boxing Day, all staff working that day must freely elect to do so,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“To those who don’t do the right thing, be warned – there are heavy penalties in place.”
The protection applies to all staff, whether they are a salesperson or a store manager.
Staff members who have freely elected to work have agreed to work without coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation by or on behalf of the retailer. Fines of up to $11,000 per person found to have been coerced to work may apply.
Shopkeepers who do not want to trade on Boxing Day or do not have staff members that have freely elected to work cannot be compelled by their landlord to open. Any lease arrangement that compels them to do so is voided by the Retail Trading Act. Any breach may attract a fine of up to $22,000.
The NSW Government has dedicated extra resources to ensure employers and businesses comply and that all complaints are followed up as soon as possible. Anyone with concerns should ring NSW Industrial Relations on 131 628.