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Retail Trading in NSW 

NSW Industrial Relations is the government agency charged with regulating retail trading hours in New South Wales, including the enforcement of shop closures on restricted trading days under the Retail Trading Act 2008 (NSW).

In this section you will find information on restricted trading days, exemptions (including the easing of restrictions on Boxing Day), applications for exemptions, current decisions and weekend and public holiday bank trading.

In the retail trading sector the following days are restricted days under the Retail Trading Act 2008:

  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • ANZAC Day (prior to 1 pm)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day (a conditional exemption applies - see below)

In order to open on a restricted trading day your shop must be exempt – see list below:

* If your business has an exemption to open on any of the restricted trading days Voluntary Staffing provision apply.*

All other retailers must apply for an exemption to open on any of the restricted days other than Boxing Day.

The process now involves the completion and submission of an Application for Retail Trading on Restricted Days form (pdf 90Kb and word versions). This application must be made at least 28 days prior to the restricted trading day occurring.

All Applications for Retail Trading on Restricted Days will be posted on this website for a period of 14 days to enable public comment.

Upon completion of this process the Secretary must publish on the departmental website an order granting an exemption and the reasons for any decision to grant or not grant an exemption.

Evidence that a shop is unlawfully open

Non-exempt shops must remain closed on restricted trading days.

Being closed is not just a matter of the doors being locked. It also means particular activities cannot be undertaken inside the retail premises. E.g. packing shelves, unloading trucks or preparing food.

Section 18 of the Act explicitly states that a shop is considered to be open if it is found that:

  • goods were sold or offered or exposed for sale at the shop, or
  • goods were available for inspection by persons within the shop, or
  • goods that had previously been sold or ordered were delivered or were available for delivery at the shop to the person who bought or ordered them or to some other person on behalf of that person, or
  • orders for goods were received by a person in attendance at the shop, or
  • goods were received, or unpacked or otherwise prepared, at the shop for sale at the shop, or
  • stocktaking was carried out at the shop in respect of goods offered or exposed for sale at the shop.

If these types of activities are carried out in a non-exempt shop on a restricted trading day the shop will be deemed to be open and substantial fines will apply under the Retail Trading Act.

Unless their shop is exempt, retailers must not permit any person to participate in these activities, irrespective of whether they have volunteered to work on a restricted trading day.

View Retail Trading applications business process map