Boxing Day trade here to stay in NSW

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Shopping at the sales on Boxing Day is set to continue across NSW after it was welcomed by consumers, business owners and employees during a two-year trial.

The NSW Government today announced it will legislate to allow Boxing Day trade to continue in all parts of NSW, in accordance with the findings of an independent review by Professor Percy Allan AM which considered feedback from retailers, employees and shoppers.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the review showed the extension of Boxing Day trading was operating as intended, giving employees, shoppers and businesses more choice, and levelling the playing field for retailers who were previously prohibited from taking part in the Boxing Day sales simply because of their location.

“Until we introduced these reforms in 2015, the people of Western Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and many parts of regional NSW had to miss out on getting a Boxing Day bargain close to home, while people closer to the CBD had that opportunity - that situation was simply unfair,” Mr Perrottet said.

“After a two-year trial and a comprehensive review, we now know there is clear support for giving all retailers the option of opening their doors on one of the biggest trading days of the year, provided staff are given a free choice as to whether they will work or not.

“Our position strikes a sensible balance, giving retailers and their employees the freedom to work if they want to, but also putting in place strict sanctions to ensure they are not pressured to do so.”

In 2015 the government amended retail trading laws, allowing shops across NSW to open on Boxing Day, if staff freely elect to work. Previously, shops in Western Sydney and parts of regional NSW were restricted from trading on the day.

Retailers who pressure employees to work will continue to face fines of up to $11,000 per employee.

To ensure retailers and their employees are fully aware of their rights, the government will work with retailers and unions to develop and implement an information campaign ahead of Boxing Day this year.

Legislation to enable the 2015 reforms to continue will be introduced in the coming months.