By Andy Young

Retailers in New South Wales have been reminded that, while trading is now allowed on Boxing Day, staff must freely elect to work.

Mark Hummerston, the director of compliance with NSW Industrial Relations has said that simply rostering someone to work on Boxing Day, so not constitute them freely electing to work.

"Retailers throughout NSW have a great opportunity to trade on Boxing Day this year, following changes to retail trading laws in NSW," Hummerston said.

"The changes create a level playing field for all retailers, whether located in Sydney, regional centres or anywhere else in NSW.

"Although Boxing Day remains a restricted day, retailers may trade subject to ensuring all staff working that day have freely elected to do so, without any coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation by or on behalf of the retailer. This is an essential condition that must be met, and penalties of up to $11,000 per person found to have been coerced to work may apply.

He added: "Merely rostering a person to work on the day does not mean that they have freely elected to work. Similarly, although retailers might have provisions in their employment contracts with, for example, store managers about working on public holidays, this of itself is insufficient to comply with the NSW requirements. Simply put, if a retailer wants to trade on Boxing Day, all staff working that day must freely elect to do so."

Hummerston also said that there are a number of factsheets and websites available to retailers with all the information they need about opening and staffing their store on Boxing Day.

More information is available through the links below.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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