The Federal Court has dismissed the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association’s (SDA) appeal against the decision of Fair Work Australia to allow school students to complete short shifts in retail businesses after school hours.

The ruling has been welcomed by the National Retail Association (NRA), who has been the only retail body who has been involved with the fight since 2010 to help uphold the rights of retailers and young workers.

NRA executive director Gary Black declared the decision a victory for jobs and common sense, saying FWA had laid down specific safeguards to protect the rights of young workers.

“This appeal effectively sought to block the work opportunities of thousands of school kids currently working a short shift in retail,” he said.

“This decision is a win for those young workers, a win for the employers who are prepared to give them their first taste of life in the workforce, and quite frankly a win for common sense.”

FWA had ruled that school students could work less three hours in retail businesses between 3.00pm and 6.30pm on school days as long as the student, their parent or guardian and the employer agreed.

Black called on the SDA to stop their long-running attempts to block employment after school hours, and finally accept the umpire’s decision.

“It has been a long and tortuous battle and it is now time for the SDA to accept the umpire’s verdict.”