Legislation passed by the NSW Legislative Council this week t to reform Boxing Day trading hour rules will mean communities will benefit from more convenience and greater choice as well as greater employment opportunities this Boxing Day, Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee said today. 

"We congratulate the NSW Liberal/National Government on pursuing microeconomic reform and easing Boxing Day trading restrictions for the next two years that will deliver choice to customers, retailers and retail employees," Ms McPhee said.

It shows the government has listened to the community wanting greater choice and businesses wanting to grow the economy and create jobs, particularly in Western Sydney and regional areas.

Countless inquiries have demonstrated the merits of deregulating retail trading hours, the most recent this year with the Harper Review. This is sensible reform that will end the patchwork of trading hour restrictions on Boxing Day across the state,said Ms McPhee.

The sector acknowledges the support of the Christian Democrat Party.

Retail is a service industry which means we need to be open when and where people want to shop. In a modern economy that means early mornings, late evenings, weekends and public holidays.

Retail Council research suggests there is no shortage of staff willing to work on public holidays, but importantly consistent with the Fair Work Act 2009 employers cannot force staff to work.  Any employer found to have forced staff will be fined by the Government.

"We are pleased the reform will provide retail employees with increased choice to work over the Christmas period providing many retail staff with additional wage earning opportunities, " said Anna McPhee.

Retail activity accounts for 8% of the NSW economy (or $40 billion annually) and growing. To service increased demand in consumer consumption, the sector employs more than 376,400 Australians (accounting for more than 10% of state jobs).

The Community should visit their favourite store websites in December to check whether they will be open on Boxing Day.

New Boxing Day laws a boon for local NSW retailers

The NRA has today welcomed the decision of the NSW Government to allow NSW businesses to open their doors on Boxing Day.  

NRA NSW State Director Michael Lonie said regional retailers will no longer be at an unfair disadvantage to their city counterparts.

“For the first time, local retailers around all Sydney’s suburbs and all regional areas will, this year, see cash running through their tills on one of the most important days in the retail calendar,” Mr Lonie said.

“This new legislation benefits retailers and shoppers alike, with shoppers no longer having to scour for open shop doors, travel into the Sydney CBD or to a holiday area to grab a post-Christmas bargain.”

Under previous laws, Boxing Day was a restricted shop trading day in NSW, meaning only exempt stores or those within certain local government areas or within the Sydney Trading Precinct were allowed to operate.

“These new laws are all about creating a simplified and consistent set of trading hour zones around Boxing Day, where there has previously been a number of different, confusing and very complex trading hour zones,” he said.

“Of course, it’s optional for retailers to open their doors, and employees in those areas will not be forced to work if they don’t want to.

“We applaud the NSW Government on introducing law that is fair and consistent for both retailers and consumers.”