SDA Submission: REVIEW OF THE 2015 AMENDMENTS TO THE RETAIL TRADING ACT 2008
The Union strongly opposes the continuation of the Boxing Day trading trial and supports five (5) restricted trading days, specifically Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Public holidays remain significant cultural and religious occasions in the life of the broader Australian community. They are occasions when the vast majority of Australians share increasingly rare time with their immediate family, celebrate together with friends and relatives and commonly express and observe their religious beliefs.
They should be fully protected by law and should be observed in a manner which provides a meaningful benefit to employees engaged in seven day industries such as retail. The restricted trading day status of Boxing Day under the Act formerly facilitated this objective. The trial undermined this status and relegated Boxing Day to just another shopping / work day.
For most retail workers Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day (half day), Christmas Day and Boxing Day are the only guaranteed days in the year they can plan to make leave arrangements. This is due to expansive employer rostering discretion, the use of annual leave “blackout periods” and the increasing span of trading hours directly associated with the sales which occur at these times of the year.