Wagga’s businesses have welcomed legislative changes to Boxing Day retail trading this year.
The state government’s industrial relations department announced changes to trade, staffing and lease agreements.
Key among the changes are employees having the right to freely choose to work or not and retailers having the right to choose to open or not.
Alexandra Tierney, co-owner of Ted & Olive Boutique on Baylis Street, said the changes were positive as it balances industrial relations among all parties.
While the store was opened only recently, Ms Tierney said it gives Wagga’s retailers choices.
“I understand the day is important for employees and their families, but it’s a bit different when you own a business and want to make the most of it,” Ms Tierney said.
“It’s a good balance.”
She said her storefront would be opened on Boxing Day this year as it has “historically been a good day for trade”.
“I’ve always looked forward to it,” Ms Tierney said.
“It’s nice for shoppers to know that there are a lot of things on sale that wouldn’t otherwise be.”
Similarly, Kellie Fletcher, owner of Flower Talk, said that while her industry is different to the “usual Boxing Day sales”, she welcomed the changes to let employees decide.
“If I had staff, there’d be no way I expect them to work,” Ms Fletcher said.
There are penalties for non-compliance. An employer may face up to $11,000 for coercing an employee to work on Boxing Day.
Similarly, a landlord may face up to $22,000 in fine for forcing a retail tenant to open.
Businesses may learn more about the changes at the NSW Government Industrial Relations’ website.
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