Published on Apr 15, 2019

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What are restricted trading days?

Under the Retail Trading Act 2008, some days are considered ‘restricted’.  Larger businesses cannot open on these days unless they have obtained an exemption from NSW Fair Trading and are allowed to operate.

The following days are restricted days:

  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • ANZAC Day (until 1pm)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day.

A non-exempt shop must remain closed on restricted trading days. Exempt shop types are listed in Schedule 1, Section 7 of the Retail Trading Act 2008.

Restricted trading on Public Holidays

Small Shops and restricted trading

Small shops can open on a restricted trading day without applying for an exemption and are free from the requirement that staff only work if they want to. Under the Retail Trading Act, small shops employ four or less staff (in total), and have no more than two owners who share in the shop’s profits.

A full definition of ‘small shop’ is outlined in section 8 of the Retail Trading Act.


Licensees and restricted trading

Licenced premises such as bars, cellar doors must comply with their individual licence conditions issued by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. These conditions will highlight authorised trading hours, and the conditions set on consumption of alcohol on premises, as well as on take-away sales.

If confused, licensees should contact the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to discuss their individual license conditions.

Takeaway liquor stores must comply with both the Retail Trading Act 2008 and the Liquor Act 2007 in relation to restricted trading days and trading hours. Download the Liquor & Gaming NSW Fact Sheet.


For more information on all restricted trading days, refer to NSW Fair Trading.


Penalty rates on public holidays?

There is some confusion over which days are designated public holidays. Many business owners may be unaware that all four days over the Easter long weekend are public holidays in NSW.

While many customers may be pleased to pay a surcharge on Good Friday or Easter Monday, they may not realise that Easter Saturday and Sunday are also gazetted as a public holidays in 2019.

If your business is open over the holiday period, please ensure your employees are paid the right entitlements. For more information on working our pay rates on public holidays please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman.