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.

For more information on the above please visit NSW Fair Trading.


Apply for Exemptions

Each individual occupier of a shop will need to complete an Exemption to trade application form unless they meet the requirements for Small shops exemption or are already exempt under the act.

Retailers need to supply all the required information when submitting an exemption to trade application otherwise the application process could be delayed including:

  • the business and the restricted trading day (including each location if there is more than one)
  • proposed days and trading hours
  • the type of goods sold
  • the need for the shop to be open on the restricted trading day
  • the likely effect of the proposed exemption on the local economy, tourism and other businesses in the area
  • the number of employees and the likely effect of the proposed exemption on the shop’s workers.

Retailers need to submit an exemption to trade application form (72kb) with any relevant documentation no later than 28 days before the restricted trading day, otherwise it will not be considered.

If a retailer has more than one store location they are seeking an exemption for, they will need to provide supporting information based on each individual location.


Reasons for Exemptions

In order to open on a restricted trading day, a shop must be exempt. This includes:

  1. Businesses who want to open on Boxing Day under the section 8a conditional exemption  (a shop is not required to be kept closed on Boxing Day if the shop is staffed only by employees who have freely elected to work on that day).
  2. Small shop retailers.
  3. Businesses located within one of the exempted Local Government Areas.
  4. Businesses that have an existing section 10 exemption to trade.
  5. Businesses that hold a hotel licence or small bar licence and meet certain conditions.

All other businesses must apply for an exemption to open on any of the restricted days other than Boxing Day.

*Singleton local government area has an exemption for Easter and Christmas and not ANZAC Day.


Small Shops

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.

Small shops are generally defined as employing four or fewer staff (whether working at the same time or different times), and with 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.


Schedule 1 of the Retail Trading Act:

Other business types that are exempted are listed in Schedule 1 of the Retail Trading Act 2008.

Retail Trading Act 2008 No 49

Current version for 14 January 2018 to date (accessed 8 March 2019 at 08:42)

Schedule 1-  Schedule 1 Exempt shops (Section 7)

  • Bazaars, fairs or markets if the bazaars, fairs or markets are conducted for charitable or public fundraising purposes
  • Book shops
  • Cake and pastry shops
  • Chemists shops
  • Cooked provision shops
  • Florists shops
  • Fruit and vegetable shops
  • Newsagencies
  • Nurseries
  • Pet shops
  • Recorded music, video or DVD shops
  • Restaurants, cafes or kiosks
  • Seafood shops
  • Shops ancillary to venues for playing sport or physical recreation
  • Souvenir shops
  • Take-away food and drink shops
  • Tobacconists shops
  • Vehicle shops, vehicle service centres or petrol stations


Licence Holders

Licence holders should contact NSW Liquor and Gaming, they will be able to discuss their individual circumstances and provide advice in direct reference to the licence they hold.

Businesses operating under a hotel or small bar licence where liquor is sold with a meal and consumed in the dining area on the licensed premises or trading in certain Local Government Areas and those classified as small shops are exempt from requirements to remain closed on restricted trading days . All other liquor traders are required to remain closed on restricted trading days.

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.

For more information, contact Liquor and Gaming NSW or Fair Trading.

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