Retail

Easter trading hours 2019: Everything businesses need to know

Matthew Elmas /

Easter is around the corner and with the holiday falling late this year it is in close proximity to Anzac Day.

That means a spate of public holidays are on the horizon over the next few weeks and there’s some things retailers need to know.

Easter trading hours 2019

Trading hours get weird for Easter and Anzac Day and vary by state.

However, in most states, including NSW and Victoria, restricted trading laws contain exemptions for small businesses, allowing them to open throughout the Easter break.

For reference, here are the upcoming public holidays to take note of:

  • Good Friday, April 19;
  • Easter Saturday, April 20;
  • Easter Sunday, April 21;
  • Easter Monday, April 22; and
  • Anzac Day, April 25.

Victoria

Businesses with 20 or fewer workers employed in their shop and fewer than 100 workers employed in their business can trade without impediment during Easter.

Retailers who don’t meet these criteria and are not among exempt categories, such as petrol shops, takeaway outlets, chemists and cafes, cannot open.

The Easter weekend includes public holidays on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday — although Victorian law only restricts retailers on Friday.

Restricted trading laws also apply on Anzac Day from 12.01am to 1.00pm.

NSW

In NSW, the days from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive are all public holidays, and similarly to Victoria, small businesses are exempt from restricted trading.

Both Good Friday and Easter Sunday are restricted trading periods in NSW, which means non-exempt businesses cannot trade.

Interestingly, this includes back-of-shop functions such as stocktake, recieving and storing stock, and ordering goods.

Anzac Day is also restricted, until 1pm.

Queensland

Here’s where things get a bit weird. Queensland has a patchwork of trading hour laws which mean traders in one part of the state must observe different rules to others.

Independent retail shops that aren’t food and grocery retailers also aren’t completely exempt in Queensland and must close on Good Friday and until 1pm on Anzac Day.

Luckily, the Queensland government has a handy PDF document detailing the various trading hours for non-exempt shops.

South Australia

South Australia’s retail trading laws are even more convoluted than Queensland’s.

Location, size of shop and retail category can all affect whether a businses can open for trading, and how long it can stay open.

There’s also a long list of exempt retailers, again depending on store size and location.

To make things even more confusing, South Australia’s Treasurer is able to grant special exemptions each year.

SafeWork South Australia has the full list of exemptions noted down for reference.

In general, most retailers will have to close on Good Friday and observe a 5pm closure on Saturday.

Non-exempt metro businesses will have to remain closed throughout Easter Sunday, while those in the CBD must observe 11am to 5pm hours.

Easter Monday will be 11am to 5pm for most non-exempt retailers.

On Anzac Day, opening is restricted to 12pm for non-exempt shops, although the government asks exempt retailers to delay opening as well.

Western Australia

Small retail shops are exempt from most retail trading restrictions in Western Australia.

A small retail shop is “owned by up to six people who operate no more than four retail shops, in which up to 25 people work at any one time”.

There’s also a list of speciality retail shops, also exempt from most trading restriction, including pharmacies, newsagents, and hardware, boating and craft shops.

The trading hour laws also don’t cover restaurants, cafe’s, takeaway food shops and short-term markets.

Non-exempt retailers must close on Good Friday and Anzac Day.

Easter Saturday hours for businesses in the Perth metropolitan area are 8.00am to 5:.00pm and 11.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday.

Tasmania

Tuesday?!? That’s right, Tasmania observes a public holiday on Tuesday over Easter, but not one on Saturday or Sunday.

Good Friday, Easter Monday and Anzac Day are public holidays.

Trading isn’t restricted over Easter, but businesses can only open after 12.30pm on Anzac Day.

Penalty rates 

Public holiday penalty rates apply, depending on individual employment agreements and awards, for shops opening over Easter.

The quickest and easiest way to determine staff entitlements during the break is to use the FWO’s pay calculator, which provides catered information for individual awards.

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].

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