NSW Employment Contract - Working on Public Holidays?

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25 April 2016

As a full-time employee in a business that is exempt from the public holiday exclusions (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Anzac Day before 1pm), can I be forced to work on a public holiday? My workplace employment contract states that I'm available public holidays and any time off will be considered but not guaranteed which I understand means I'll work 99% of them, but my problem is my employer forcing me to work Christmas Day which I feel to be unreasonable.

I've found this information Retail_trading_on_unrestricted_days but I'm unsure as to whether since I've signed an employment contract with my employer it makes the above information null and void.

Thanks in advance!

Victoria S

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi Taylor4,

Yes under the Retail Trading Act, an employee may only work on a restricted day where he or she has agreed to. Your employer can't coerce you to agree either. I don't believe employers can contract out of the restricted trading provisions, however, your employer may try to assert that you have impliedly agreed to work the relevant days by agreeing in your contract that you are available to work Public holidays. However, I think you would have grounds to assert that you have not agreed to all public holidays but only those which you expressly agree to work.