Last week the New South Wales State Government announced that retailers across the state will be able to open their doors to trade on Boxing Day.

An independent review of the two-year trial that took place in 2015 and 2016 recommended the change and we are pleased that the government has acted on the advice provided.

This is a big win for the retail industry and it comes after extensive advocacy from the NRA for this vital reform. We believe the new law will be good for retailers who will now be able to cash in on what is one of busiest days of the year for retail, and also good for shoppers around NSW who will now not miss out on Boxing Day bargains.

It is important to also note that, contrary to claims by the union movement, there will be protections in place for retail employees who work on Boxing Day. An employee will not be required to work if they choose not to and those who do will be paid a generous penalty rate of 250 per cent.

The NRA will continue to advocate to other state governments on behalf of all our members for similar reforms in states where outdated Boxing Day trading laws continue to exist.

In other news, the finalists for the 2017 National Retail Awards are being announced today, including the highly coveted Young Retailer of the Year Award. The Awards attract a very high calibre of candidate and we have been blown away by the incredible talent in the retail industry demonstrated this year. We look forward to celebrating Australia’s vibrant retail industry in Sydney in September.

Also, at the time of writing the Federal Government’s Vulnerable Workers Bill is expected to be voted on in the coming days. Many of you will recall that the NRA had real concerns that the proposed new laws would severely impact on the franchising system across Australia.

While we don’t know what exact changes have been made at present, it would seem as though the government has listened to the feedback we provided and have reformed the Bill accordingly. We will have further comment to make once the Bill has been introduced to the Federal Parliament, which is expected to take place this week.

Have a great week.

Dominique Lamb, CEO.