The Essential Christmas Checklist for Businesses in 2023

To ensure a smooth and compliant holiday season, we have compiled a comprehensive checklist to assist you in fulfilling legal requirements during Christmas and New Year.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding legal compliance during the holidays, please contact us immediately. We will provide comprehensive legal support to help your business thrive during the holiday.

1. Make sure you are paying the holiday pay rates!

Employers are obliged to pay holiday rates if their workers work on a public holiday. We strongly advise you to refer to your awards as different awards will have different pay rates.

If a public holiday falls under the shutdown, employees should either be given the day off without loss of pay or paid public holiday rates if they work.

Please refer to Pay Calculator for more information.

Image source: Fairwork Australia

2: Make sure you are aware of the restricted trading hours!

The Shop Trading Reform Act 1996 prohibits shops from trading on restricted trading days. Only specific types of shops or shops that meet the size criteria can operate on Christmas Day:

  • Chemists, petrol shops, restaurants, cafes, and takeaway outlets;
  • There are 20 or fewer persons employed in the shop at any time on a restricted trading day and no more than 100 people at any time during the 7 days immediately before the restricted trading day.

Please visit the Business Victoria website to understand more about what businesses fall under the definition of a shop.

3. Make sure you know your obligations when you direct employees to take annual leave during a business shutdown.

Employers can only direct employees to take annual leave during a business shutdown if the award allows.

Check your award and specific obligations while directing annual leave during a shutdown on the Fair Work Website.

Image source: Fair Work Australia

4. Make sure you are aware of the liquor restrictions on New Year’s Eve

Trading hours on New Year’s Eve vary for different liquor licences. Some licence types have an automatic extension of hours for supply within a venue only, while a restricted club, renewable limited license or producer’s licence.

If you wish to apply for a temporary limited license to extend the trading hours or you are not sure whether your licences have an automatic extension of trading hours for liquor supply, please visit the Victoria Government Website.

Canaan Lawyers will be closed from 23 December 2023 and will re-open on Monday 8 January 2024 at 9am.

If you require our urgent attention during this holiday closure, please contact us by filling in the enquiry form! We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.