Anzac Day – Considerations for Businesses


Anzac Day (25 April) marks the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. New Zealanders have commemorated the Gallipoli landings ever since and Anzac Day has been a public holiday since 1921. On this day people gather to acknowledge the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. In this article we discuss the implications of Anzac Day for employers.

Anzac Day is one of just three-and-a-half days when almost all shops must be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990. These days are:

Shop Exemptions

There are two types of shops that can open before 1:00pm on Anzac Day:

The main stores that can open prior to 1:00pm include small grocery stores; service stations; restaurants, cafes and takeaway outlets; pharmacies; public transport terminals; shops providing services (i.e. hairdressers); and exhibitions devoted entirely to agriculture, art, industry, and/or science. There are specific conditions that some of these shops must meet. For example, small grocery shops can only sell food, drink, household items, and personal items that people can not put off buying until the next day.

There are also area exemptions. Since Anzac Day falls on a Thursday this year, the following areas have exemptions:

Shops without exemptions must not open until after 1:00pm. Any shops that open prior to 1:00pm without an exemption commit an offence and the ‘occupier’ of that shop may be liable, on conviction, for a fine of up to $1,000. The occupier includes the manager of the shop.

Working on Anzac Day

An employee can only be made to work on Anzac Day if:

Contact the team at Black Door Law if you have any questions regarding Anzac Day and the applicable payment for employees.


Disclaimer: This information is intended as general legal information and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a specific issue and wish to discuss it get in contact with the Black Door Law team.