‘The employee/NSW coalition government incident related to Boxing Day trading’ is a case study in which identifies both the positive and negative aspects of Boxing Day trading for a variety of stakeholders including employees, business owners and consumers. This case focuses on a variety of perspectives in which the NSW government has taken into consideration in regards to either keeping or diminishing ‘Boxing day trading’. We have become aware of the NSW government putting in place amendments and improvements allowing ‘Boxing day trading’ to remain in NSW under a two year trial, however on the approval of ‘individual assessment including accounts of feedback from all stakeholders involved’ (Aug 11, 2017, NSW Inside retail).
There are many reasons towards why not all retailers are understanding and compassionate about the relaxation and entertainment of ‘Boxing day trading’.
Archbishop Fisher believes the “‘boxing day trading regulation’ does not only enhance community destruction and fragmentation, however it also withdraws thousands of individuals time with their close relatives and loved ones over the Christmas time period” (Archbishop Fisher, R. Hiini, Sep 20, 2017). Many retailers throughout this article have agreed with this statement, as they believe they are pressured to work, restricting quality time with their families. Due to the diverse opinions of ‘Boxing day trades’, new laws have been put in place to protect the employees against this move, by putting forwards high fines of up to eleven thousand dollars for business owners forcing employees to work (Nine News, Sep 21 2017).
Throughout this case study, we have become aware of the various laws and legislations in which NSW governments have put in place regarding ‘Boxing day trading’. Following the changes to the ‘retail trading act’, the new law has been inaugurated in order to protect employees being forced and pressured into working on customary public holidays by fining business owners up to eleven thousand dollars if they ignore the new legislation.
Due to the change in legislation unions, Church groups and the labour party have had many concerns towards the ‘boxing day trading’. Many business owners believe the new and improved legislation has now allowed businesses not only in Sydney CBD to open on Boxing Day, however it has now endorsed businesses across the region such as Wollongong to ‘level the playing field’, (A. Pearson, Sep 21 2017, Local News). Unions in fact are in contradiction of this judgement, as they suppose by enforcing this legislation retail workers have in fact lost their Christmas and the opportunity to spend quality time with their family members. The labour market is concerned towards business owners forcing their employees to work on this specific day, putting immense pressure towards individuals not wanting to work. Church groups have also become concerned towards individuals missing Christmas with their family and their church due to the pressure of business owners.
There are many reasons in which employees would and would not choose to resist the ‘relaxation’ of Boxing Day. For example we become aware of the various employees who agree working on Boxing Day shouldn’t be accepted as they consider it should be spent at home with their families. Though there are many individuals in which believe working on Boxing Day is a worthy idea due to the higher rates allowing employees to receive additional capital as well as accumulating their hours. (Inside retail, Aug 11 2017)
Throughout this case study there have been a variety of perspectives in which can and cant justify allowing business owners to open on ‘Boxing day’. These disagreements can be comprehended through two ethical approaches, consequentialism and deontology in which allow individuals to justify their opinions.
Consequentialism is an approach in which actions and evaluations are established exclusively by the penalties they produce in the interest and a specific value (Hausman ; McPherson, 2006). The differences of Boxing Day can be seen throughout this approach, as many individuals discover that by allowing the boxing day trading to take place it enables the ‘greater good’ to be assisted by presenting the opportunity for employees to either participate in working on this specific trading day for better rates and hours, or refuse the offer in order to spend quality time with their family.
Deontology is the second approach in which recommends how movements are considered ‘right or wrong’ within themselves irrespective of their penalties (Kant, 1785). This ethical approach can be considered morally ‘right’ for the government as they have declared the legislation to permit Boxing Day trading to take place by enabling employees to make their own decision towards whether or not they want to work on this public holiday for the higher rates and increased hours or whether they have decided to stay home to spend time with their family. However by using this approach, governments have enforced laws in which punish businesses who have decided to force their employees to work on this specific day, by fining them up to eleven thousand dollars. Therefore due to this legislation, this deontological approach is now recognised as ethical and morally right regardless of its penalties. (A. Patty, SMH, Aug 13 2017).
In conclusion, by taking into consideration the various evidence and disputes in regards to the relaxation of ‘Boxing Day trades’, I personally agree with the ‘recreation of boxing day’, as I believe as an employee, I should have the right to decide whether or not I would want to take up the opportunity of accepting shifts due to the increased hours and higher rates, or whether I decide to spend quality time with my family on Christmas.
Throughout this case study Mr. Nile stated, “We have rotated a tragedy into a accomplishment story within this legislation”(A. Pearson, Sep 21 2017), I personally agree with this statement as I suppose many individuals are facing a variety of challenges throughout their life and by allowing business owners and employees to decide whether or not to open and work on this specific day without pressure, can assist towards both economic growth, individual wages as well as creating a balance in the workplace. For example, through my own personal experience, having the opportunity to work on this specific day has reduced the amount of pressure towards purchasing Christmas gifts, as I will be able to ‘make-up’ rapidly, due to the higher rates and extra hours. Overall I believe through the variety of laws put in place by the government, individuals should be able to make their own decisions in regards towards whether or not working on this specific day is beneficial or relatively they believe this day should be spent at home. Reference list
Hiini, R. (2017), ‘Archbishop Fisher: Boxing Day trading undermines family and cohesion’, Catholic Weekly, 20 September. Available at https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/archbishop- fisher-boxing-day-trading-proposal-undermines-family-time-and-community-cohesion/
Inside Retail (2017), ‘NSW Boxing Day trade to continue’, 11 August. Available at https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/08/11/nsw-boxing-day-trade-to-continue/
Murphy, J. (2017), ‘Tamworth and New England stores stay open on Boxing Day’, Northern Daily Leader, 11 August. Available at http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/4849174/boxing-day-trading-to-stay-for- regional-nsw/
NewsComAu. (2018). ‘Our position strikes a sensible balance’. online Available at: http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/boxing-day-shopping-to-stay-in-nsw/news-story/23959334efaf04dbdd7f7712aa2f6f48 Accessed 6 Feb. 2018.
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Nine News (2017), ‘Boxing Day changes ‘ruin Christmas’: union’, 21 September. Available at https://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/09/21/10/04/boxing-day-changes-ruin-christmas- union.
NSW government. (2017). Retail Industry. online Available at: http://www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au/oirwww/Industries_and_Awards/Retail_industry.pageAccessed 18 Feb. 2018.
Patty, A. (2017), ‘Workers feel pressured with Boxing Day trading extended across NSW’, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 August. Available at http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/workers-feel-pressured-with-boxing- day-trading-extended-across-nsw-20170811-gxu63g.html
Pearson, A. (2017), ‘Union backlash as Boxing Day trade laws pass Parliament’, Illawarra Mercury, 21 September. Available at http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4939326/union-backlash-as-boxing-day-trade- laws-pass-parliament/
Perrottet, D. (2017), ‘Boxing Day Shopping Here to Stay in NSW’, Media Release, 10 August. Available at https://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2017- 08/20170810%20-%20Media%20Release%20-%20Perrottet%20- %20Boxing%20Day%20Shopping%20Here%20to%20Stay%20in%20NSW.pdf
Take the Time (2018), ‘Workers robbed of Boxing Day for no reason; December retail figures drop’, Media Release, 7 February. Available at http://www.takethetime.org.au/media-release- workers-robbed-boxing-day-no-reason-december-retail-figures-drop/
Tin, S. (2017), ‘MP crosses floor over Boxing Day trading laws’, The Daily Telegraph, 21 September. Available at https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/mp-crosses-floor-over- boxing-day-trading-laws/news-story/ebdefedda2885cd89265f5f95208a5c4