By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The minimum shift requirement for students in the retail sector has been halved from 3 hours to 1.5 hours, meaning businesses that operate for only a few hours after classes finish can still employ school and uni students, rather than having to turn them away.

With most high school classes finishing at around 3pm and shops traditionally closing at 5pm, the 3-hour minimum made it difficult for retailers to employ school kids for a few hours in the afternoon on school days. This new ruling means kids can finish school and work a short shift before retail stores close for the evening.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

The Australian Retailers Association welcomed the change.

“Fair Work Australia has made a logical decision that will overturn limitations in the modern award that didn’t take into account the hours available between school finishing times and close of business,” said executive director Russell Zimmerman.

“The retail industry has traditionally been a willing contributor to giving school students their start in the workforce, the ability to gain an independent income and learn valuable skills beyond the classroom. Retailers take this social responsibility seriously and today retailers will be genuinely delighted to take on that role again.

“This is a win-win for students and retailers.  It’s just a pity this decision wasn’t made any earlier.”