A leading Muslim spokesman has criticised new NSW laws that enshrine the rights of staff to refuse to work on Christian-orientated public holidays.

The State Government is banning most shops from opening on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Easter Sunday and Good Friday unless their owners can prove compelling demand from the local community.

Shops will also only be able to open for half a day on ANZAC day.

The new law prevents shop owners forcing staff to work on those days.

Sydney-based Muslim community spokesman Keysar Trad said workers of all faiths were entitled to a break and called for the two main Muslim public holidays to be recognised as well.

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