If you hear the term “business day” you are likely to assume this means within the hours of 9AM-5PM. This may lead to feeling additional pressure when a document is required to be served that day, but it has yet to be finalised prior to this “5PM deadline”.

The Court considered this issue in Mohamed v Farah [2004] NSWSC 482, where it was held that service may be effected outside the hours of 9AM to 5PM and it will still be considered to be served on that calendar day. The Court held that whether someone is served at 3PM or 10PM is to be considered no different, as the day continues up until midnight.

It is important to note that often parties will include their own definition of “business day” in the terms of the contract. Terms of a contract between parties expressly defining a business day for the purposes of service will overrule these general law principles if a dispute arises.

This may come as a relief to many people, especially given the current climate where working hours are more flexible than ever and working from home arrangements are becoming more prevalent.