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Labour Day 2023 (Australia): Date, History, Activities and FAQs

It is observed annually on the first Monday of October, which falls on October 2 this year, in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia.

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Labour Day 2023 History, Activities And FAQs

Labour Day 2023: Labor Day in Australia, whose origins can be traced to the eight-hour day movement, is observed on various dates in different states. It is observed annually on the first Monday of October, which falls on October 2 this year, in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia. Northern Territory and Queensland observe it on the first Monday of May, while Tasmania and Victoria observe it on the second Monday of March. Did you know that Australian workers were the first to accomplish a reduction in working hours without a reduction in pay? Inspiring employees in other nations, including the United States, to campaign for shorter hours, Australia’s eight-hour movement ultimately led to the establishment of International Employees Day.

The History of Labor Day

Australian employees fought for fairer working conditions in order to establish Labour Day. It recognizes the importance of empowering employees, who are the backbone of any economy. Labour Day is an umbrella term for the various days in Australia that commemorate the fight for reduced working hours.

The origins of Labor Day can be traced back to the 1800s, when some employees were required to work nearly 12 hours per day and had only one day off per week. On April 21, 1856, University of Melbourne stonemasons protested for an eight-hour workday by putting down their tools and marching to the Parliament House. That led to employers agreeing to a 48-hour week, and a victory march was conducted on May 12, 1856, marking a start to the first Labour Day celebration.

Between 1856 and 1879, a number of jurisdictions in Australia adopted an eight-hour workday regulation. Each of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria has its own Labor Day celebration day.

Some Australian jurisdictions moved Labour Day from May to the second Monday of March after World War II. This commemorated the day on which the majority of Western Australian employees were granted eight-hour workdays. But Queensland employees advocated for it to be observed on May 1 so that they could participate in the international campaign to make May 1 the official International Employees Day. This resulted in the first May Day parade in Australia on May 1, 1891, with over 1,000 individuals participating.

Labour Day ceremonies are still held annually in March, May, and October to honor the unions’ efforts on behalf of every Australian worker. This day is also a public holiday, so employees are given the day off.

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Why should white not be worn after Labor Day?

In contrast, white apparel and footwear are acceptable after Labor Day. The entire rule against wearing white after Labor Day stems from a tradition of wearing different-colored garments after the end of summer to signify a new wardrobe. On the other hand, some fashion designers believe it was a method of class distinction.

Does the Labor Day holiday have an impact on pay?

Labor Day is one of the holidays recognized by both the federal and state administrations in Australia. Therefore, employers must pay their employees the base rate for the number of hours they would have worked if it weren’t a holiday. However, this does not apply to temporary workers.

Why is Labor Day observed on various dates in Australia?

Other than the Northern Territory and Queensland, which celebrate Labour Day on the first Monday of May to coincide with International Workers Day, other states observe Labour Day in the month in which the eight-hour workday was established.


Participate in the traditional Labor Day motorcade

If you have not previously participated in a Labour Day parade, you have the opportunity to do so on the impending Labour Day. Every year, hundreds of people march in the annual Labour Day parade, which is an important part of the holiday festivities. Mark the date and location of the Labor Day parade in your area, and be prepared to don your marching footwear.

Serve a barbecue.

On Labor Day, you have the entire day off, so why not host a barbecue for your friends and neighbors? If you do not know how to barbecue, try an online crash course or ask a friend. Obtain the necessary items for a barbecue and send invitations. Remember to prepare for the possibility that some of your visitors are vegetarians.

Take a short vacation with family or companions.

What is the most enjoyable vacation activity? Highway journey! Due to the fact that Labor Day typically occurs at the end of a weekend, you can travel to the countryside or the mountains. It is prudent to plan ahead. Research and identify the location you wish to visit, ask your family and friends who is intrigued, and make the necessary arrangements.


Year Date Day
2021 October 4 Monday
2022 October 3 Monday
2023 October 2 Monday
2024 October 7 Monday
2025 October 6 Monday


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