Paid Labor Day Holiday Practices Around the Globe

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By Zeynep Moore

Employers in more than 60 countries around the world are required to provide employees with paid leave in recognition of Labor Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, on May 1.

May 1 falls on a Monday for 2017.

In some countries, such as Singapore, the employer may choose to give the employee another day off as a holiday.

Countries that observe Labor Day as a paid holiday on May 1 include Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Some countries mandate that the Labor Day holiday be observed on dates other than May 1.

U.S. and Canada

Labor Day in Canada and the U.S. is celebrated on the first Monday in September and is customarily noted as the end of the summer vacation. Employers in Canada must provide pay to employees for the holiday and while it is recognized as a federal holiday in the U.S., U.S. employers are not required to pay employees if they do not work on that day.


In Australia, Labor Day is fixed by jurisdiction and varies among states and territories. It is the first Monday in October for the Australia Capital Territory, South Wales and South Australia. In Victoria and Tasmania, Labor Day falls on the second Monday in March, whereas Western Australia celebrates the first Monday in March. The Northern Territory and Queensland both observe the holiday on the first Monday in May.

Other Labor Day Holidays

The Bahamas observes Labor Day on the first Friday in June, while Jamaica celebrates it on May 23. The fourth Monday in October is when Labor Day is celebrated in New Zealand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zeynep Moore in Washington at

To contact the editor on this story: Mike Baer at

With assistance from Molly Ward.

For More Information

Dates for Labor Day holidays for all other countries can be found in the International Payroll Decision Support Network country primers.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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