This Labour Day, What’s Open and What’s Not? We’ve Got Your Back

Whats open Labour Day

Labour Day public holiday for those in the ACT, NSW, and SA is this Monday, October 2. The day commemorates achievements of the Australian labour movement — particularly, the start of the eight-hour working day, a massive victory for workers in the 19th century.

The argument for the cap on working hours in a day, which previously saw workers on the job for 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, was that each person should have eight hours of labour, eight hours of recreation, and eight hours of rest. This was an idea popularised by British socialist Robert Owen.

With it being a public holiday though, what does that mean in terms of venue and shop opening hours? Well, if you’re anywhere in Australia outside the ACT, NSW and SA, Monday, October 2 will be business as usual. In 2023, Labour Day in WA is celebrated Monday, March 6. In Tassie and VIC, it’s Monday, March 13.

If you’re in ACT, NSW and SA, though, what’s open on Labour Day?

Restaurants, Bars and Cafés

Most venues will be operating normal trading hours on Labour Day. In saying that, many of them are usually closed on Mondays so that’ll remain the case. Check online or call ahead to avoid disappointment. Also, for those venues that are open, expect to pay public holiday surcharges on meals and drinks.

Bottle Shops

There are no restrictions on bottle shops trading on Labour Day so they can open any hours they want. The public holiday does require employers may penalty rates, so some smaller bottle shops may opt to stay closed. Again, check online or call ahead.

Shopping Centres

Major shopping centres including Westfield will adopt normal trading hours. That should be the case with independent shops too, though keep in mind employee penalty rates may prompt them to shut Monday and that some don’t usually open on Mondays anyway.


Most major supermarkets, including Woolworths and Coles, will be operating as usual on Monday. Independent food shops, though, may adopt the same mentality as mentioned above, opting to close because of having to pay penalty rates or not usually opening on Mondays.

Post Offices

Most post offices, including Australia Post, will be closed on Monday in ACT, NSW and SA. No local mail or parcel deliveries will take place, including Express Post items, on the Sunday or Monday.

The next guaranteed day of delivery for Express Post items posted before closing time on the business day before a public holiday will be the next business day after a public holiday. In other words, if you send an item by Express Post on Friday, it’ll arrive Tuesday.

Related: Boundaries vs. Ultimatums: What’s Better For Your Career?

Related: When Do Each Australian State and Territory Celebrate Labour Day?

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