Hospitality Business Magazine

Labour Day – your public holiday entitlements

Did you know, New Zealand is believed to be the first country to adopt an eight-hour working day?

New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when in 1840 carpenter Samuel Parnell won the right to an eight-hour day in Wellington.

Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on October 28 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.

Labour Day was officially established in 1900 to recognise the trade unions’ efforts in achieving this milestone. Observed on the fourth Monday in October, this year the public holiday takes place next Monday, October 24.

Employees get a paid day off on public holidays if it’s a day they would normally have worked.

If you’re unsure about the rules surrounding public holidays, check out the ‘Otherwise working day calculator’ here:

Photo credit: Government Printing Office

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