Payroll News

Many Countries Require Paid Leave on May 1 Labor Day Holiday

April 26, 2019, 3:57 PM

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

In some countries, such as Singapore, employers may choose to compensate the employee with an extra day’s pay in lieu of paid leave or offer another day off as a holiday.

Countries that observe Labor Day as a paid holiday May 1 include Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Bangladesh, 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, Iceland, 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, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

May 1 falls on a Wednesday for 2019. When May 1 is a Sunday, many countries, such as China, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, move the holiday to the next Monday. In other countries, such as Finland and France, employees are not entitled to the next Monday as a paid holiday when May 1 falls on a Sunday.

Some countries observe the Labor Day holiday on dates other than May 1.

U.S., Canada

Labor Day in the U.S. and Canada is celebrated on the first Monday in September and is customarily noted as the end of the summer vacations. While the U.S. celebrates the day as a federal holiday, U.S. employers are not required to provide leave or 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, New 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 May 23. The fourth Monday in October is when Labor Day is celebrated in New Zealand.

More information regarding paid holidays is available in Bloomberg Tax’s International Payroll Country Primers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jazlyn Williams in Washington at jwilliams@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Baer at mbaer@bloombergtax.com; Michael Trimarchi at mtrimarchi@bloombergtax.com

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