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New South Wales Bank Holiday in Australia

The New South Wales (NSW) Bank Holiday, which falls on the first Monday of August each year, mainly affects bank employees. All banks in New South Wales are required to be closed on this day.

Is New South Wales Bank Holiday a Public Holiday?

New South Wales Bank Holiday is a public holiday in New South Wales, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Bank Holiday Australia

A popular bank holiday activity is skiing in the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales.

©iStockphoto.com/Filip Makowski

What Do People Do?

People who have a day off during the bank holiday often treat it as a part of an extended weekend. Some people go away to out-of-town areas or enjoy the fresh air in the Blue Mountains, while others may use the long weekend to catch up on shopping, spend time with friends or family, or to visit one of the state’s attractions, such as the popular Byron Bay and other beaches along New South Wales’ north coast.

Some people may go on weekend drives, stopping to visit national parks along the way.  Another popular long weekend treat is a trip to the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, which feature ski fields within Kosciuszko National Park. From mid June to October, this region is known for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.

Public Life

Although the NSW Bank Holiday in August is observed in New South Wales, it is not a statewide public holiday and only applies to certain employees. It falls under the Banks and Bank Holidays Act 1912, which requires all banks in New South Wales to be closed on the day. Some restaurants and catering businesses may be closed and some employees in various financial and commercial jobs will have a day off if the bank holiday is included as a paid holiday in their award or agreement. Some consulates and embassies may be closed – travelers must check with their own embassies on opening hours.

Background

The NSW Bank Holiday in August originated from the commercial practice in the United Kingdom of compensating counting house staff for extra work involved in the June 30 balances by granting them a holiday on the first Monday of August. The first legislative enactment in the United Kingdom on the subject was the Bank Holiday Act 1871, which constituted four bank holidays in England and Ireland including the first Monday in August, the day on which the holiday is observed in NSW.

The NSW Bank Holiday in August, together with other bank (or public) holidays, was first introduced in New South Wales by the Bank Holidays Act of 1875. The holiday was observed on the first day of August each year from when it came into effect in 1875 until the Banks and Bank Holidays Act of 1912 added a further stipulation that when the first day of August does not fall on a Monday then the following Monday shall be the bank holiday. From 1912 onwards the bank holiday has been observed on the first Monday of August.

Currently this holiday is a statutory holiday under the Fourth Schedule of the New South Wales Banks and Bank Holidays Act 1912, in common with holidays such as Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the Queen’s Birthday holidays. The only requirement of the Banks and Bank Holidays Act with regard to the various holidays specified therein is that banks must close. Employees receive their entitlement to observe such holidays by virtue of specific provisions in their arbitrated awards or bargained agreements that cover the terms of their employment.

New South Wales Bank Holiday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonAug 2New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2011MonAug 1New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2012MonAug 6New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2013MonAug 5New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2014MonAug 4New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2015MonAug 3New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2016MonAug 1New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2017MonAug 7New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2018MonAug 6New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2019MonAug 5New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales
2020MonAug 3New South Wales Bank HolidayState HolidayNew South Wales

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