The streets of Sydney’s CBD are quieter today. It is a bank holiday in New South Wales and the ACT, a day off for those in the financial sector.
While it was easier to get a seat on the bus this morning, it’s just another a standard start to the working week for those not in banking.
Why bank employees get an extra day is buried in time.
It started in the UK where the term bank holiday — when no trading was traditionally done — meant a day off for all.
But when the system moved to Australia the term as taken literally — only for bank workers.
Everything else is called a public holiday. In Australia, each state and territory sets the days to be declared public holidays.
Overall, the ACT does best with 12 official days off. That territory gets ahead with two unique days — Canberra Day and Family and Community Day.
Victoria comes next with 11 days, including Melbourne Cup and AFL Grand Final day (September 30).
South Australia also gets 10 days but has two days, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve, as part days off.
Uniquely, South Australia doesn’t have a Boxing Day holiday. December 28 is Proclamation Day – and falls on the first working day after Christmas.
However, if you live in Brisbane there’s an extra day for the Royal Queensland Show Day in August.