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Antigua and Barbuda

Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Antigua and Barbuda

Holiday leave

In Antigua and Barbuda, the Labour Code (Chapter 27) outlines the rules for paid vacation leave (annual leave) for eligible workers.

Key Provisions

  • Entitlement: After successfully completing their probationary period, workers are entitled to at least one working day of paid vacation leave for each month of employment.
  • Accrual: Vacation leave accumulates over time and cannot be taken all at once at the start of an employment period.
  • Scheduling: The timing of vacations should be mutually agreed upon by employers and employees, taking into account the operational needs of the company.
  • Unused Leave: The Labour Code encourages the use of leave within the earning year, but it does not explicitly address the carry-over of unused leave.

Important Considerations

  • Collective Agreements: Collective bargaining agreements may offer more generous vacation leave entitlements than the minimum requirements set out in the Labour Code.
  • Record Keeping: Employers are required to keep accurate records of employees' vacation leave accrual and usage.

Public holidays

Antigua and Barbuda celebrate a variety of secular, religious, and historical holidays throughout the year.

Secular Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year.
  • Labour Day (First Monday in May): This day honors the contributions of workers and the labor movement.
  • Independence Day (November 1st): This day commemorates Antigua and Barbuda's independence from the United Kingdom in 1981.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Boxing Day (December 26th): This is the day after Christmas Day.

Religious Holidays

  • Good Friday (March/April): This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The dates change annually.
  • Easter Monday (March/April): This day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The dates change annually.
  • Whit Monday (May/June): This is a Christian holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost. The dates change annually.

Other Festivals & Holidays

  • Carnival (Late July/Early August): This is a vibrant annual festival featuring music, costumes, and parades. The dates change annually.
  • Heritage Day (First Monday in October): This day celebrates the country's history and culture.

Types of leave

In Antigua and Barbuda, the Labour Code (Chapter 27) governs leave entitlements for employees. Here are the various types:

Annual Leave

  • Entitlement: Employees who have completed their probationary period are entitled to at least one working day of paid annual leave for each month of employment, which generally translates to about 12 days of annual leave per year.
  • Eligibility: Employees become eligible after successfully passing their probationary period.
  • Accrual: Leave accrues throughout the year and cannot be taken in advance.
  • Scheduling: The employer determines the timing of vacation leave in consultation with the worker, taking into account operational needs and the worker's opportunities for rest.

Sick Leave

  • Entitlement: Employees are entitled to 12 days of paid sick leave per year after completing their probationary period. Employees are entitled to their basic wages during sick leave.
  • Medical Certification: Generally, a medical certificate may be required to substantiate sick leave.

Maternity Leave

  • Entitlement: Female employees are entitled to 13 weeks of maternity leave, typically divided into 6 weeks before and 7 weeks after childbirth.
  • Compensation: Eligible women receive maternity allowance payments through the social security system.

Other Types of Leave

  • Bereavement Leave: Employees may be granted a short leave period in the event of the death of a close family member. The Labor Code does not explicitly specify bereavement leave, but it may be covered under special personal leave provisions.
  • Leave for Special Occasions: The Labor Code mentions the possibility of leave for special occasions at the employer's discretion. This might include events like marriage or religious observances.
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