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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Aruba

Holiday leave

Aruba's labor laws, specifically the Vacation Ordinance (Vakantieverordening), provide guidelines for vacation leave for employees. The law stipulates a minimum number of vacation days calculated as at least three times the employee's contracted number of working days per week. For most employees working a standard 5-day workweek, this equates to a minimum of 15 working days of annual leave. Employees working a 6-day workweek would be entitled to a minimum of 18 working days of annual leave.

Vacation Pay

During their vacation period, employees continue to receive their regular salary. However, vacation allowance, an additional payment on top of salary, is not a legal requirement in Aruba.

Unused Vacation Days

Employees are encouraged to use their annual vacation days within the current calendar year to avoid potential forfeiture. The employer has the right to instruct an employee to take part of their accumulated vacation days if they have a significant amount of unused time. As a general rule, employees should maintain at least 5 unused vacation days for flexibility.

Combining Vacation Leaves

Accrued vacation leaves can be combined, up to a maximum of 6 times the number of working days per week. In such cases, the employer is obligated to allow the employee to take the combined period of annual vacation within 3 months of the employee's request.

Public holidays

Aruba, a vibrant island nation, celebrates a mix of national and religious holidays throughout the year.

New Year's Day

Celebrated on January 1, it marks the beginning of the new year.

Betico Croes Day

This holiday on January 25 commemorates the life and work of Gilberto François "Betico" Croes, a key figure in Aruba's journey towards autonomy (Status Aparte).

Carnival Monday

Celebrated in February or March, the date varies each year. It marks the culmination of weeks of colorful Carnival celebrations.

National Anthem and Flag Day

This day on March 18 celebrates Aruba's flag, anthem, and the attainment of "Status Aparte" (separate status) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Good Friday

A religious holiday observed in March or April, the date varies each year.

Easter Monday

Another religious holiday celebrated in March or April, the date varies annually.

King's Day

Celebrated on April 27, it marks the birthday of the King of the Netherlands.

Labor Day

This day is observed on May 1.

Ascension Day

A religious holiday celebrated in May, the date varies each year.

Christmas Day

Celebrated on December 25, it marks the birth of Jesus Christ.

Boxing Day

This day is observed on December 26, the day after Christmas.

Types of leave

Aruban labor laws recognize several types of leave for employees. Here's a breakdown of the key categories:

Annual Leave (Vacation Leave)

  • Entitlement: The Vacation Ordinance (Vakantieverordening) grants employees the right to paid annual leave. The minimum entitlement is at least three times the number of contracted working days per week. For most employees with a 5-day workweek, this translates to 15 working days of leave.
  • Calculation: For employees working 6 days a week, the minimum entitlement is 18 working days of annual leave.

Sick Leave

  • Entitlement: Employees unable to work due to illness are entitled to sick leave benefits. The Social Insurance Bank (SVb) of Aruba generally administers sick leave compensation.
  • Compensation: Employees receive 80% of their daily wage starting from the fourth day of reported illness (Labor Ordinance, Article 12).

Maternity Leave

  • Entitlement Female employees are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of maternity leave, typically divided into a prenatal and postnatal period (Labor Ordinance).
  • Compensation: Employees receive 100% of their salary during maternity leave, paid for by the employer.

Paternity Leave

  • Entitlement: Though not explicitly defined by law, it is customary for fathers to receive a short period of paid paternity leave following a child's birth. This is often determined by company policy or collective agreements.

Other Types of Leave

  • Bereavement Leave: While not a legal requirement, employers may grant bereavement leave in the event of an employee's family member passing away.
  • Study Leave: Some employers or collective agreements may provide for paid or unpaid study leave for employees pursuing further education.

It's recommended to always consult the specific employment contract or relevant collective agreements as they might offer more favorable terms and conditions than the legal minimums outlined above.

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