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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Bolivia, the General Labor Law, its Regulatory Decree, and other labor regulations govern vacation leave entitlements.

Annual Vacation Leave

Articles 41-48 of the General Labor Law and Supreme Decree 224 of August 5, 1943, provide the legal basis for annual vacation leave. The length of service determines the employees' entitlement to the following annual paid leave:

  • 15 working days for 1-5 years of service
  • 20 working days for 5-10 years of service
  • 30 working days for over 10 years of service

After one year of continuous service with an employer, employees become eligible for vacation leave. Leave accrues throughout the working year. While considering company requirements, employers generally determine the timing of employee annual leave.

Important Considerations

According to the regulations, employees can accumulate unused leave up to a maximum depending on their years of service. The law mandates that they use a portion of their vacation annually. Employees receive vacation pay at their average daily earnings rate.

Public holidays

Bolivia celebrates a variety of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1): This day marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Plurinational State Foundation Day (January 22): This day commemorates the establishment of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2009.
  • Carnival (February or March): This is a multi-day celebration with parades and festivities held before Lent. The dates change each year.
  • Andean-Amazonian New Year (June 21): This day celebrates the winter solstice and the beginning of a new agricultural cycle, which is significant for indigenous communities.
  • Independence Day (August 6): This day marks Bolivia's declaration of independence from Spain in 1825.
  • All Saints' Day (November 1): This is a Catholic holiday dedicated to honoring saints and deceased loved ones.
  • Christmas Day (December 25): This day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Religious Holidays (with variable dates)

  • Good Friday: This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
  • Corpus Christi: This day celebrates the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and is observed 60 days after Easter.

Regional Holidays

Bolivia's departments, which are similar to states or provinces, also celebrate regional holidays. These holidays are specific to their founding dates or notable cultural events.

Important Notes

When a public holiday falls on a weekend, a substitute day off is often observed the following Monday.

Types of leave

In Bolivia, the General Labor Law and its regulations outline the primary types of leave entitlements for employees. These include annual vacation leave, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, and other types of leave such as marriage leave, breastfeeding leave, and bereavement leave.

Annual Vacation Leave

The legal basis for annual vacation leave is Articles 41-48 of the General Labor Law and Supreme Decree 224 of August 5, 1943. Employees are entitled to the following annual paid leave based on their length of service:

  • 1-5 years of service: 15 working days
  • 5-10 years of service: 20 working days
  • Over 10 years of service: 30 working days

Employees become eligible for annual vacation leave after one year of continuous service.

Sick Leave

Sick leave is governed by Articles 51 and 61 of the General Labor Law. Employees are entitled to paid sick leave after completing one month of continuous service. The duration of sick leave is determined by a medical assessment and requires supporting documentation.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is provided for in Articles 61, 62, and 63 of the General Labor Law. Female employees are entitled to 45 days of paid leave before childbirth and 45 days following childbirth.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is outlined in Article 61 of the General Labor Law. Fathers are entitled to 5 consecutive working days of paid paternity leave following their child's birth.

Other Types of Leave

  • Marriage Leave: Employees are entitled to 3 consecutive working days of paid leave in the event of their marriage.
  • Breastfeeding Leave: Nursing mothers are entitled to special breaks during their workday for breastfeeding purposes.
  • Bereavement Leave: Employees may be granted leave in the event of the death of a close relative, though the duration and pay depend on company policies or collective agreements.

Important Considerations

Many employers may offer more generous leave entitlements than the legal minimums. Consult your employment contract or company handbook for specific provisions. Collective bargaining agreements may provide for additional leave benefits.

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