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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Burundi, labor laws ensure that eligible employees are entitled to paid vacation leave, also known as annual leave. The Labor Code of Burundi outlines these entitlements.


Per Article 131 of the Labor Code, workers are entitled to 1.67 working days of leave for each full month of service. This equates to approximately 20 working days of paid leave annually.


Vacation leave accrues throughout the year and cannot be taken in advance.


Employees become eligible for vacation leave upon completing 12 months of continuous service with their employer.


The employer, in consultation with the worker, determines the timing of vacation leave. This takes into account the needs of the business and the worker's rest opportunities (Labor Code, Article 134).

Unused Leave

Burundi's labor laws allow for the accumulation of unused vacation leave for up to two years, with the employer's agreement.

Increased Entitlement

The Labor Code (Article 132) stipulates that after every four years of service with the same employer, the duration of paid annual leave is increased by at least one additional working day.

Important Considerations

Collective Agreements

Collective bargaining agreements may provide for more generous vacation leave entitlements than the minimum requirements set forth in the Labor Code.

Record Keeping

Employers are obligated to maintain accurate records of employees' vacation leave accrival and usage.

Public holidays

Burundi, a small country located in East Africa, celebrates a variety of secular, religious, and historical holidays throughout the year.

Secular Holidays

Burundi begins the year with New Year's Day on January 1st, marking the start of the Gregorian calendar year. Following this, Unity Day is celebrated on February 5th, commemorating national unity. Labor Day on May 1st is a day to honor the contributions of workers.

The country's Independence Day is celebrated on July 1st, marking the anniversary of Burundi's independence from Belgium in 1962. Rwagasore Day on October 13th commemorates the assassination of Prince Louis Rwagasore, a national independence hero. Lastly, Ndadaye Day on October 21st remembers Melchior Ndadaye, the first democratically elected Hutu president of Burundi.

Religious Holidays

Religious holidays in Burundi include Easter Monday, the day following Easter Sunday, celebrated by Christians. Ascension Day is another Christian observance that celebrates Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven.

Islamic holidays include Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha/ Tabaski, commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The exact dates for these holidays vary depending on the lunar calendar.

Catholic observances include Assumption Day on August 15th, commemorating the Virgin Mary's bodily assumption into heaven, and All Saints' Day on November 1st, honoring saints and martyrs within the Christian faith. The year ends with the celebration of Christmas Day on December 25th, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Types of leave

In Burundi, labor laws provide for various types of leave for employees, governed primarily by the Labor Code of Burundi.

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to 1.67 working days of paid annual leave for each full month of service, which equates to approximately 20 working days annually. Employees become eligible for this after completing 12 months of continuous service. Unused vacation leave can be accumulated for up to two years, with the agreement of the employer.

Sick Leave

After completing six months of continuous service, employees are entitled to paid sick leave. The maximum duration and compensation depend on the employee's length of service. A medical certificate is generally required to substantiate sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, typically divided into 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after childbirth. Women receive their full salary during maternity leave. This leave can be extended for an additional two weeks in case of health complications.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 3 days of paid paternity leave upon the birth of a child.

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be granted a short leave period in the event of the death of a close family member. Time off may also be allowed for significant family events such as marriages and births, often based on employer discretion or collective agreements. In some circumstances, employees may negotiate unpaid leave with their employers, subject to mutual agreement.

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