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Congo (Democratic Republic of the)

Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Congo (Democratic Republic of the)

Holiday leave

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, employees are guaranteed paid vacation leave, also known as annual leave, under the Labor Code. This is provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.

Key Provisions

  • Entitlement: According to Article 123 of the Labor Code, employees are entitled to a minimum of 1 day of paid annual leave for each month of effective service. This means that employees are entitled to at least 12 days of paid vacation for each year of continuous service.
  • Eligibility: All employees, regardless of their length of service, are entitled to the minimum annual leave as per the Labor Code.
  • Scheduling: The timing of annual leave should be mutually agreed upon by employers and employees, as per Articles 58 and 125 of the Labor Code.
  • Compensation: Employees receive their regular wages during their annual leave period, and employers are not allowed to replace them during this time, as per Article 124 of the Labor Code.
  • Increased Entitlement: The duration of the paid annual leave can be increased based on various factors such as an employee's seniority, age, or level of responsibility.

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 required to keep accurate records of employees' vacation leave accrual and usage.

Public holidays

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) celebrates a variety of secular, religious (primarily Christian), and historical holidays throughout the year.

Secular Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year.
  • Martyrs' Day (January 4th): This day commemorates the Congolese killed in the 1959 riots for independence from Belgium.
  • National Heroes' Day (January 17th): This day honors Congolese national heroes Patrice Lumumba and Laurent-Désiré Kabila.
  • Liberation Day (May 17th): This day marks the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko's regime in 1997.
  • Independence Day (June 30th): This day commemorates the DRC's independence from Belgium in 1960.
  • Parents' Day (August 1st): This day honors parents and ancestors.
  • Armed Forces Day (November 17th): This day recognizes and celebrates the Congolese Armed Forces.

Christian Holidays

  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Types of leave

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Labor Code (Code du Travail) outlines various leave provisions for employees.

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to at least one day of paid annual leave for each month of service, translating to a minimum of 12 days of vacation per year according to Article 123 of the Labor Code. The duration of paid annual leave may be increased based on various factors, though the Labor Code doesn't specify exact details. Collective bargaining agreements or company policies might dictate such increases based on factors like seniority, age, or job responsibilities. All employees who have completed at least one month of service are entitled to annual leave according to the Labor Code. The Labor Code encourages employers and employees to reach a mutual agreement regarding the timing of annual leave, considering business needs and employee preferences. Employees receive their regular wages during their annual leave period, and employers cannot replace them with temporary workers during this time.

Sick Leave

The Labor Code doesn't specify a standard duration for paid sick leave. However, some regulations establish minimum sick leave entitlement based on an employee's service time. For those with less than 6 months of service, there is potential entitlement to full pay, though the exact timeframe is unclear and may be determined by company policy or negotiated agreements. Generally, a medical certificate from a qualified medical professional is required to substantiate sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, typically divided into 8 weeks before childbirth and 6 weeks after. This is available to women who have been employed for at least six months.

Other Types of Leave

The Labor Code doesn't explicitly mention bereavement leave. However, employers may grant a short period of leave in the event of an employee's close family member's death based on company policy or compassionate grounds. Employees may be allowed time off for significant family events, such as marriages, births, or other important ceremonies, subject to employer approval. In some circumstances, employees may negotiate unpaid leave with their employers.

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