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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Curacao, the Civil Code stipulates that all employees have a right to a minimum vacation entitlement. This is calculated as three times the agreed number of weekly working days. For instance, full-time employees, who typically work six days a week, are entitled to a minimum of fifteen working days of vacation per year.

Calculation and Accrual

Vacation leave is accrued, meaning that employees earn it gradually as they continue to work. The rate of accrual is directly proportional to the length of employment.

Pay During Vacation Leave

During vacation leave, employees are entitled to receive their full salary.

Vacation Allowance

Although not a legal requirement, employers in Curacao may provide a vacation allowance in addition to the regular salary. This allowance is designed to cover vacation-related expenses.

Additional Considerations

Vacation policies may differ among employers in Curacao. Therefore, it's crucial to refer to the employment contract or company handbook for specifics regarding any additional vacation days offered above the minimum, procedures for requesting vacation leave, and rules on carrying over unused vacation days.

Public holidays

Curacao, a vibrant island in the Caribbean, celebrates a mix of national and religious holidays throughout the year. These holidays range from fixed date holidays to those that vary each year based on the lunar calendar.

Fixed Date Holidays

New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1st, marking the start of the calendar year.

Carnival Monday is a vibrant celebration leading up to Ash Wednesday, featuring parades, music, and costumes. The exact date varies yearly, falling in February or March.

Good Friday, a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, also varies yearly, typically falling in March or April.

Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, Christian holidays celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the day following, respectively, also vary yearly, typically falling in March or April.

King's Day is celebrated on April 27th, honoring the birthday of the reigning Dutch monarch.

Labor Day, honoring the contributions of workers, is celebrated on May 1st.

Ascension Day, a Christian holiday commemorating the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, varies yearly, typically falling in May or June.

Curacao Flag Day is celebrated on July 2nd, commemorating the adoption of the Curaçao flag and anthem.

Curaçao Day, celebrating the island gaining the status of an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is celebrated on October 10th.

Christmas Day, a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, is celebrated on December 25th, followed by Boxing Day on December 26th.

It's important to note that the dates for holidays that depend on the lunar calendar, like Easter, change each year. Additionally, businesses and services may have adjusted hours or closures during these public holidays.

Types of leave

In Curacao, labor laws ensure employees are entitled to various types of leave for circumstances ranging from illness to family events.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to a minimum of three times the contracted number of weekly workdays, with a minimum of 15 days per year for full-time employees. During this leave, employees receive their full salary. Employers may optionally provide a vacation allowance.

Sick Leave

If an employee cannot work due to illness, they are generally entitled to continued salary payment for a certain period. The exact duration may vary based on the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. During the initial period, the employer usually pays full salary. After a certain point, the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) may provide sickness benefits at a percentage of the employee's salary.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, typically divided into a period before and after childbirth. They are entitled to 100% of their salary during maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Male employees are entitled to a short period of paternity leave, usually a few days, after the birth of their child. They are also entitled to full salary during paternity leave.

Special Circumstances Leave

The Civil Code of Curacao provides for short-term leave for various special circumstances, including marriage of the employee, death of a close family member, moving house, and fulfilling civic duties. Employees are generally entitled to paid leave for these circumstances.

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