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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Djibouti, labor laws ensure that all employees have the right to paid vacation leave.

Minimum Vacation Entitlement

The Djibouti Labor Code mandates that employees are entitled to a minimum of 30 working days of paid vacation (usually equivalent to a calendar month) each year.

Eligibility and Accrual

Entitlement to the full annual leave accrues after completing at least one continuous year of service with the same employer. For periods shorter than a year, vacation leave is accrued proportionally, generally calculated as 2.5 days per month of employment.

Taking Vacation Leave

Employers can choose when employees take their annual leave but must take into account the preferences of employees when possible. Unless agreed otherwise, a portion of the annual leave must be at least two consecutive weeks.


During their vacation periods, employees must receive their regular salary in full.

Public holidays

Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa, celebrates a variety of national and religious holidays throughout the year. These holidays are a blend of fixed date holidays and Islamic holidays, which vary each year due to the Islamic lunar calendar.

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1st, marking the start of the calendar year.
  • Labor Day is observed on May 1st, honoring workers' contributions on a global scale.
  • Independence Day is commemorated on June 27th, marking Djibouti's independence from France in 1977.
  • Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th. Although it is a Christian holiday, it is broadly observed as a secular holiday in Djibouti.

Islamic Holidays (Variable Dates)

The Islamic lunar calendar determines the dates for religious holidays in Djibouti, causing the exact dates to change each year.

  • Mawlid an-Nabi, the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, is a celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Eid al-Fitr, marking the End of Ramadan, signifies the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.
  • Awal Muharram, the Islamic New Year, signifies the first day of the Islamic calendar.

Types of leave

In Djibouti, labor laws ensure that employees have access to various types of leave, covering a range of circumstances from illness to family responsibilities and personal time off.

Vacation Leave

Employees in Djibouti are entitled to at least 30 working days of annual leave after completing one year of continuous service, as mandated by the Djibouti Labor Code. Leave accrues proportionally for shorter periods of work, typically at a rate of 2.5 days per month of employment. During vacation leave periods, employees receive their regular salary.

Sick Leave

The Djibouti Labor Code also allows for sick leave. The specific duration and compensation may depend on the length of employment and collective agreements. Employers may require a medical certificate for sick leave periods depending on the length of absence.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, typically split into six weeks before childbirth and eight weeks after. Eligible employees can receive maternity benefits from social security or according to terms negotiated in collective agreements.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to three days of paternity leave around the time of their child's birth.

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be entitled to short-term leave in the event of the death of close family members, a provision known as bereavement leave. There are also provisions for special circumstance leave, where employees may be entitled to short-term paid leave for certain events such as marriage, medical examinations, or civic duties.

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