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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Dominica, the Labour Standards Act ensures that all employees are entitled to paid vacation leave. The minimum entitlement is 14 working days of paid vacation leave per year for employees who have been in continuous employment for at least one year. For those who have worked for five years or more, the entitlement increases to at least 18 working days of paid vacation leave annually.

Accrual and Eligibility

The accrual of vacation leave is proportional throughout the year of employment. Full annual leave entitlement is available to employees after they have completed a year of continuous service with the same employer.


Employees are entitled to receive their regular salary in full during their vacation periods.

Taking Vacation Leave

The scheduling of vacation leave is typically determined by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. It's important to note that employers are not allowed to force employees to take vacation as a substitute for paying out earned wages upon separation of employment.

Public holidays

Dominica celebrates a variety of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year. These are the officially recognized public holidays:

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Carnival Monday (February/March): This is the Monday before Ash Wednesday, a vibrant celebration leading up to Lent. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Carnival Tuesday (February/March): This day follows Carnival Monday, continuing the pre-Lenten festivities. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Easter Monday (March/April): This is the day after Easter Sunday. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Labor Day (May 1st): This day celebrates workers' contributions internationally.
  • Whit Monday (May/June): This is a Christian holiday observed the day after Pentecost Sunday. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Emancipation Day (August Monday): This day commemorates the abolition of slavery in Dominica. It is usually observed on the first Monday in August.
  • Independence Day (November 3rd): This day marks Dominica's independence from the United Kingdom in 1978.
  • Community Day of Service (November 4th): This is a day dedicated to volunteer work and community service in Dominica.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Boxing Day (December 26th): This is the day after Christmas Day.

Types of leave

In Dominica, labor laws provide employees with various types of leave to cater to their personal needs and circumstances.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 14 working days of paid vacation leave per year after one year of continuous service. Those with five or more years of service are entitled to at least 18 working days annually. During vacation leave periods, employees receive full pay.

Sick Leave

Employees become eligible for paid sick leave after completing six months of continuous service. The exact duration depends on the length of employment and may be outlined in collective agreements or employment contracts. Employers may require a medical certificate to validate sick leave claims.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, typically split into six weeks before and six weeks after childbirth. Eligible employees can receive maternity benefits from the Dominica Social Security system or terms outlined in collective agreements.

Paternity Leave

There's limited information on legally mandated paternity leave, but some collective agreements or employer policies may offer fathers a short period of leave after the birth of a child.

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be entitled to a short period of bereavement leave in the event of the death of a close family member. Additionally, employees may be granted short-term leave for special circumstances such as marriage, medical appointments, or civic duties. The specific provisions depend on employment agreements or workplace policies.

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