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Dominican Republic

Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Dominican Republic

Holiday leave

In the Dominican Republic, the Labor Code stipulates that employees are entitled to paid vacation leave after a period of continuous work.

Minimum Vacation Entitlement

After working for a company for a continuous period of one year, employees are entitled to 14 working days of paid vacation. Once this eligibility period is reached, employers are required to grant vacation leave to their employees.

Accrual and Unused Leave

The accrual of vacation leave is not permitted. After completing a year of service, employees must take their leave within the designated period. If the vacation is not taken by the employee, the employer is obligated to pay the employee compensation equivalent to the vacation period.


Employees are entitled to receive their regular salary in full during vacation periods. It is not permissible to split or reduce vacation periods for shorter durations.

Important Notes

The 14 working days of vacation specifically refer to working days and do not include weekends. Some companies may offer additional vacation days or allowances as a workplace benefit. It is always advisable to check your employment contract for specifics.

Public holidays

The Dominican Republic observes a mix of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year.

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Our Lady of Altagracia (January 21st): This is a religious holiday honoring the patron saint of the Dominican Republic.
  • Duarte's Birthday (January 26th): This day celebrates Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic.
  • Independence Day (February 27th): This day commemorates the Dominican Republic's independence from Haiti in 1844.
  • Labor Day (May 1st): This day celebrates workers' contributions internationally. It is usually observed on the first Monday of May.
  • Restoration Day (August 16th): This day commemorates the restoration of Dominican independence from Spain in 1863.
  • Our Lady of Mercy (September 24th): This is a religious holiday honoring the Virgin Mary, the patroness of the Dominican Republic.
  • Constitution Day (November 6th): This day celebrates the signing of the Dominican Republic's first constitution.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Variable Date Holidays

  • Epiphany (January 6th): This is a Christian holiday celebrating the revelation of God as Jesus Christ. Some years it may be moved to the closest Monday for a long weekend.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Corpus Christi (May/June): This is a Catholic feast celebrating the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. It is observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, with the exact date changing yearly.

Types of leave

In the Dominican Republic, the Labor Code outlines various leave entitlements for employees. Here's an overview of the different types of leave available:

Vacation Leave

  • Entitlement: Employees are entitled to 14 working days of paid vacation leave after completing one year of continuous service with the same employer.
  • Compensation: Employees must receive their regular salary during vacation leave periods.
  • Accrual and Carryover: Vacation leave cannot be accrued and must be taken within the year it's earned. If unused, the employer must compensate the employee for the equivalent amount of pay.

Sick Leave

  • Entitlement: The Labor Code doesn't specify a legal right to paid sick leave. However, some employers may offer paid sick leave through company policies or collective bargaining agreements.

Maternity Leave

  • Entitlement: Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, typically divided into six weeks before childbirth and six weeks after.
  • Compensation: Eligible employees may receive maternity benefits from the Dominican Social Security system (SSSD) or through terms negotiated in collective agreements.

Paternity Leave

  • Entitlement: The Labor Code doesn't mandate paternity leave. However, some employers or collective agreements may offer a short period of paid leave for fathers upon childbirth.

Unpaid Leave

Bereavement Leave

  • Entitlement: The Labor Code doesn't specify a legal right to bereavement leave. However, employers may grant short periods of unpaid leave in the event of a death in the immediate family based on company policy or compassionate grounds.

Special Circumstance Leave

  • Entitlement: There's no legal requirement for specific unpaid leave situations. In some cases, employers may grant short-term unpaid leave for specific events like weddings, moving, or urgent personal matters, depending on company policy and approval.
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