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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Ecuador, all employees are guaranteed a right to paid vacation leave as per the Labor Code. After completing one full year of continuous service with the same employer, employees are entitled to 15 consecutive days of paid vacation leave.

Accrual and Eligibility

The accrual of vacation leave begins upon the commencement of employment. However, it cannot be taken before the completion of a full year of service. Employees are required to take their vacation leave within the period that they earned the entitlement.


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

Additional Leave for Seniority

For employees who have completed more than five years of consecutive service with the same employer, they are entitled to one additional day of vacation for each year beyond the fifth year. However, this additional leave cannot exceed a total of 15 extra days.

Public holidays

Ecuador is a country that observes a variety of national, regional, and religious holidays throughout the year.

Fixed Date Holidays

Ecuador's fixed date holidays include:

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Labor Day (May 1st): This day is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of workers internationally.
  • Battle of Pichincha (May 24th): This day commemorates the decisive battle in Ecuador's struggle for independence from Spain.
  • Primer Grito de Independencia (August 10th): This day celebrates the first call for independence from Spain in 1809.
  • Guayaquil Independence Day (October 9th): This day commemorates Guayaquil's declaration of independence from Spain.
  • Day of the Dead (November 2nd): This day is set aside to honor and remember deceased loved ones.
  • Cuenca Independence Day (November 3rd): This day celebrates Cuenca's declaration of independence from Spain.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Variable Date Holidays

Ecuador also has holidays that vary in date each year:

  • Carnival Monday (February/March): This is the Monday before Ash Wednesday, marking a vibrant celebration leading up to Lent.
  • Carnival Tuesday (February/March): This day follows Carnival Monday, continuing the pre-Lenten festivities.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This Christian holiday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Regional and Local Holidays

In addition to national holidays, some cities and regions in Ecuador also celebrate local holidays. These holidays often recognize founding anniversaries, patron saints, or significant historical events.

Types of leave

In Ecuador, labor laws ensure employees are entitled to various types of leave to address personal needs and circumstances.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to 15 consecutive days of paid vacation annually after one year of continuous service. Employees with more seniority can get additional days. During vacation leave periods, employees receive full pay.

Sick Leave

Employees become eligible for paid sick leave after completing two months of service. During the first ten days, the employer pays full salary. After that, sick leave benefits are provided by the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS). Employees must provide a medical certificate to validate the sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, generally split into two weeks before and ten weeks after childbirth. Eligible employees can receive maternity benefits from the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS).

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to ten paid days of paternity leave upon the birth of a child. This period can be extended by five additional days in the case of multiple births or c-sections.

Other Types of Leave

  • Bereavement Leave: Employees may be entitled to up to three days of paid leave in the event of the death of a close family member.
  • Special Circumstance Leave: Employees may be granted short-term leave for circumstances such as marriage, medical appointments, or civic duties. The specific provisions may depend on employment agreements or workplace policies.
  • Lactation Leave: Breastfeeding mothers are entitled to two additional breaks of 30 minutes each throughout the workday for up to 12 months after a child's birth.

Individual employment contracts or collective agreements may offer additional leave provisions exceeding the outlined legal minimums. Always consult your specific agreement for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding leave policies in your workplace.

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