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El Salvador

Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in El Salvador

Holiday leave

In El Salvador, the Labor Code mandates that all employees who have completed a year of continuous service with the same employer are entitled to paid annual vacation leave. The minimum vacation entitlement is 15 calendar days of paid leave.

Accrual and Unused Leave

Vacation leave is calculated annually from December 12th to December 12th. Employees are not permitted to carry over unused vacation time to the next year. However, if the employment relationship ends before a year is completed, employees are entitled to compensation for the accrued vacation time.


During vacation leave, employees must receive their regular salary. Additionally, employers are legally required to pay employees an extra 30% of their regular salary as a vacation bonus before the leave begins. This is a mandatory requirement according to the Labor Code of El Salvador.

Public holidays

El Salvador celebrates a variety of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year.

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the start of the calendar year.
  • Holy Thursday (March/April): This is part of the Christian Holy Week, which commemorates the Last Supper before Jesus' crucifixion. The exact date changes every year.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This Christian holiday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exact date changes every year.
  • Labor Day (May 1st): This day celebrates the contributions of workers worldwide.
  • Feast of the Holy Savior of the World (August 5th - 6th): This is El Salvador's main patronal festival, which honors Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World. The festivities last a week, with these two days being the official holidays.
  • Independence Day (September 15th): This day commemorates El Salvador's independence from Spain in 1821.
  • Columbus Day (October 12th): This day commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas.
  • All Souls Day (November 2nd): This day is dedicated to honoring and remembering loved ones who have passed away.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Types of leave

In El Salvador, the Labor Code ensures that employees are entitled to various types of leave to cater to personal needs, health situations, and family responsibilities.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to 15 calendar days of paid vacation annually after completing one year of continuous service. During vacation leave periods, employees receive their regular salary and a 30% bonus.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to a period of paid sick leave depending on their length of service. The Labor Code outlines the following periods:

  • Between 4 weeks to 6 months of service: Up to 4 weeks of paid sick leave.
  • Between 6 months to 1 year of service: Up to 6 weeks of paid sick leave.
  • Over 1 year of service: Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave.

After the first three days of illness, sick leave is compensated by the Salvadorian Social Security Institute (ISSS) at 75% of the employee's regular salary.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 16 weeks (4 weeks prenatal, 12 weeks postnatal) of paid maternity leave. Eligible employees receive maternity benefits from El Salvador's Social Security Institute (ISSS) at 75% of their regular salary.

Other Types of Leave

  • Bereavement Leave: Employees are typically entitled to three days of paid leave in the case of the death of a close family member.
  • Special Circumstance Leave: Employees may be entitled to short-term leave for reasons such as marriage or civic duties. The specific provisions may depend on employment agreements or workplace policies.

It's important to note that 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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