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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Guadeloupe, employees are entitled to 2.5 working days of paid vacation leave for every full month of work completed. This equates to 30 working days, or 5 weeks, per year.

Accrual and Eligibility

Vacation leave accrues monthly throughout the reference period, which typically runs from June 1st of the previous year to May 31st of the current year. Employees are not permitted to take vacation leave until it has been accrued. However, there are instances where employers may grant leave in advance.


During vacation periods, employees are required to receive at least their usual remuneration. If outlined in their contracts or collective agreements, they may receive a more favorable amount.

Important Notes

While the core entitlement is the same as mainland France, there may be localized collective agreements within Guadeloupe that offer more generous vacation leave provisions. It's important to always check your individual employment contract and any relevant collective agreements applicable to your workplace for the most accurate and up-to-date details.

Public holidays

Guadeloupe, being a part of France, observes all the public holidays celebrated in mainland France. These include:

  • New Year's Day (January 1st)
  • Easter Monday (March/April)
  • Labor Day (May 1st)
  • Victory in Europe Day (May 8th)
  • Ascension Day (May/June)
  • Whit Monday (May/June)
  • Bastille Day (July 14th)
  • Assumption of Mary (August 15th)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1st)
  • Armistice Day (November 11th)
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)

Holidays Specific to Guadeloupe

In addition to the national French holidays, Guadeloupe also celebrates:

  • Abolition of Slavery Day (May 27th): This day commemorates the abolition of slavery in Guadeloupe in 1848.

Please note that the dates for holidays that depend on the religious calendar change each year. Also, regional variances may exist, but since Guadeloupe is relatively small, any regional holidays are likely to be minor observances rather than official public holidays. Businesses and services may have adjusted hours or closures during public holidays.

Types of leave

In Guadeloupe, employees are entitled to various types of leave.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to 2.5 working days of paid vacation per month of work, totaling 30 working days (or 5 weeks) per year. Employees receive at least their usual pay during vacation leave periods, potentially more depending on agreements.

Sick Leave

Employees become eligible for paid sick leave after fulfilling certain conditions related to social security contributions and employment duration. Paid sick leave compensation is provided by the French social security system after an initial waiting period. The amount and duration can vary based on employment history and the nature of the illness. Employers may require a medical certificate to validate the need for sick leave.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave, generally split before and after childbirth. This may be extended in cases of multiple births or complications. Eligible employees generally receive maternity benefits from France's social security system.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 28 calendar days of paternity leave, including a mandatory 4 consecutive days. Paternity leave is compensated by the French social security system.

Parental Leave

Following maternity/paternity leave, either parent can take parental leave to care for a young child. The duration can extend up to a few years. Parental leave may be partially compensated by the French social security depending on the length and circumstances.

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be entitled to short-term paid leave in the case of the death of a close family member. Employees may also have the right to short-term leave for events like marriage, moving, or a child's illness. Furthermore, employees may have the right to take longer-term unpaid leave for personal reasons, known as sabbatical leave.

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