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Vacation and Leave Policies

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

Holiday leave

In Honduras, all employees covered by the Honduran Labor Code (Código del Trabajo) are entitled to paid vacation leave.

Vacation Allowance

After one continuous year of employment, employees are entitled to at least 10 working days of paid vacation. The vacation allowance increases with an employee's length of service. For instance, after 2 years, employees are entitled to 12 working days, after 3 years, 15 working days, and after 4 years, 20 working days.

Important Considerations

The vacation entitlement accrues based on a continuous period of employment with the same employer. It's mandatory for employers to pay employees their regular wages for the duration of their vacation leave. This payment should be made at least three days before the vacation begins. The timing of vacation leave should be mutually agreed upon by employers and employees, considering operational needs. Typically, vacation leave cannot be carried over into the next year, leading to forfeiture of unused days. However, exceptions may apply depending on individual employment agreements.

Relevant Labor Laws

The Honduran Labor Code (Código del Trabajo) is the primary legal source on vacation leave entitlements. For detailed provisions, refer to Articles 346-352.

Public holidays

Public holidays in Honduras offer a fascinating mix of religious observances, historical commemorations, and celebrations of national identity.

Christian Holidays

  • New Year's Day (Año Nuevo): January 1st marks the start of a new calendar year.
  • Holy Week (Semana Santa): Includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The dates change each year in accordance with the lunar calendar. This is one of Honduras' most important holidays, celebrated with religious processions and gatherings.
  • Christmas Day (Navidad): December 25th commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Civic Holidays

  • America's Day (Día de las Américas): April 14th celebrates the Pan-American spirit and unity of the Americas.
  • Labor Day (Día del Trabajo): May 1st honors the contributions of workers.
  • Independence Day (Día de la Independencia): September 15th marks Honduras' declaration of independence from Spain in 1821. This is a major national holiday with parades and festivities.
  • Francisco Morazán's Birthday (Nacimiento de Francisco Morazán): Celebrated on October 3rd to honor the national hero Francisco Morazán, a Central American leader.
  • Discovery of America Day (Día del Descubrimiento de América): October 12th commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492.
  • Armed Forces Day (Día de las Fuerzas Armadas): October 21st celebrates the Honduran military.

Additional Noteworthy Days

  • Mother's Day (Día de la Madre): Observed on the second Sunday of May
  • Lempira Day (Día de Lempira): July 20th honors Lempira, an indigenous leader who resisted Spanish conquest.

Types of leave

In Honduras, employees are entitled to various types of leave based on their length of service, personal circumstances, and legal provisions.

Annual Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to paid annual leave based on their length of service:

  • 10 working days after one year of continuous service.
  • 12 working days after two years of continuous service.
  • 15 working days after three years of continuous service.
  • 20 working days after four or more years of continuous service.

This is in accordance with the Labor Code of Honduras, Article 346.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for temporary disabilities, including both common illnesses and work-related injuries. The maximum duration is 26 weeks, extendable up to 52 weeks in cases of prolonged illness. Employees must have contributed to social security for at least two of the past four months.

Paid sick leave is funded through the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS). The IHSS pays 66% of the employee's salary, and the employer pays the remaining 34%. This is based on the Labor Code of Honduras, Articles 115, 116.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave before childbirth and 6 weeks after childbirth. This leave is paid at 100% of the employee's salary, funded by the IHSS. This is in line with the Labor Code of Honduras, Article 136.

Paternity Leave

Male employees are entitled to 4 working days of paid paternity leave upon the birth of a child. This is based on Reform Decree No. 131-2011 of the Honduran Labor Code.

Bereavement Leave

Employees are granted up to 3 days of paid leave in the event of the death of a close family member (spouse, parents, children). This is typically falls under employer policies based on Article 349 of the Labor Code of Honduras.

Other Types of Leave

There are a few other less common types of leave that may be available:

  • Military Leave: May be provided based on relevant laws and employer policies.
  • Voting Leave: Law mandates time off for employees to vote in elections.
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