QCOSTARICA – The obligatory pay holiday, January 1, falls on the first Sunday of the new year. For many, it is the perfect time to get caught up on a weekend of celebrations, get-togethers, dinners, parties, and an endless number of activities outside the usual routine. A perfect occasion to disconnect and recharge for the start of a new year.
But, just in case you are one of those wondering if all the disconnecting and recharging will continue into Monday, the clear and unequivocal answer is, NO.
Monday, January 2, is NOT a legal holiday in Costa Rica.
Though the Zapote fair continues and other fairs and ‘summer’ events take place, the mandatory paid holiday is January 1, notwithstanding it is a Sunday and for many a day off work.
The January 1 holiday, like Christmas day, is not, in Costa Rica, one of those holidays moved to the following Monday.
According to Ley 9875, moving holidays to Mondays, in order to promote internal visits and tourism during the years 2020 to 2024, January 1, is not of them.
Given that, in Costa Rica, January 1 is stipulated as a mandatory paid holiday, a salaried worker is entitled to time off. The law determines that in case of working on that date, the employer is obliged to pay double pay for the day. Important to note is that an employee can refuse to work on the mandatory holiday without reprisals from the employer.
So, Monday, January 2, in Costa Rica, is a normal work day.
However, having said all that, you will most likely find some business and professional offices, such as doctors and lawyers, among others, closed during the week. After all, the school vacation period is in full swing and a time for many to enjoy the beaches and resorts with their families.
This is supported by the decision of the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) to extend the temporary suspension of the vehicular restrictions of San Jose until Monday, January 9.
Thus, unless you have been given the day off on Monday, best is to report for work normally.
If you have a scheduled appointment with a doctor or dentist, for example, call ahead not to waste your time.
Visiting a public institution may have its complications, while open, there may be experiences of shortage of staff. The foregoing may not only apply to Monday but the entire week.
Oh, if you own a vehicle, do not forget that Saturday, December 31, is the last day to pay the 2023 Marchamo, after which late fees and interest start to accumulate. And not like in the older days of Marchamo paying, there is no longer (for some time now) a grace period, so come January 1, if you have not paid the Marchamo, you can get picked off for a fine and even have your license plate and/or vehicle seized by traffic authorities.