Monday 2 October 2023

Workers in Costa Rica have two weeks of annual vacation

We compare Costa Rica with other countries

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QCOSTARICA (El Financiero) In Costa Rica, every worker has the right to enjoy at least two weeks of paid vacation for every 50 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer

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Luis Sánchez, a partner at the legal firm Facio & Cañas, explained that those two weeks are calendar days. To determine how many vacation days these weeks contain, the type of workday must be taken into account.

“For a person who works five days a week, from Monday to Friday, there are two five-day weeks, that is, (in total) ten working days (of vacation); for a person with a six-day-a-week shift, it would be two weeks of six business days, so 12 business days of vacation,” explained Sánchez.

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The Código de Trabajo (Labor Code) stipulates, in article 155, that the employer will indicate the time in which the employee will enjoy their vacations, but they will have to do so within 15 weeks after the day on which the 50 weeks of continuous service are completed.

In addition, as detailed in article 158 of this legislation: “Workers must enjoy their vacation period without interruption. These may be divided into two fractions, at most, when so agreed by the parties, and provided that it is work of a special nature, which does not allow a very prolonged absence.

But how many rest days are granted in other countries? Are these more or less than in Costa Rica? collected information on paid annual leave in the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Uruguay, Argentina, Spain, and Switzerland.

United States

In the United States, there is no law that requires employers to give paid annual vacations to their workers.


The Federal Labor Law of Mexico establishes that employees who have worked for more than one year will enjoy an annual paid vacation period of not less than six days. This period will increase by two days for each subsequent year of work, up to a maximum of 12 days.

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After year four, the vacation period will increase by two days for every five years of service.

An important aspect is that workers must enjoy at least six continuous days of vacation.

El Salvador

The Labor Code of El Salvador establishes that after one year of continuous work, in the same company or under the same employer, workers have the right to a vacation period of 15 days, “which must be remunerated with a benefit equivalent to the ordinary salary corresponding to said period plus 30% of it”.

The employer is in charge of indicating the time in which the worker will be able to enjoy the vacation and of notifying of the start date, at least 30 days in advance.


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According to the Panamanian Labor Code, every worker has the right to an annual paid rest. In this country, 30 days of vacation are granted for every 11 consecutive months of work.


According to the annual leave law, all workers hired by individuals or private companies are entitled to paid annual leave of at least 20 days.

In addition to this, workers who have worked in the same company for more than five years may enjoy an additional day of leave for every four years of seniority.


The Labor Contract Law (20,744) mentions, in its article 150, that workers may enjoy a minimum and continuous period of paid annual vacation for the following periods:

  • 14 calendar days when the length of employment does not exceed five years.
  • 21 calendar days when the length of service is greater than five years but does not exceed ten years.
  • 28 calendar days when the length of service is greater than ten years and does not exceed 20 years.
  • 35 calendar days when seniority exceeds 20 years.

“The employer must grant the enjoyment of vacations each year within the period between the 1st. October and April 30 of the following year. The start date of vacations must be communicated in writing, not less than forty-five (45) days in advance to the worker, without prejudice to the fact that collective agreements may institute different systems in accordance with the modalities of each activity. dictates article 154 of the law in question”.


The paid annual vacation period, “not substitutable for economic compensation”, will be agreed in a collective agreement or individual contract. Of course, on no occasion may the duration be less than 30 calendar days; according to article 38 of the Workers’ Statute Law.

The term or periods for which the worker can enjoy these vacations will be set by mutual agreement between the parties (employer and employee).

“In case of disagreement between the parties, the social jurisdiction will set the date that corresponds to the enjoyment and its decision will be irrevocable,” adds the article.

The worker will know the dates of the vacations that correspond to them, at least two months before the beginning of his enjoyment.


The employer must grant workers at least four weeks of vacation for each year of work. For employees up to the age of 20, the term is increased to at least five weeks.

The Swiss Code of Obligations mentions that the date of the vacation is fixed by the employer, taking into account the wishes of the worker, to the extent that they are compatible with the interests of the firm.

Vacations must be set “sufficiently in advance” so that the employee can plan reasonably.

Read the original article, in Spanish, at

Does Canada have mandatory vacation time?

Some vacation entitlement depends on province or jurisdiction, but Canadian labor law stipulates that every employee is entitled to two weeks’ vacation at 4% of their regular wages earned in an entitlement year. Paid vacation also changes for every year an employee has been employed by the same employer. Source:

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