Leave Policy in Costa Rica

Shraddha Saxena
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Table of Content

Costa Rica's economy relies heavily on its service sector, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the GDP, with key industries including commerce, finance, and tourism. Understanding and managing leave policies in Costa Rica is crucial for employers hiring in Costa Rica or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in Costa Rica to ensure compliance and support a diverse and productive workforce.

Annual Leave

Employees in Costa Rica are entitled to paid annual leave, which varies depending on the province or territory. Typically, employees receive a minimum of two weeks of paid vacation after completing one year of employment. In some regions, this entitlement increases with years of service. For example, in Ontario, employees are entitled to three weeks of vacation after five years of continuous employment. Employers must ensure that employees take their vacation within the year it is earned, or they may choose to carry it over if mutually agreed upon.

Public Holidays

Date Day Holiday
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
11 Apr 2024 Thursday Juan Santamaria’s Day
4 Apr 2024 Thursday Holy Thursday
5 Apr 2024 Friday Holy Friday
1 May 2024 Wednesday Labor Day
29 Jul 2024 Monday Anexion del Partido de Nicoya
2 Aug 2024 Friday Our Lady of Angels Day
15 Aug 2024 Thursday Mary’s Assumption and Mother’s Day
31 Aug 2024 Saturday Afro-Costa Rican Culture Day
15 Sep 2024 Sunday Independence Day
1 Dec 2024 Sunday Abolition of the Army Day
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas

Sick Leave

Sick leave policies in Costa Rica differ across provinces and territories. Generally, employees are entitled to unpaid sick leave, but some regions mandate paid sick leave. For example, in British Columbia, employees can take up to five days of paid sick leave per year after 90 consecutive days of employment. Additionally, employers may require a doctor's note for extended sick leave to verify the employee's inability to work.

Maternity Leave 

Maternity leave in Costa Rica is generous, ensuring expecting mothers have sufficient time to recover and care for their newborns. Employees are entitled to up to 17 weeks of maternity leave, which can start up to 13 weeks before the expected birth date. During this period, employees may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) maternity benefits, providing financial support. Employers must ensure the employee's position is secure and available upon their return.

Parental Leave 

Following maternity leave in Costa Rica, employees are entitled to parental leave, which allows them to bond with their newborn or newly adopted child. Both parents can share up to 63 weeks of parental leave, or one parent can take up to 35 weeks if the other parent did not take maternity leave. Parental leave is also supported by EI benefits, ensuring financial stability during this crucial period.

Paternity Leave 

Fathers or non-birth parents are entitled to take parental leave as well, which can be up to 63 weeks if shared between both parents. This leave ensures fathers have the opportunity to bond with their child and support their partner during the early stages of parenthood.

Bereavement Leave 

In the unfortunate event of the death of a close family member, employees are entitled to bereavement leave. Typically, this leave includes up to three days of paid leave, depending on the province or territory. This time allows employees to grieve and manage personal matters without the stress of work obligations.

Other Special Leaves 

Costa Rica's labor laws also provide for various other types of leave, including:

  • Compassionate Care Leave: Up to 28 weeks of leave to care for a critically ill family member.
  • Family Responsibility Leave: Up to five days of unpaid leave for family-related responsibilities.
  • Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence: In some provinces, employees can take up to ten days of leave, with the first five days paid, to deal with the effects of domestic violence.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in Costa Rica with Gloroots

Our global HR platform at Gloroots simplifies the process of hiring contractors or full-time employees in over 160 countries, eliminating the hassle of setting up a local legal entity. We provide a unified platform for quick onboarding and secure administration of benefits. With Gloroots, you can confidently handle payroll and comply with complex employment laws, allowing us to manage all HR complexities for you.

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