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Paid Vacations

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All About Paid Vacations in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Labor Code (Codigo de Trabajo) stipulates that an Employer must provide vacation time to their Employee once that Employee has worked at least 50 weeks.   Once that threshold is reached the Employee is entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation.   However, it is up to the Employer to decide when it is the best time for their Employees to take that mandatory vacation time and notify them of the selected vacation period.  The Employer should note that the burden of proof in any labor dispute will be against the Employer – it is the Employer that will have to demonstrate that the Employee actually took the mandatory vacation.

To calculate the vacation pay the Employer must take into account the average wage (include regular wage plus any overtime pay) earned during the previous 50 week of employment. This is the amount the Employee must be paid.

The mandatory vacation pay discussed above is separate from any additional pay that the Employee is entitled to due to an official government holiday.   The Costa Rican government recognizes several paid holidays which are set forth in the chart below.  

January 1stNew Years DayMandatory Paid Vacation
April 11thJuan Santamaria DayMandatory Paid Vacation
Easter ThursdayEasterMandatory Paid Vacation
Easter FridayEasterMandatory Paid Vacation
May 1stLabor DayMandatory Paid Vacation
July 25thAnexation of GuancasteMandatory Paid Vacation
August 2ndVirgin of Los AngelesVacation (not paid)
August 15thMothers DayMandatory Paid Vacation
September 15thIndependence DayMandatory Paid Vacation
October 12thCultural DayVacation (not paid)
December 25thChristmasMandatory Paid Vacation


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