We offer advisory and assistance on the drafting of labor contracts and registration with the Labor Ministry; labor litigation.
Dominican Republic Labor Law Information
Labor in the Dominican Republic is regulated by Labor Code contained in law no. 16-92 which is administered by the Ministry of Labor which is the institution in charge of verifying compliance of provisions while labor courts of Dominican Republic have jurisdiction over any labor conflicts or disputes.
Local laws are very protectionist to workers and judges will in most of the cases rule in favour of workers and employees; thus following requirements should be in all cases followed “by the book” by all employers in the event they are requested to show books or registries to any inspector of labor or upon a legal proceeding in court.
Requirements of Books, Registry, and Documents Mandatory to Employer to Keep
a) LABOR AGREEMENT:
It is strongly advisable for the employer to subscribe a labor agreement with every employee and have it registered at Ministry of Labor and under no circumstance have only a “verbal” agreement for anything testified by an employee in a court of law will be considered as true by the judge. Types of agreements are Unlimited time; limited time and pre-determined work or service.
b) WAGES BOOK
c) LIST OF OVERTIME WORKED BY EMPLOYEES
d) BOOK OF VISITS (for Ministry of labor inspectors to use if they eventually visit employer)
Samples of all these books and registries are enclosed.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF LABOR LAW:
EMPLOYEE LEGAL AGE: 18 years old. Minors starting at 16 years old can engage in paid work upon written authorization of parents.
QUOTA OF EMPLOYEES
At least 80% of employees in a company should be Dominican citizens. There are no restrictions at managerial levels.
Normal weekly working hours are 44; 8 hours daily. Part-time employees are considered as such is work is limited to 29 hours a week.
Payment of wages should be made no later than 30 days from the beginning of the period. Wages cannot be lower than the national minimum wage established by the National Commission on Wages, actually provides a minimum wage to employees of non for profit associations of RD$5,000.00 (US$151.50)
Employees overtime should be paid from 35%-100% of salary per hour depending on the number of hours worked or if night shift or holidays are involved. As regards to the wage to higher level positions such as supervisors or senior officials, there is no legal provision on the wage to be paid; however this should be agreed upon between the parties and will depend on the years of training, capabilities, among others with suggested increases of 10% per year of experience.
The employee has the right to 14 working days of paid vacations each year starting on the first anniversary of work. After 5 years of service, vacation period is increased to 18 working days.
HOLIDAYS (Move of days toward or backward calendar may occur in order to form a long weekend. Not applicable to religious celebrations.
|Año Nuevo (new year)||Jan 1st|
|Reyes Magos (epiphany)||Jan 6|
|Virgen de la Altagracia (celebration of the Virgin)||Jan21|
|Día de Duarte (Founding father`s day)||Jan 26|
|Día de la Independencia (independence day)||Feb 27|
|Viernes Santo (Friday of Easter)||(Variable – Mar-Apr)|
|Corpus Christi||(Variable – May-Jun)|
|Día del Trabajo (labor day)||May 1st|
|Da de la Restauración (Restauration of the Republic`s day)||Aug 16|
|Día de las Mercedes (celebration of the Virgin)||Sept 24|
|Día de la Constitución (Constitution`s day)||Nov 6|
|Navidad (Christmas)||Dic 25|
Marginal Benefits to Employers
Christmas bonus: All employees are entitled to receive no later than December 20th of each year the result of the sum of all wages received in a year divided by 12. Some people erroneously call this bonus the 13th salary of the year; however, if an employee has not received 12 salaries, the resulting amount will be less than a normal monthly salary.
Participation in company profits: Not applicable to not-for-profit associations.
PAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Mandatory paid leaves of absence are as follows:
MARRIAGE: 5 days
DEATH OF CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER: 3 days
BIRTH OF A CHILD TO A MALE EMPLOYEE: 2 days
MATERNITY LEAVE: 3 months either counting from 1 ½ before giving birth and until the child is 1 ½ month old or the whole 3 months from giving birth.
DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES: During the first three months of employment, workers can be dismissed without any liabilities for the employer to pay. After three months, employees can only be dismissed by “just cause” in accordance with Labor Code provisions and with prior notice to the Ministry of Labor of at least 48 hours indicating alleged causes for dismissal. Otherwise, the dismissal is considered as “unjustified” with liabilities applying to the employer that includes the payment of indemnities to the employee as follows:
From 3 to 6 months of seniority 6 days of salary
From 6 to 12 months of seniority 13 days of salary
From 1 to 5 years seniority 21 days of salary for every year or fraction, and
From 5 years seniority or more, 23 days of salary for every year or fraction
Also, the employer should give prior notice of dismissal to the employee within 7 to 28 days in advance depending on the years of seniority of the employee.
The employer cannot terminate without just cause the work contract of a female worker during pregnancy and up to three months from giving birth. In the event a “just cause” dismissal is decided by the employer, a prior authorization from Labor Ministry is mandatory.
Social Security and Medical Insurance
Social security is regulated by law 87-01 and provides that all employers should contribute to their employee’s health insurance, retirement labor risk funds as follows:
Total Contribution (% of Salary)
Social Solidarity Fund
As for the health insurance, an employer should enrol employees at an Administradora de Riesgos de Salud (ARS) (Health risks administrator).
DATE OF PAYMENT: Employers should make corresponding payment for all aforementioned obligations within the first three (3) days of each month directly to TESORERIA DE LA SEGURIDAD SOCIAL (TSS) through www.tss.gov.do and payments can be made in local banks or through internet banking.
Employers are compelled to register workers at the SISTEMA DOMINICANO DE SEGURIDAD SOCIAL (SDSS) and to keep updated information regarding salaries and amendments to it. Failure to register workers and not to pay contribution quota towards social security system will cause the employer to be liable for damages to the worker and his/her family.