Table of Contents

Dominican Republic

Table of Contents

Currency

Dominican Peso (DOP)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly or Bi-Monthly

Employer Taxes

16.39%

About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Its many beaches and hotels make it a popular holiday destination attracting many tourists from all over the world. Punta Cana, a region on the eastern part of the country, has many beautiful beaches, resorts, and golf courses. The main language spoken in the country is Spanish but with various regional dialects also in use, such as Dominican Spanish. The Dominican Republic has a diverse culture with a rich history. Dominicans place high value on social etiquette and their public image as a way to project their confidence and place in society. The people are friendly, polite and highly respectful to visitors, while going out of their way to cater to the needs of non-locals.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Permanent contracts (contracts for an indefinite period) are recognized under the Labor Code of the Dominican Republic. All employment contracts are presumed to be held for an indefinite period of time, unless a fixed period is agreed in writing. When an employee is hired for work of permanent nature, a contract for an indefinite period is concluded. However, this is not a guarantee that the employer will use the worker’s services for a certain period.  Agreements of an employee who works with the same employer successively, in more than one type of work, are considered to be contracts for an indefinite period. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Per the Labor Code, fixed-term or specific-purpose contracts can be concluded in the following cases: If the service provided is for a fixed-term or specific work If the employer seeks to temporarily replace an employee because of leave, vacation, or another temporary staffing impediment If it suits the interests of the employee Contracts that are not for an indefinite period must be concluded in writing. When an employee continues to offer service to the employer after the date of its termination, the contract is considered of indefinite period.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

The labor law does not differentiate between fixed-term and temporary contracts. However, contracts that are not made for an indefinite period must be in writing. When an employee continues to provide service to the employer after the date of termination of such a contract, it becomes a contract for an indefinite period.

Probationary Period

The Labor Code does not specify regulations related to employee probationary periods. However, employees terminated without cause are entitled to severance payments and prior notice only after three months of continuous service.

Working Hours

The labor law of the Dominican Republic generally stipulates that regular working hours may not exceed eight hours per day and 44 hours per week. Employees in executive and managerial positions are exempt from these working hour requirements and may work up to 10 hours a day. Daytime work hours are between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., while nighttime work hours are between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. A work shift is considered a daytime shift as long as the employee works no more than three hours between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (if work during this timeframe exceeds three hours, it is considered a night shift). Every worker has the right to an uninterrupted weekly rest of 36 hours, which is conventionally taken from noon on Saturday. This rest period can, however, be agreed between the parties and can start any day of the week.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

In the Dominican Republic, the following public holidays are observed: New Year’s Day – January 1 Three Kings’ Day – January 10 Day of the Virgin of Altagracia – January 21 Birthday of Juan Pablo Duarte – January 24 Independence Day – February 27 Good Friday – date subject to change annually Corpus Christi – date subject to change annually Labor Day – May 2 Restoration Day – August 16 Day of the Virgin of Mercedes – September 24 Constitution Day – November 6 Christmas – December 25 New Year's Eve – December 31 The days declared non-working days by the Constitution or the law are paid rest days for employees unless they coincide with the weekly rest day.

• Paid Annual Leave

According to the Dominican Labor Code, employees are entitled to 14 days of paid leave every year after the first year of service. After 5 years in the company, employees’ annual leave increases to 18 days. Employers must fix and distribute the vacation periods of their workers during the first 15 days of January. The salary for the vacation period must be paid to the employee on the day prior to the beginning of the vacation. During vacation, the employee is not allowed to provide any paid or unpaid service to the employer. Employers cannot offer to compensate the employee in exchange for vacation days, except for cases of termination when the employee has not used the vacation they were entitled to. 

• Sick Leave

The Labor Code of the Dominican Republic does not provide for sick leave separately from the annual leave employees are entitled to. However, there are regulations related to maternity leave and domestic worker protection that may allow employees to take related leave. If, as a consequence of pregnancy or childbirth, the work a woman performs is detrimental to her health or that of her child and this fact is attested to by a doctor, the employer is obliged to facilitate the employee in changing jobs. If that change is impossible, the employee has the right to a period of leave without salary. Additionally, during the first year after her child's birth, a mother may choose to have half a day each month to take the child to a pediatrician.  Domestic workers are entitled to fully paid leave until complete recovery if they contract a disease from one of the members of the family to which they provide services.

• Maternity Leave

Mothers are entitled to a total of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave: seven weeks of prenatal leave and seven weeks of post-natal leave. If the employee is unable to use all seven weeks of prenatal leave, the remaining time will accumulate to the post-natal leave period. The employee is entitled to receive their ordinary salary during maternity leave. Employees who qualify to receive maternity benefits from the Institute of Social Security will receive 50% of their salary from social insurance, while the employer will be responsible for paying the remaining 50%. The law prohibits employers from terminating pregnant employees without cause. This prohibition extends three months after the date of delivery. 

• Paternity Leave

In the Dominican Republic, employers are required to grant employees two days of paid leave when their wife or partner gives birth.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

The labor law of the Dominican Republic allows at-will termination, where either party may unilaterally terminate an employment contract without cause. The terminating party must give 7, 14, or 28 days' notice of termination if the employee's service length is at least 3, 6, or 12 months, respectively. Employers who terminate an employee without cause must also make severance payments. The Labor Code lists 19 acceptable reasons for an employer to terminate an employee for cause, including misleading an employer in job applications and committing a dishonest act in the workplace. Employers need not give notice to an employee dismissed for cause. However, employers must report the dismissal and its cause to the worker and the Labor Department's local authorities within 48 hours. The right of an employer to base the dismissal on a specific reason for termination expires 15 days after the employee has committed the act considered as grounds for termination.

• Severance Benefits

In the Dominican Republic, severance payment is offered in cases of dismissal without cause. The amount varies as follows: 6 days' salary for service between 3 and 6 months 13 days' salary for service between 6 months and 1 year 21 days' salary for service between 1 and 5 years 23 days' salary per year of service for service over 5 years Any fraction of a year of service, greater than 3 months, must be paid out in severance in accordance with the first two bullets above. Severance benefits are exempt from taxes, and any amounts owed by the employer to the former employee must be paid within 10 days of the termination. Non-compliance entails a penalty of 1 day's wage for every day of delay.