Last updated on: February 23rd, 2023
The Labour Law in Aruba is regulated mainly by the Labor Ordinance (Arbeidsverordening) 2013 (last amended as of 2021). The Ordinance governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages and other employment conditions. The other regulation which governs the employment relationship is the Holiday Ordinance, Civil code of 1989 (last amended as of 2021).
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee shall be entitled to annual leave after continuous employment with the same employer for a period of 1 year.
Employees with a 5-day working week shall be entitled to 16.5 working days of annual leave (3.3 multiplied by 5). Accordingly, employees with a 6-day working week shall be entitled to 19.8 working days of annual leave (3.3 multiplied by 6).
The above formula also applies if the working hours have not been agreed in ‘working days’ but in working hours. The formula for the minimum number of holiday hours per year then becomes – 3.3 multiplied by the number of working hours per week. The formula for calculating the minimum vacation days per year is 3.3 multiplied by the number of working days per week.
The holiday entitlement for a past year will lapse in case the employee has been absent from work during that year –
- For a total of at least 6 months due to illness or accident;
- For the purpose of complying with legal obligations in total for at least 6 weeks.
In case of absence from work without permission from the employer and without a valid reason, the employee loses the right to a corresponding part of annual vacation.
Pay – During the period of annual vacation, the employees are entitled to regular wages which would have been provided by the employer in case the annual vacation was not taken.
Split of annual vacation – Annual vacation must be granted in a continuous manner, however, at the request of the employee, the vacation can be split but at least half of the holiday shall be granted continuously.
The timing of the commencement of annual vacation as well as the periods in which the holidays can be split shall be decided by the employer keeping in consideration the interests of the organization and employees.
Withdrawal of annual vacation – The employer may at the request of the employee or because of reasons related to the interests of the organization withdraw the annual leave and grant it at a later date. If the withdrawal of annual leave is done on a day on which the employee could only enjoy half-day leave, in such a case, the partial day of annual leave shall not be counted as a holiday.
Illness during annual vacation – An employee who is unfit at the time of commencement of annual vacation or becomes ill during the vacation period, in such a case, the portion of the annual leave is considered withdrawn and can be taken at a later date.
An employee who has become entitled to annual vacation but has not yet taken it and another entitlement to annual leave arises, in such cases, the annual leaves can be combined together to a maximum of 6 times the number of working days in a week. The employer is under obligation to allow the employee to take the combined period of annual vacation within 3 months of request from the employee.
The combined annual vacation shall be granted continuously and cannot be deferred or withdrawn except in case of illness of the employee, in which case, the amount of leave not availed shall be granted on the day following the employee’s recovery from illness.
Termination of employment – In case of termination of the employment relationship, an employee shall be paid for the amount of annual leave not taken. This will also include the claim to compensation for the proportional number of vacation days over the period during which the employee has been continuously employed by the same employer and has not enjoyed the annual vacation. While calculating the number of vacation days, a part of a day is counted as a whole day.
Vacation days may not be bought off except for when there are vacation days in excess of the statutory minimum and upon the termination of employment. Holiday Ordinance, 1989 (last amended as of 2021), Art. 2 – 9.
Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum wage is 423 Aruban florins per week.
An employee who is unable to work due to illness is entitled to sickness compensation. The employee shall pay the employee 100% of daily wages for the first 3 days of sickness post which the sickness compensation is covered by the Social Security Bank of Aruba (SVb).
The SVb pays an amount equal to 80% of an employee’s daily wages from the 4th day of sickness. The right to sickness compensation for the same cause of disease expires after 2 years. This 2 years period starts from the first time the employee reports sick to SVb for this specific sickness. To be considered for compensation, the employee must comply with the following requirements:
- The employee must be registered at the SVb.
- The illness for which the employee calls in sick did not exist prior to entering into employment.
- The employee must meet the sickness notification requirements.
The employee is not entitled to compensation if the illness is due to an intentional act or gross negligence, or due to the use of alcohol or intoxicants on the part of the employee. https://www.government.aw/information-public-services/hiring-people_47940/item/employee-insurance_43532.html
An employee is entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. The employee can divide the leave in 4 to 6 weeks before the estimated date of delivery and the rest of the leave after the childbirth.
To be considered for maternity leave, the female employee:
- Must be registered at the SVb.
- Must inform the SVb to make use of the right of compensation, at least 2 months before the start of the maternity leave, and thus at least 3 months before the estimated date of birth.
- Must submit a written statement from a doctor or midwife regarding the estimated date of birth.
Pay – The Social Security (SVb) pays the employee at the rate of 100% of daily wages for the entire duration of maternity leave.
A male employee is entitled to 2 days paid paternity leave which shall be taken within 4 weeks after the child is brought home, provided that the employee is married or has a long-term (at least 1 year) cohabitation with the mother of the child.