Labor Compliance Guide

Labor Requirements

In Ecuador, employment conditions can vary greatly depending on the type of work. The Ecuadorian Constitution and the Labor Code establish the fundamental principles of labor law.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The maximum working time shall be eight hours per day, so that they do not exceed forty hours per week, except by the provision of the law to the contrary. For the effect of the calculation of the eight hours will be considered as effective work time, that in which the worker is at the disposal of his superiors or the employer, fulfilling his orders. The obligatory days of work cannot exceed five in the week, or 40 weekly hours (weekly). Art 47 of the Labour Code


Special days of shorter duration

As an exception to the eight hours maximum duration of the working day, the law establishes special days of shorter duration, so we have:

      • In the subsoil, the maximum effective work time is six hours per day and only for additional, extraordinary or recovery hours, it may be extended for one hour more, with the corresponding remuneration and surcharges;
      • Minors, that is, minors under eighteen years of age and over fifteen years of age for any reason, may have a working day superior to six hours a day, during a period of five days a week. 

Art 84 Law of Childhood and Adolescence.


In companies or work centers that do not have daycare centers, during the nine months after childbirth, the day of the infant will last six hours, which will be indicated or distributed in accordance with the collective contract, the internal regulations, or agreement of the parties.  Art 155 of the Labour Code.


The Sectoral Commissions and the Work Commissions have the faculty to determine the industries in which the work will not be allowed during the whole day, and will determine the number of hours of work. Art 48 of the Labour Code.


In the permanent part-time work contracts, the duration of the working day is also less than eight hours. The part-time contract, that is, the one through which a worker is obliged to the employer to provide their legal and personal services, on Saturdays, Sundays and compulsory rest, allows working in full days of eight hours or partial days. Art 82 & 50 of the Labour Code.


Longer Special Days

Unlike the cases noted above, the working day can exceed 8 hours a day of work, without this meaning, the payment of additional work, so we have:

      • Given the nature of the transport work, the duration of the working day can exceed eight hours a day, provided that shifts are established in the way that companies or vehicle owners customarily do, according to the needs of the service, including working days on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The distribution of the shifts will be done in such a way that added the hours of service of each worker is the eight hours a day of ordinary work. Art 325 of the Labour Code.
      • The workday can also exceed eight hours when employees have trusted functions and direction, this is the work of those who, in any way, represent the employer or take their place; one of the traveling agents, of insurance of commerce; and, that of the resident gatekeepers. Art 58 of the Labour Code.
      • The duration of the day is also greater than the ordinary one, in the case of domestic service employees, who are entitled to a rest day every two weeks of service. Art 269 of Labour Code.


Overtime hours are considered to be ‘supplementary hours’ if worked during the day or until midnight.  If the supplementary hours take place during the day or until midnight, the employer will pay the corresponding remuneration for each of the supplementary hours with a fifty percent (50%) surcharge. On the other hand, if the supplementary hours are between twelve o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning, or if they are executed on Saturdays or Sundays, the worker is entitled to one hundred percent (100%) surcharge.


In the piecework, the units of work executed during the surplus hours of the mandatory eight will be considered for the surcharge of the remuneration; in such case, the remuneration corresponding to each unit will be increased with fifty or one hundred percent surcharge depending on the case.


Overtime hours are considered to be ‘extraordinary hours’ if worked between twelve o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning, or if they are worked on Saturdays or Sundays. Employees are entitled to receive a one hundred percent (100%) surcharge for any extraordinary overtime hours that are worked. Art. 47, 55 of the Labor Code.


An employee may work up to a maximum of eight hours per day, five days per week, thus totaling a maximum of 40 hours per week. The Labour Law establishes that the maximum time of effective work in underground activities is six hours per day. If an employee has to work regularly from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., he must receive his regular remuneration plus a 25 % surcharge. Article 47 of the Labour Code.


Remuneration for overtime currently in force, pursuant to which a written agreement must be reached between the parties according to the following requirements:

      • Overtime may not exceed four hours per day or twelve hours per week.
      • Overtime occurring before midnight is considered “supplementary hours” and is paid with a surcharge of 50%.
      • Overtime occurring from midnight to 6:00 a.m. is considered “extraordinary hours” and is paid with a surcharge of 100%.
      • Work during Saturdays and Sundays must be paid with a 100% surcharge if these are obligatory rest days.

Article 55 of the Labour Code

Night Work

Night work applies to work performed between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM the next day. Employees performing night work are entitled to receive regular remuneration and a twenty-five percent (25%) surcharge.


Overtime occurring before midnight is considered ‘supplementary’ and is paid with an additional surcharge of fifty percent (50%). Overtime occurring from midnight to 6:00 AM is considered ‘extraordinary’ and is paid at a higher surcharge rate of one-hundred percent (100%). Art. 47, 55 of the Labor Code.


The ordinary workday can be divided into two parts, with rest up to two hours after the first four hours of work. The working day can also be unique, that is, executed continuously during the day for which, the authorization of the Director or Deputy Director of the Work is required, depending on the circumstances.

Public Holidays

Official, public and national holidays for Ecuador:

  • New Year’s Day (Día de Año Nuevo) – 1st January
  • Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) – 2nd April
  • Good Friday (Viernes Santo) – 3rd April
  • International Worker’s Day (Día del Trabajo) – 1st May
  • The Battle of Pichincha (Batalla del Pichincha) – 24th May
  • The Birthday of Simón Bolívar (El Natalicio de Simón Bolivar) – 24th July
  • Declaration of Independence of Quito (Día del Primer Grito de Independencia de Quito) – 10th August
  • Independence of Guayaquil (Independencia de Guayaquil) – 9th October
  • All Souls’ Day (Día de Muertos) – 2nd November
  • Independence of Cuenca (Independencia de Cuenca) –  3rd November
  • Foundation of Quito (Día de Quito) – 6th December
  • Christmas Day (Día de Navidad) – 25th December
  • New Year’s Eve (Día de Año Viejo) – 31st December


Ecuador’s labour laws require that employers provide a day off to their employees for nationally recognised holidays. Pay for these holidays is based on the worker’s contract with the employer. Employees that are required to work on a holiday due to the nature of their business are required to receive a different day off for holiday celebrations.

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to 15 days of paid holiday per year. After five years, employees are entitled to one extra day per year worked with a maximum of 15 extra days.

Meal Breaks

The ordinary workday can be divided into two parts, with rest up to two hours after the first four hours of work.

Special Leave

Hospitalization Leave

Both parents are entitled to a 25 day leave each if their child is hospitalized. They must, of course, submit a medical and hospitalization certificate to their employers.

Deceased Relative Leave

Employees are entitled to a work leave and to full remuneration in case of death of a spouse, common-law spouse, parent or relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Medical Leave

A woman may leave work for up to one year in the event of inability to work that, as stated in a medical certificate, originated from pregnancy or delivery and prevents her from working. Her employment contract cannot be terminated for this reason. Remuneration will not be paid for the time in excess of twelve weeks, if not mentioned under collective bargaining agreements. A worker may leave work for up to one year due to non-occupational illness, provided that the inability period does not exceed one year.The employer must pay the worker, where he is not entitled to pay by the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute, 50% of his remuneration for up to two months within each year.

Maternity Leave

In addition to job security, the woman is entitled to a 12-week paid leave because of the birth of her firstborn, these twelve weeks can be taken even days or weeks before the birth occurs, however at 12 weeks will have to re-join their normal work. Only in the case of multiple births this license will be extended for ten more days. Art 153 & 154 of Labour Code.

Breastfeeding Leave

Mothers who re-join their work within the company, will have a special schedule of 6 hours per day for breastfeeding. This provision is stipulated in article 155, third paragraph of the Labour Code, which states: It is important to clarify that the 9 months of special hours are counted from the birth of the child.

Paternity Leave

This paid leave is 10 days in the case of normal delivery; an additional 5 days will be granted in case of caesarean section or multiple births; if the child is born premature or in special care, the parent will be given an additional 8 days of paid leave; and when the daughter or son has been born with an illness, degenerative, terminal or irreversible, or with a severe degree of disability, the father may have a license with remuneration for twenty-five days.

Adoption Leave

Adoption Leave Labour Code grants adoptive parents a paid leave for 15 days from the moment their son or daughter is legally delivered to them. Art 156-162 of Labour Code.

Last updated on: March 6th, 2019