Last updated on: November 11th, 2022
The Labor Law in Honduras is mainly regulated by the Labor code, 1959 (last amended in 2015). The Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave and termination of employment, etc. The Decree No. 50-2003 (Concerning holidays) and Equal Opportunities for Women Act of 2004 are other legislations which provide provision for Holiday and time off provisions respectively.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Normal Working Hours
Effective working time is defined as the period of time during which an employee must consent to follow the instructions provided by their employer and is not permitted to engage in other activities, such as taking breaks or meals.
The standard working hours of an employee shall not exceed 8 hours in a day and 44 hours per week. A day shift constitutes work hours between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm.
The employee’s regular working hours per week consists of 44 hours, the salary is the payment of salary is done for 48 hours of work.
The employee who is absent on any day of the week and does not complete the 44-hour shift will only be entitled to receive a salary proportional to the time worked based on the salary of 48 hours per week. The same rules apply to employees who work the night shift and mixed shift.
If an employee works 44 hours a week, which are the hours required by law for a full-day timeshift (8 hours from Monday to Friday plus 4 hours on Saturday), the employee is paid for the remaining 4 hours of Saturday.
Mixed Shift – A mixed shift is a period of working time that includes day and night shifts, provided that the night period covers less than 3 hours, otherwise, it will be considered as a night shift. The maximum duration of the mixed shift shall be 7 hours per day and 42 hours per week.
Exception– The 44-hour limit does not apply to specified groups including managerial and supervisory employees, domestic employees, intermittent work, and work that by its nature can not be subject to the hours limit such as agricultural work. These employees shall not be required to remain at work for more than 12 hours a day, and are entitled to a minimum rest period of 1.5 hours. Labor Code Art.321, 322, 323, 325.
The employer shall maintain a separate record for each employee in writing- stating their wages, overtime hours worked, general holidays, and other particulars as may be required by the government authority for work performed. Labor Code Art.324.
Overtime work is defined as any work performed outside of the regular working hours and in excess of the permitted maximum time limit. Work performed beyond 8 hours per day or 44 hours per week is considered overtime. Employers cannot permit employees to perform overtime work more than 4 times a week.
The overtime work performed by employees as and when requested by the employer shall not exceed the regular legal working limit i.e. 12 hours a day (inclusive of overtime). Overtime will not be permitted in employment which is hazardous or unhealthy by nature.
Exceptions– The limit can be exceeded in an emergency where persons, establishments, machinery, equipment, products, or crops are in danger and no substitutes can be found for the employee concerned or the work cannot be suspended without damages. Work performed to rectify errors for which the employee is solely responsible will not be considered overtime work.
Pay – An employee who performs overtime work is entitled to a premium of at least 25 % of the normal hourly wage.
An employee who performs overtime work during the day shift (5 am to 7 pm) but the work is extended to the night shift, such employee shall be entitled to a 50% premium of the normal hourly wages ( mixed shift employees). Labor Code Art.320, 330,331, 332,333.
Night work is the work performed between 7.00 pm and 05.00 am. Employee is considered to be on night shift if they perform 3 or more hours of work during the night period. The normal working hours for night employees may not exceed 6 hours per day and 36 hours per week.
Pay– An employer shall pay a premium of at least 25% of the normal salary when the work is performed during night time.
Overtime Pay for Night Work – An employee who performs overtime work during night time is entitled to a premium of at least 75 % of the normal hourly wage. Labor Code Art.320, 330.
The ordinary working day can be continuous or divided into two or more periods with rest intervals or break periods. During an ordinary continuous day, the employee gets a minimum rest of 30 minutes within that day, which is considered effective working time.
Women employees enjoy an intermediate rest of 2 hours per ordinary working day. Labor Code Art. 130, 326.
Daily Rest – The employee shall be entitled to 10 consecutive hours of rest during the 24-hour period. Labor Code Art. 327.
Weekly Rest – Employers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest for every 6 days of work i.e one day’s rest which shall preferably be Sunday. No employee may be employed after 1 pm on the day before the weekly rest day.
Exception – A 24 consecutive hours of rest on a different day than Sunday may be permitted where there is an evident and urgent need to do work that cannot be interrupted, when the technical or practical nature of continuous work is required, and when interruption of the work on Sundays could be prejudicial to the public interest. Labor Code Art. 338, 339, 340.
Work On Rest Days
An employer shall pay twice the rate for normal working hours in proportion to the time worked to an employee when work is continued on a weekly rest day by virtue of an agreement.
Compensatory Rest -If an employee is required to work on Sunday, they shall be entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest on another day during the week in addition to the premium paid. Labor Code Art. 338, 339, 340.
Employees are entitled to paid public holidays even when they fall on Sunday. The following are the 13 public holidays in Honduras:
- New Year’s Day -January 1
- Day of the Americas -April 14,
- Holy Week – 3 days
- Labor Day -May 1
- Central American Independence Day – September 15,
- Francisco Morazan’s Birthday – October 3,
- Discovery of America- October 12
- Honduran Armed Forces Day – October 21
- Christmas Day- December 25.
The public holidays that fall on Saturday or Sunday are moved to Monday except as provided in a collective agreement.
Pay – An employer shall pay twice the rate for normal working hours in proportion to the time worked to an employee when work is performed on a public or national holiday by virtue of an agreement.y
Compensatory Rest – If an employee is required to work on a public or national holiday, they shall be entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest on another day during the week in addition to the premium paid. Labor Code Art.339, 340 Decree No. 50-2003 (Concerning holidays).
An employee is entitled to paid annual leave, after completion of 12 months of continuous service with the same employer. The tasks where work is not continuously carried out throughout the year in such cases employees have to work for a minimum period of 200 days for consideration of continued services.
The length of annual leave depends on the length of service of an employee with an employer. This is at least:
- 10 working days for 1 year of continuous service;
- 12 working days for 2 years of continuous service;
- 15 working days for 3 years of continuous service; and
- 20 working days for 4 or more years of service
The employee is entitled to receive the payment for annual leave 3 days prior to the leave. The law does not allow the accumulation of annual leave in general cases. However, when an employee performs technical, management, trust, or other similar work and it becomes difficult to replace in the cases the accumulation of annual will be for up to 2 years.
Exception– Employees shall enjoy their holidays without interruption, but at the request of the employer, and when the urgent measure so requires, the employer can request the employee to return to work without prejudice to return on vacation afterward. In that case, the costs are borne by the employer.
The employer shall fix the times when the employee may take the annual leave, which shall be no later than 3 months after the scheduled date of annual leave. The employer will notify the employee of the time of the leave at least 10 days in advance.
Termination of Contract- An employee is entitled to receive compensation in lieu of annual leave in the case of contract termination before the enjoyment of leave.
When the employment contract ends before the time for vacation begins, for reasons attributable to the employer, the employee shall be entitled to be paid the proportional part of the amount that should have been paid for vacation, in relation to the time worked.
Vacation Pay– An employee shall be entitled to receive vacation pay on the average of the total amount of salary received over the previous 6 months or a shorter period of time when the contract hasn’t lasted that long.
Average salary is defined as the total sum of the amounts received as an ordinary salary divided by the number of days worked by the employee during the period of the previous 6 months. Labor Code Art 345-359.
The minimum monthly wage effective from January 1, 2022, in Honduras is range from 5,681.73 Honduran lempiras per month (22.44 lempiras per hour) to 8,803.70 lempiras per month (36.68 lempiras per hour.)
An employee in Honduras is entitled to a 13th and 14th-month bonus and it is paid in the month of December.
Temporary Disability : Employees are entitled to take paid sick leave in case of temporary disability caused by an accident at work. Leave payments are provided at the rate of 2 paid leave days per month of employment for the first 12 months of employment and 4 paid leave days per month thereafter, a maximum of up to 120 paid sick leave days. The leave can be extended up to one year and the worker must be able to work at the end of one year.
If the employee is not insured and is a victim of a work accident/illness, the employee is entitled to a suspension of the corresponding employment contract for up to 6 months, after which the employer can terminate the contract.
Non-Professional Illness – During the first 3 days of non-professional illness, an employee is paid 100% of the salary by the employer. From the fourth day, 50% is paid by the employer and 50% by Social Security. If the illness continues after 6 months, the benefit is paid by Social Security, which is 23-75% of the monthly base salary and varies according to the contributions made by the employee.
During the period of illness that prevents the employee from working, the employer has the responsibility to pay:
- 50% of salary for one month after continuous work of more than 3 but less than 6 months;
- 50% of salary for two months after continuous work of more than 6 but less than 9 months;
- 50% of salary for three months after continuous work of more than 9 months; and
- 30 days’ salary for each year of service after continuous work of more than 5 years
Sick leave is not allowed for reasons other than the employee’s own health problems or injuries. Labor Code Art 100, 104, Social Security Act (Agreement no. 003-JD-2005).
Pregnant employees are entitled to take 10 weeks of paid maternity leave i.e., 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after the delivery of the child.
In order to avail of the maternity leave the employee must present to the employer a medical certificate, which must state the state of pregnancy of the employee, the probable day of delivery; & the indication of the day from which the rest must begin, taking into account that, at least, it must begin 4 weeks before delivery.
An employee who suffers an abortion or non-viable premature birth during the course of their pregnancy is entitled to 2 to 4 weeks of paid leave.
A pregnant employee is entitled to take up to 3 months of paid leave for illness resulting from pregnancy or childbirth. In the case where the employee is absent for more than 3 months due to pregnancy or childbirth-related illness, such employee shall be entitled to unpaid leave as long as necessary for the recovery.
Pay – The maternity leave is 100% remunerated with all legal benefits. During this time, the employee’s pay will be partially covered by the IHSS (Honduran Social Security Institute) and the rest by the employer.
If the employer does not comply with the obligation to grant the established paid maternity leave, the employee shall be entitled as compensation to double the remuneration for the breaks not granted.
Breastfeeding Break – Employees shall be entitled to two 30 minutes paid breaks to breastfeed their child, of which one break shall be in the morning and one in the afternoon up until the child is 6 months old. Labor Code Art 135- 139.
An employee who adopts a child under the age of 5 is entitled to the same postnatal leave as a woman who gave birth to a child i.e., paid leaves of 45 days. Equal Opportunities for Women Act Art 54.
An employer will grant 2 days of paid leave in each calendar month and not more than 15 days in the same year to fulfill the obligations of a public nature in case of a serious domestic calamity, to carry out union commissions inherent to the organization, or to attend the funeral of his colleagues. Labor Code Art 95(5).