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
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.
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).