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Last updated on: May 31st, 2022

Labor Requirements

The Labour Law in Venezuela is regulated mainly by the Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012. The Law governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, and other employment conditions. The other regulations which govern the employment relationship are Social Security Regulations.

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

An employee’s normal working hours shall not exceed 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week on a day shift. The daytime shift is defined as the time period between 5 am and 7 pm. A workweek shall not exceed 5 days.


Special or agreed working hours – The daily or weekly working hours limit does not apply to employees working in the management capacity or whose work requires the sole presence or the ones involved with discontinuous or intermittent tasks. The limit also does not apply when the working hours have been agreed upon between the employer and employee via a collective agreement.


In the above-mentioned cases, the working hours can exceed the statutory limits, however, the daily working time shall not exceed 11 hours per day and the total hours worked in a period of 8 weeks shall not exceed 40 hours per week on an average and the employees shall be entitled to 2 continuous rest days.


Shift work – In case, the work is continuous and carried out in shifts, in such circumstances the daily and weekly working hour limits can be exceeded, however, the total working hours shall not exceed 42 working hours on an average in a period of 8 weeks. In the case of a workweek with 6 days, the employee must be compensated with an additional day of paid annual leave in that particular year. 


Shorter Hours of Work – The government authority may provide a shorter working day for jobs that require excessive effort or are carried out in conditions that may cause risk to the health and safety of employees.


Travel time – In situations, where the employer is under the obligation to travel employees from a specific workplace to another workplace, in such cases, half of the time spent in such transportation process would be counted as working time, unless there exists an agreement otherwise between the employer and the union organization for not counting such time towards the working day of the employee and instead pay the corresponding remuneration. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 171, 173 – 177.


Mixed Shift – When the working day includes periods of day and night work, it is considered mixed working hours. An employee working hours in a mixed shift shall not exceed 7 ½ hours per day and 37 ½ hours per week. In case, the mixed shift has a night period greater than 4 hours, it shall be considered a night shift. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 173(3).


Recording Requirements – The employer shall also maintain a record of the overtime hours worked by the employees along with the remuneration paid for such work. The employer shall also keep a record of the annual vacation provided to the employeesOrganic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 183 and 203.


The work performed by an employee outside the regular working hours is considered overtime work. 


The total working hours including overtime work shall not exceed 10 hours per day. An employee can perform overtime work for no more than 10 hours per week and 100 hours per year. However, such limits on the overtime hours can be modified by the government authority if required to perform certain activities.


An employee shall perform overtime work only when it is authorized by the government authority in situations such as an accident that has occurred, in the event of emergency work that must be carried out on the machines or facilities, or in other similar cases of force majeure, etc to the extent necessary to avoid that the normal operation of the work. 


Extension of the working day due to collective work interruptions – Employees may also be required to perform work beyond the regular working day in order to make up for the work hours lost due to collective work interruptions due to accidental causes and causes of force majeure and weather conditions. In such cases, the recovery of lost work hours shall be made in accordance with the following rules:

      • Recoveries may not be made except for a maximum of 20 days each year and must be carried out within a reasonable period of time:
      • The extension of the working day may not exceed 1 hour a day for each employee.

    For the compensatory work performed in order to recover the lost working hours, the employee shall receive ordinary remuneration for such hours.


    Pay – An employee who performs overtime work is entitled to a premium of 50% on the normal salary. In case of urgent, unforeseeable circumstances, the employer may require the employees to work overtime without permission from the government authority provided notice to the authority is provided on the following working day. If not, the employees are compensated with a premium of 100% of the normal salary. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 118 and 178 – 182.

    Night Work

    Night shift is defined as the work performed during the time period between 7 pm and 5 am. An employee working a night shift shall not be allowed to work for more than 7 hours per day and 35 hours per week. Any extension of the night shift in daylight hours will be considered nighttime.


    Pay –  The work performed during a night shift must be compensated at a rate of 30% more than the rate of pay paid to employees working the day shift.


    The normal salary earned during the respective day will be taken as a basis for the calculation of remuneration due to the employee for night work. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 117 and 173(2).


    An employee is entitled to a break for rest and a meal for at least 1 hour after 5 hours of continuous work. The break time is not included in the working hours of the employee, however, if the employee cannot leave the workplace during break hours, in such cases, the break will be considered an effective working time and may not be less than 30 minutes. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 168 – 170.


    Weekly Rest – An employee is entitled to weekly rest for at least 2 continuous days per week, and one of the weekly rest days shall be granted on Sunday. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 120, 173, and 188.

    Work On Rest Days

    An employee who performs work on the weekly rest day is entitled to a premium of 50% on the normal salary.


    Compensatory Leave – An employee who performs work on Sunday or on the mandatory weekly rest day for 4 or more hours is entitled to compensatory rest and an extra day’s salary, whereas employees who work for less than 4 hours on the mandatory weekly rest day are entitled to compensatory rest with an extra half-day salary. The compensatory rest shall be granted in the week immediately following Sunday or the mandatory rest day of the employee. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 120, 173, and 188.

    Public Holidays

    Employees are entitled to following 14 public holidays:

        • January 1
        • Monday and Tuesday of Carnival
        • Holy Thursday and Good Friday
        • Labor Day – May 1
        • Declaration of Independence – April 19
        • Battle of Carabobo – June 24
        • Independence Day – July 5
        • Birth of Simon Bolivar – July 24
        • Indigenous Resistance Day – October 12
        • December 24, 25 and 31

    Those days that have been declared or are declared holidays by the National Government, by the States, or by municipalities up to a total limit of 3 days per year. 


    Exception to the suspension of work on holidaysThe work on public holidays shall be suspended. But in case of work that cannot be interrupted for reasons such as in the public interest or technical reasons can be exempted from a suspension of work on public holidays to maintain the continuous nature of the activity. 


    Pay – An employee who performs work on the weekly rest day is entitled to a premium of 50% on the normal salary.


    Compensatory Leave – An employee who works on a public holiday is not entitled to compensatory leave unless the public holiday falls on Sunday or the mandatory rest day of the employee. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 120 and 184 – 188.

    Annual Leave

    An employee who completes 1 year of continuous service with an employer is entitled to annual leave for a duration of 15 working days. For each year of service, the employee will become entitled to an additional day of annual leave for a maximum of 15 working days. 


    In case of interruption in the annual leave due to any reason not related to the employee can be restarted once the circumstances terminate.


    Collective Vacations – An employer may grant collective vacations to the employees by suspending the activities for a certain number of days in a year. The collective leave provided to the employee will be cut and deducted from the annual leave to which the employee is entitled including the additional annual vacation days. 


    If the employee at the time of the collective vacation has not yet completed the adequate duration of continuous service to be entitled to annual vacations, the days corresponding to the collective vacations will be considered as paid rest for the employee. The paid rest days that exceed the corresponding vacation period will be deducted from future vacations.


    If the company is required to remain open and operating throughout the year, the employer can agree with the employee on a staggering collective vacation regime.


    Vacation Pay and Bonus – An employee is entitled to a regular salary for the annual vacation along with a special bonus equal to a minimum of 15 days of regular salary plus one day for each year of service up to a total of 30 days of normal salary.


    The base salary for the calculation of compensation due to employees for the period of vacation is based on the regular salary earned by the employee in the effective month of work immediately prior to the period in which the annual vacation is taken.


    The payment of the salary for the vacation days must be made at the beginning of the annual vacation. 


    Split Vacation – When the employment relationship ends before the end of the year of service, whether the termination occurs during the first year or in the following years, the employee will have the right to be paid the equivalent of the remuneration that would have been due in relation to the annual vacations and the vacation bonus, in proportion to the full months of service during that year, as a fractional payment of the vacations that would have corresponded to them.


    Preservation of meals and accommodation during annual vacation – In case, an employee receives food or accommodation or both at the same time as part of the regular remuneration from the employer, in such circumstances, the employee will remain entitled to such benefits or shall be provided value for the same. This will be set by an agreement between the employer and the employee and in case of any disagreement, it will be set by the appropriate labor authority.


    Termination of employment  – In case of termination of employment, an employee is entitled to be paid a salary corresponding to the annual leave days not taken calculated at the rate of regular salary of the employee accrued on the date of termination of employment.


    Employees at the service of two or more employers An employee who performs work for two or more employers shall be granted annual leave upon completing the year of uninterrupted service with that of the oldest employment relationship. The other employers shall grant the rest of the paid annual leave proportional to the full months that the employee had at the service of each of the employers. In this case, the fractions of leave will not be computed for granting the subsequent annual leaves.


    Accumulation of vacation periods – The annual leave may be postponed at the request of the employee and allow the accumulation of the leave for up to 2 years periods. The annual leave may also be given in advance at the request of the employee. 


    Opportunity for vacation enjoyment – The time in which the employee must take an annual vacation is set by an agreement between the employer and employee. In case of any disagreement, the time for taking vacations is fixed by the appropriate labor authority. Annual vacations may not be postponed beyond 3 months from the date on which the employee becomes entitled to the vacation, except in the case of accumulation of leave.


    Absences in the enjoyment of vacations – An employee who is absent from work due to justifiable reasons which are authorized by the employer and absences due to illness or accident or other proven causes as long as the total amount of such absence from work equals 7 or more days a year shall not be considered as an interruption to the continuity of the service of the employee for the purposes of entitlement of the annual leave.


    The maternity, paternity leave, and adoption leave must be computed for the purposes of determining the seniority of the employees. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 189 – 202 and 121 and 342

    Special Leave

    Sick Leave

    An employee is entitled to take leave for occupational and non-occupational diseases/ injuries for a period not exceeding 12 months. The employee must provide the employer with a medical certificate that validates their sick leave within 48 hours of absence.


    Pay – The employer must pay the employee’s salary for the first 3 days. From the 4th day onwards, the employee will receive payment from social security. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 72 and Social Security Regulations, Art. 114.


    Maternity Leave

    A pregnant employee is entitled to leave for a period of 6 weeks before delivery and 20 weeks or a longer duration of time due to illness after childbirth. In case the childbirth takes place after the scheduled date of delivery, in such cases, the prenatal leave is extended until the date of the delivery without the reduction in the postnatal leave. 


    In case, the pregnant employee does not make use of the prenatal leave either due to medical authorization or because the delivery occurs before the scheduled date or for any other circumstances, in such cases, the unused prenatal leave will be added to the postnatal leave period.


    Pay – The payment for the period of maternity leave is made by Social Security.


    Breastfeeding Break – An employee is entitled to two daily paid breaks of 30 minutes each for the purpose of breastfeeding the child. In case, the workplace does not provide a lactation room, in such cases, the duration of the break will be 1 ½ hour for each of the two breaks. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 331 – 338 and 345.

    Paternity Leave

    An employee is entitled to paid leave for a period of 14 continuous days from the date of the childbirth. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 339.

    Adoption Leave

    A female employee who has adopted a child under the age of 3 is entitled to paid leave for a period of 26 weeks from the date the child is placed into the family. Male employees are entitled to a period of 14 continuous days in case of adoption from the date of placement of the child in the family. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 340.

    Other Leave

    An employee may be granted leave in the following circumstances:

        • For  providing civil or military service
        • For taking care of the spouse or ascendent and descendants up to the first degree of consanguinity, in case of need and for the time period agreed between the parties
        • For carrying out a study or other purposes of interest.
        • In cases of force majeure that have immediate and direct consequences and lead to the temporary suspension of work.

      During the above time period of suspension of work, the employer will be under no obligation to provide salary to the employees. The time period during which the activities are suspended will however be calculated towards the calculation of seniority of the employees. Organic Law of Labour and Workers (“LOTTT”), 2012, Art. 72.

      Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.