Costa Rica Labor Law

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Sick Leave and Maternity Leave

What Are The Costa Rica Labor Code Rules For Sick Leave And Maternity Leave?

Sick Leave

The Costa Rica Labor Code protects the interests of the employees without any undue restrictions imposed upon the employer. The comprehensive Labor Code covers all aspects of employment ranging from government service to domestic service.

  • Pay During Sick Leave

    Unlike most other countries, Costa Rica stipulates that an employer pay at least 50 percent of the salary for the first three days of an employee's sick leave while the Social Security Administration (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social or CCSS) pays the other 50 percent. The CCSS pays 60 percent of the salary from the fourth day of the sick leave with no obligation on the part of the employer to pay salary during the remaining period of sick leave. However, the CCSS compensates employees on sick leave only if the employee submits a medical certificate obtained from an accredited CCSS doctor.

  • Pay During Maternity Leave

    The Costa Rica Labor Code has special regulations for maternity leave. The employer has to allow maternity leave for one month before the birth and for three months after the birth of the baby. The employer has to pay 50 percent of the salary for all the four months of leave.

    The Social Security Administration pays the other 50 percent of the salary for the four months of maternity leave. An employer can get into serious legal trouble if proper benefits are not granted during maternal leave. There are several social organizations in Costa Rica, apart from the legal system, that take up the cause of employees on maternal leave.

    Terminating the services of a pregnant woman can invite serious legal trouble. An employer would have to pay regular wages from the date of dismissal from service to the eighth month of pregnancy to a pregnant woman who has been fired. This is the very least. Compensation to be paid may be higher as decided in court in such cases.

  • Mandatory Registration with CCSS

    It is mandatory for all employers to register every single employee with the CCSS which manages the Costa Rica health system with support from the Ministry of Health. Both employers and employees have to make a monthly contribution to the CCSS. Total contributions usually amount to 34.5 percent of the salary by employers and 9.7 per cent of the salary by employees.

    The Social Security System allows employers and employees to join other health insurance plans also. Employers also have to take out a policy with National Insurance Institute to cover occupational risks. The policy covers 60 percent of the employee's salary from the first day of leave due to injury, accident, or illness cause at the workplace.

  • Rules for Domestic Employees

    Costa Rica Labor Code is comprehensive enough to cover even domestic employees. Employers have to register every single domestic employee with the CCSS also. Costa Rica has a very high number of domestic workers with almost 47 percent being migrants. Almost 70-74 percent of these domestic workers are women. Employers cannot circumvent the Labor Laws by hiring domestic employers who are illegal migrants.