Costa Rica Labor Law

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Work Hours and Overtime

What Are The Costa Rica Labor Code Rules For Working Hours And Overtime?

Working Hours and Overtime

The strong Labor Laws of Costa Rica have ensured a high rate of employment. Employee rights in Costa Rica match those in North America and Europe. The Costa Rica Labor Code protects employees with regulations on minimum wages, maximum work weeks, overtime, severance pay, and mandatory vacation days, etc.

  • What Are The Working Hours In Costa Rica?

    The employer-employee contract stipulates the working hours. Therefore, working hours vary slightly across the country. However, according to general pattern, daytime working hours extend to eight hours a day with a total of not more than 48 hours a week.

    The Costa Rica Ministry of Labor allows an extension of working hours up to nine hours a day provided the work environment and the work would not affect the health of the employee. For example, employees in retail stores are allowed to work up to nine hours a day.

    The working hours in the private sector usually include eight hours of work on a daily basis from Monday to Saturday and from 8 am to 5 pm.

  • What Breaks Are Allowed During Working Hours

    A 45-minute break for lunch and two 15-minute breaks for coffee - usually in the morning and afternoon - are allowed during working hours. Additional breaks might be allowed by certain businesses in the private sector.

  • What Are The Business Days In Different Establishments?

    Some private sector business establishments are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Usually, the business days in malls are Monday to Friday with working hours from 8 am to 9 pm and Sundays 11 am to 6 pm.

    The working days for Costa Rica Government employees are Monday to Friday with working hours 7.30 am to 4 pm.

    Most banks remain open from Monday to Friday with working hours from 9 am to 3 pm. Some banks located in the premises of malls remain open on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon. Other banks remain open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm.

  • What Are The Evening Or Night Shift Working Hours?

    Costa Rica Labor Code allows working time of six working hours every night with not more than 36 hours of night working hours per week. Night shifts are allowed from 6 pm to midnight or from midnight to 6 am. Weekends and public holidays are viewed as special working days with a maximum of 12 hours of work allowed per weekend.

    Employees older than 15 but younger than 18 are allowed to work only six hours per day with a maximum of 36 hours per week.

  • Overtime in Costa Rica

    Costa Rica views overtime as an exception and allow it in only very necessary situations. All overtime work has to be paid with an extra 50 percent of the regular hourly wages.

    Overtime on holidays is to be paid at double the rate. The employer is not allowed to change employment contract details to alter the conditions of overtime pay against the interests of the employee. Employers have to face strict punitive action for taking any steps that curtail the rights of employees.