Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean Sea and it shares the island Hispaniola with Haiti. The official language spoken is Spanish, but dialects are spoken across the country. Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capitol and largest city of the country. Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean Sea and provides tax incentives to investments. The main imports are petroleum, food, and manufactured goods. Other top exports include ferronickel and raw sugar. Historically, the United States has been the largest investor in the country. Employment relationships are governed by the Dominican Labor Code, which is characterized by its protection of the rights of employees.
Employment contracts must be written and contain the workplace location, salary, both parties’ details, responsibilities, notice period, probation period, the type of contract, work hours, annual leave, bonuses, start date and end date if applicable. Employers can also use fixed-term contracts. These must include a start and end date, and the contract finishes once the project is complete. These contracts can be in lieu when the employee is on a long-term absence, such as maternity leave. Employers can also use indefinite employment contracts. These must contain a start date. Trainees can be employed on an apprenticeship contract.
The standard workweek is 44 hours a week, or eight hours a day. Part-time work is capped at 29 hours a week. Employees in managerial positions can work for 10 hours in a day following an assessment by the State Labor office. Work after midnight is considered a night shift. Overtime is paid at 35% up to 68 hours and double beyond that. Overtime on a weekend or public holiday is paid at 100% the basic rate, while evening work is paid at 15%.
There is no mandatory paid sick leave.
Female employees receive 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, with seven weeks before the birth. They also receive half a day per month to take a child to a medical appointment. They are also allowed rest periods to care for their child. Social security pays half and the employer pays the remainder of maternity leave. Male employees receive two days of paternity leave.
The Dominican Republic has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common during the Christmas period, which is paid around Dec. 20, and is an extra month’s salary. Employees are also entitled to a profit-sharing bonus of 10% of the company’s net profits.
Employees receive 14 days of paid annual leave after one year of employment. This increases to 18 days after five years of service. Employees also receive five days of leave for their wedding, and three days of leave for the death of a close relative.
Employees contribute 3.04% towards healthcare insurance.
The probation period is not statutory, and fixed-term contracts are allowed for temporary projects and employees can be terminated at-will by employers. There are three types of employment termination: at-will, with cause, and medical incapability or death. Severance must be paid within 10 days of termination, but there is no severance for dismissal with cause. Employees can be dismissed for misconduct.
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