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Dominican Republic

This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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The Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean Sea and shares the island Hispaniola with Haiti. The official language is Spanish, but dialects are spoken across the country. Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city. The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean Sea and provides tax incentives for 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 contracts in the Dominican Republic 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 may use fixed-term contracts. These must include a start and end date, and the contract expires when the project is complete. Employers can also use indefinite employment contracts. These must contain a start date. Trainees can be employed on an apprenticeship contract.

The standard workweek in the Dominican Republic 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% more 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% more.

There is no mandatory employer-paid sick leave in the Dominican Republic. An employee may qualify for a partial wage subsidy on sick leave from three days to 26 weeks.

Female employees receive 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave in the Dominican Republic, 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 half of maternity leave. Male employees receive two days of paternity leave.

The Dominican Republic has a minimum wage. Employers commonly pay Christmas bonuses, typically an extra month’s salary, around Dec. 20. Employees are also entitled to a profit-sharing bonus of 10% of the company’s net profits.

Employees in the Dominican Republic 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.

In the Dominican Republic, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Epiphany

  • Our Lady of Altagracia

  • Duarte's Day

  • Independence Day

  • Good Friday

  • Labor Day

  • Corpus Christi

  • Restoration Day

  • Our Lady of Las Mercedes

  • Constitution Day

  • Christmas Day

The Dominican Republic has a national health care system.

Employees can be terminated in the Dominican Republic at-will, with cause, or due to medical incapability or death. Severance must be paid within 10 days of termination, but there is no severance for dismissal with cause.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Dominican Republic can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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