The official name of Haiti is the Republic of Haiti. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. The country’s terrain is mostly mountainous and there are two official languages, French and Haitian Creole. Tourism has historically been a staple of the Haitian economy. Additionally, Haiti is known for exports such as cocoa, mangoes and the bitter oranges used to make Grand Marnier.
An employment contract in Haiti can either be written or verbal. Written employment contracts need to be in French and original copies must be provided to both the employer and employee. The contracts should specify:
The standard work period is 48 hours a week, or eight hours a day over six days. Employees are entitled to a continuous rest period of 24 hours during the week. The maximum overtime allowed is two hours a day, 80 hours every quarter of the year or 320 hours per year. Night work is between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Night work is allowed only when such work cannot be performed during the day and is limited to eight hours a day. Individuals 14 years of age or older may enter an apprenticeship to perform work in exchange for instruction, and 40% of the minimum legal daily wage. A medical exam is required to apprentice.
Employees receive 15 days of paid sick leave a year after one year of service. Employees with less than one year of service are entitled to sick days on a prorated basis. Employees must provide a medical certificate.
Female employees receive 12 weeks of maternity leave, with six weeks taken before the birth and six weeks taken after the birth. Maternity leave is extended if the birth occurs after the due date so that a full six weeks of leave is taken after the birth. Female employees receive 100% of their salary while on maternity leave which is paid through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Maternity and Sickness (OFATMA). Female employees on maternity leave can only be dismissed for misconduct.
Bonuses are common in the form of an additional month’s salary generally paid in the last week of December.
In addition to public holidays, employees in Haiti receive 15 days of paid leave, including 13 working days and two Sundays. Vacation days are not cumulative.
Haiti observes the following public holidays:
The state offers healthcare through social security for its citizens via the Office of Occupational, Sickness and Maternity (OFATMA).
Employment may be terminated at the end of a fixed term contract, by mutual consent, by the employer (with or without cause) or by the employee. Employers can terminate an employee without providing notice for threatening or abusive conduct, damage to property, unauthorized absence for three consecutive days or four days in a month, failing to follow accident prevention measures, lying about qualifications or imprisonment for more than one month or breach of contract. Employers must notify the Labor Department and provide the reason for dismissal. The Labor Department will investigate the termination and refer the matter to arbitration if there is a dispute. Damages and compensation may be awarded if the termination is deemed unlawful. An employment contract can be terminated without notice by mutual consent. The mutual agreement must be in writing if the employment contract is also in writing. If the employment agreement is verbal, consent to terminate may be in writing or provided verbally in front of two witnesses. Employees may be dismissed without notice within the probation period.
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