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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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Work Hours


The Republic of Nicaragua is in the heart of Central America. It is unique for its terrain of lakes, volcanoes, and beaches. Nicaragua has a mixture of the indigenous and Spanish cultures resulting in a broad range of diverse music, food, language, and religion. Spanish is the predominant language. The capital of Nicaragua is Managua, the largest city in the country. Nicaragua's main exports are textiles, beef, coffee, and gold.

Employment contracts in Nicaragua can either be written or verbal and for a fixed term or indefinite term. Two copies of the signed written employment contract are sent to the Ministry of Labor for authorization and certification. One copy is given to the employer at a later date. Verbal employment contracts are permitted for fieldwork, domestic service, and temporary or seasonal tasks of a maximum of 10 days. Employers must provide employees with a certificate containing the start date, type of work to be performed, and the wages, within three days of service, to prove the employment relationship.

The standard work period in Nicaragua is 48 hours per week and eight hours a day for work performed during the day, which is between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Work performed at night, which is between the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. cannot exceed 42 hours a week or seven hours a day. Mixed day and night work are limited to 45 hours per week and seven and a half hours a day. Overtime work can be performed for a maximum of nine hours a week with a maximum of three hours a day and is paid at 100% above the standard rate. Employees who work on a rest day or public holidays receive 100% above the standard rate as well.

Employees receive up to 52 weeks of sick leave in Nicaragua. Benefits are paid through Nicaragua’s social security system. Employees who have made at least eight weeks of contributions in the last 22 weeks before taking leave are paid 60% of their average weekly earnings over the last eight weeks after a three-day waiting period.

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave in Nicaragua for the birth of a single child, or 14 weeks for multiple births. Four weeks of leave is taken before the due date and the remainder is taken after the birth. During maternity leave, female employees who have made a minimum of 16 weeks of social security contributions out of the 39 weeks immediately preceding the childbirth receive maternity leave benefits for 12 weeks at 100% of their average weekly income eight weeks before childbirth. Social security pay 60% of the salary and the employer pays the remaining 40%. If an employee is not covered by social security, then the employer pays the full entitlement.

Employees in Nicaragua receive a 13th-month bonus each year.

Employees receive 15 calendar days of annual leave in Nicaragua every six months of service.

In Nicaragua, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Maundy Thursday

  • Good Friday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • Mothers' Day

  • The Sandinista Revolution Day

  • Battle of San Jacinto

  • Independence Day

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception

  • Christmas Day

Healthcare in Nicaragua involves the collaboration of private and public institutions.

Employment contracts may be terminated in Nicaragua by mutual consent, by the employer or by the employee. Employers must pay any bonuses, accrued but unused vacation and salary on a prorated basis upon separation.

Employers may terminate an employee without notice or severance liability for serious dishonesty, threatening or physically harming an employer or co-worker, misconduct that damages the employer’s reputation or finances, or a violation of employer rules and regulations that causes serious damage to the employer. If the employer terminates the contract without cause, the employee is entitled to severance pay. The severance pay cannot be less than one month or exceed five months of wages. Employees can terminate an employment contract by giving 15 days written notice.

  • 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.

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