In the Dominican Republic, in principle, all workers need to be covered by a national retirement pension plan funded by contributions from both the employer and the employee. The employee pays this through withholdings from his salary, and the employer through a percentage of the employee’s salary. Employees are entitled to retirement and to receive the government pension, when they reach the retirement age (60 years) and have contributed a minimum of 360 months.
Healthcare and Insurances
The social security authority offers the following (primary) insurances to workers who have contributed to the system, depending on the number of contributions made and the amounts involved in each quote: i) death benefit; ii) accident allowance; and iii) health benefit. All employees have the right to be covered by social security. All employees must belong to the Social Security system, regardless of their income or work. A government institution administers occupational risk insurance; therefore, there will be no option in this regard. For family health insurance, the maximum salary contribution will be the equivalent of ten minimum wages. The financing for this insurance will be made gradually, from the employee’s and employer’s joint contributions.
Holidays and Annual Leave
National holidays must be observed, and the salary corresponding to twice the rate must be paid, provided that the services are effectively rendered during those days. Holidays change depending on which day they fall. There are a total of 12 holidays in 2021.
Employees are entitled to a period of paid vacation annual leave. Employers must grant their employees a minimum of 14 working days of paid vacation per year. Employees acquire the right to take vacation after being employed, uninterruptedly, for one year. After five years on the job, the employer must increase the paid leave to 18 business days.
Vacation time cannot be taken for periods of less than one week. Vacations cannot be replaced by an additional payment or any other form of compensation. The employer must pay the salary corresponding to the vacation period, the day before the vacation begins. The parties can always agree to a more extended period than the one provided by law, but cannot agree to a shorter period.
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Employees who are pregnant or have recently given birth, enjoy superior protection under the Labour Code. Regarding maternity leave, the law establishes the mother’s right to paid leave during the seven (7) weeks preceding the probable date of delivery, as well as the seven (7) weeks that follow. The employee also has the right to three rest periods of 20 minutes each, per working day, to breastfeed her child. During the employee’s maternity leave, the company must pay the ordinary salary in full, and the TSS will return to the employer, the equivalent of three months of contributory salary.
Regarding paternity leave, the Labour Code provides that the employee has the right to two (2) days of paid leave if his wife gives birth.
Sickness and Disability Leave
According to Dominican law, there is no difference between short-term sick leave and long-term sick leave. In any case, the Social Security Treasury must pay the employee a percentage of the worker’s contribution, but only if the sick leave is for more than four (4) days. The worker will only receive medical attention and the compensation provided by the laws relating to accidents at work and Social Security, in case of illness.
Suppose the employer does not register the worker in the Dominican Social Security or does not pay the corresponding contributions. In that case, the employer must pay the entire corresponding salary during the worker’s absence and the employee’s expenses, due to illness or accident.
If the disability lasts for more than one (1) year, the employer must pay financial assistance according to the time the company has employed the employee.
Other Required or Typically Provided Leave(s)
The Labour Code provides for leave for reasons of marriage (five days) and death of a close relative (three days). The applicable collective agreements usually provide for other leave or additional days of rest.
Pensions: Mandatory and Typically Provided
There is no mandatory requirement for retirement in the Dominican Republic. The Social Security Law establishes that a 60-year-old person, who has been contributing to Social Security for at least 360 months, can obtain this benefit.
The Dominican Social Security system establishes an obligation for employers to contribute 70% of the contributory plan’s cost to finance old-age, disability and survival insurance, and family health insurance. In comparison, employees must contribute the remaining 30%.