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Afghanistan Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Recreational Leave, Vacation Days (Annual Leave), Urgent Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, and Pilgrimage leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 31, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s labor law defines several types of paid leave:

  • Recreational leave (vacation)
  • Urgent leave
  • Special leave for pilgrimage
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Public holidays.

Public holidays are independent and not included in any part of annual leave: vacation, urgent, or sick leave.

Vacation Leave

20 days

Regular employees in Afghanistan are entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave each year. Vacation or annual leave is defined as recreational leave by Afghan labor law.

Certain categories of workers are entitled to longer recreational leave:

  • 25 days for employees under 18:
  • 30 days for those working in difficult conditions like underground or harmful environments.

Teachers and professors don’t get additional recreational leave if they already have general vacations at their educational institutions. If they don’t have these vacations, they are eligible for the same leave as other employees.

Vacation Entitlement for New Employees

New employees may take recreational leave after working for 11 consecutive months. Seasonal employees working for at least 3 months can take leave proportional to their service time.

Vacation Schedule and Carry Over

Vacation (recreational) leave may be taken for 20 straight days. The employer must schedule it.

Leave can be postponed to the following year if the employer needs the employee urgently during the given year.

In urgent cases, employees can take 10 days of leave every six months of work.

Payout of Vacation Leave

Employers must pay wages and allowances in advance for the vacation leave period.

Employees who haven’t taken all their vacation days and then separate, resign, transfer, or retire must be paid for all unused days of vacation.

Urgent Leave

10 days

Employees are entitled to 10 days of paid urgent leave per year, as defined in Afghanistan leave laws.

This leave is intended for the following reasons:

  • marriage,
  • the death of close relatives
  • the birth of a child.

Employees may take up to 3 days of urgent leave immediately without previous notice; longer periods than this require a request and approval.

Special Leave for Pilgrimage (Hajj)

45 days

Employees are entitled to a maximum of 45 days of paid leave for pilgrimage (Hajj) or visits to other sacred places. If an employee needs more than 45 days for their pilgrimage, they can use their recreational or urgent leave for the additional days. To receive payment and other privileges for the pilgrimage leave, employees must present a certificate from the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs.

Sick Leave in Afghanistan

20 days

Employees in Afghanistan are entitled to 20 days of paid sick leave each year.

For up to five days of sick leave, a written notice from the employee is sufficient. However, if the sickness lasts more than five consecutive days, a medical certificate is required.

This certificate must be from:

  • A doctor at a health center,
  • The Village Council, if no doctor is available,
  • The doctor of the employee’s insurance company, if they have medical insurance.

Additional Sick Leave

If sick leave needs to exceed 20 days, employees can use other types of leave that they have available.

If an employee’s illness lasts longer than 20 days, they can be granted additional paid sick leave. This additional leave requires a certificate from either a non-governmental or governmental health center.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Afghanistan

90 days

Female employees in Afghanistan are entitled to 90 days of paid maternity leave. One-third of the leave (about 30 days) should be taken before delivery, and the remaining two-thirds (about 60 days) after delivery. If there is a complicated delivery, or if there are twins or triplets, the employee gets an additional 15 days of leave.

Return to Work After Maternity Leave

After maternity leave ends, the female employee must return to work within five days. If she does not return within this period, she is considered absent from her job and will lose the entitlements mentioned for maternity leave.


Salaries and other allowances for maternity leave are paid upon presenting a certificate from the hospital.

Paternity Leave in Afghanistan

Paternity leave is not mentioned as such in Afghan labor law. An employee may take urgent leave for the birth of his child.

Parental Leave in Afghanistan

Parental leave is also not mentioned in the labor law of Afghanistan.

Bereavement Leave in Afghanistan

Bereavement leave in Afghanistan is allowed and falls under the category of urgent leave (as explained in the section above).

This leave may be taken in the unfortunate event of the death of

  • Mother or father;
  • Mother-in-law, father-in-law;
  • Brother or sister;
  • Spouse;
  • Child;
  • Uncle or aunt.

Jury Duty Leave in Afghanistan

There is no legal definition of jury duty leave.

Military Leave in Afghanistan

There is no law defining military leave.

Voting Leave in Afghanistan

There is no law defining voting leave.

Marriage Leave in Afghanistan

Marriage leave is permitted and also falls under the category of urgent leave (as explained in the section above).

Public Holidays in Afghanistan for 2024

Date Holiday
February 15 Liberation Day
March 11 Awal Ramadan
April 10 to April 12 Eid al-Fitr Holiday
April 28 Victory Day
May 1 Worker’s Day
Jun 15 Arafat Day
Jun 16 to Jun 18 Eid al-Adha Holiday
Jul 16 Ashura
August 19 Independence Day
September 15 Mawleed al-Nabi


  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/afghanistan

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Afghanistan, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/afghanistan

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Afghanistan, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/Afghanistan

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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