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Iraq Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation Days (Annual Leave), Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on February 5, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Iraq

Vacation Leave Quota (Annual Leave)

At least 20 days.

Employees in Iraq are entitled annually to at least 20 days of vacation. Full entitlement to vacation days is granted after completing 1 year of service in the company. During the first year of work, an employee is entitled to annual leave proportional to the number of months worked.

Vacation days increase following an employee’s seniority. After 5 years of employment, the number of vacation days increases by 2, and it increases like that every 5 years after that; after 10 years by 4 days, after 15 years by 6 days, etc.

Employees engaged in hazardous work are entitled to 30 days of vacation.

Part-Time Employees

Employees working part-time are also entitled to vacation benefits, but the number of vacation days is adjusted according to the employee’s number of hours worked and their corresponding pay (prorated).

Unpaid Leave

Employees also have the right to take unpaid leave for:

  • urgent and important personal matters;
  • a religious pilgrimage (once during their employment).
Payment of Unused Vacation Days Upon Termination

During employment, the law forbids any agreement to forfeit or give up vacation time, in full or in part, in exchange for money or any other benefit.

If employment ends for any reason, the employee will receive payment for any unused vacation days, calculated based on their most recent salary.

Sick Leave in Iraq

30 days of leave per year, paid by the employer.

Employees in Iraq are entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave per year. If an employee doesn’t use all their sick leave in one year, they can save the unused days for future use, up to a maximum of 180 days.

If an employee uses up all their paid sick leave and is still not healthy, they then come under the rules of pensions and social security law. Additionally, if an employee’s sick leave goes over 30 days in a year, the Social Security Office will pay back the employer for the wages they gave the employee during this extra sick leave time.

If a worker is sick for more than 8 days, they must submit a medical certificate or a report from a doctor in order to have an authorized leave and be eligible for sick pay.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Iraq

14 weeks

All pregnant female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.

An expectant mother can start her maternity leave up to 8 weeks before her expected delivery date. After the baby is born, she may take the remaining 6 weeks of leave. If there are health issues or complications before, during, or after the birth, maternity leave is increased to 9 months.

Additionally, with agreement from their employer, an employee may take unpaid leave for up to one year to care for her newborn, up until the child’s first birthday.

An official medical certificate must be provided to have authorized maternity leave.

Paternity Leave in Iraq

There is no mandatory paternity leave required by law in Iraq.

Leave to Care for a Sick Child

Both parents of a newborn child have the right to take up to 3 days of unpaid leave to attend to a sick child under the age of six.

Other Types of Leave in Iraq

Employees are entitled to take leave for personal matters or obligations, such as:

  • Their own wedding ceremony (a marriage leave)
  • Their child’s marriage
  • The death of a close family member
  • To carry out public or official rights and duties.

Bereavement Leave in Iraq

Bereavement leave is required by law.

Jury Duty Leave in Iraq

Jury duty and participating in public or official duties are required by law.

Military Leave in Iraq

There is no law defining military leave.

Voting Leave in Iraq

There is no law specifically defining voting leave.

Public Holidays in Iraq for 2024

An employer may demand that an employee work on public holidays. However, for working these days, employees must be compensated with double their usual pay.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Iraq:
Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
January 6 Armed Forces Day
March 5 Rebellion Anniversary
March 6 National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence
March 21 Spring Day
April 9 Baghdad Liberation Day
April 10 to April 12 Eid al-Fitr
May 1 International Worker’s Day
Jun 16 to Jun 19 Eid al-Adha Holiday
Jul7 Islamic New Year
Jul 14 Republic Day
Jul 16 Ashura
September 15 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
October 3 National Day
December 10 Victory Day
December 25 Christmas


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

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Iraq, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/iraq

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

  4. Iraq Labor Code, https://www.ilo.org/dyn/travail/docs/746/Labour%20Code%20of%201987.pdf

  5. Iraqi Labor Law and the Rights of Workers, https://www.simaetbhatha.com/en-us/articles/4409760154775

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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