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Jamaica Leave Laws


  • 1st January – New year’s Day
  • 17th February – Ash Wednesday
  • 2nd April – Good Friday
  • 4th April – Easter Day
  • 24th May – Labour Day
  • 1st August – Emancipation Day
  • 6th August – Independence Day
  • 18th October – National Heroes’ Day (Third Monday in October)
  • 25th December – Christmas Day
  • 26th December – Boxing Day


Employees are granted 2 weeks of paid leave per year. 3 weeks of paid leave is granted to employees with over 10 years of continuous service.  

For each year of employment, (each 12 month period from the first day of employment) the employee qualifies and becomes eligible for paid vacation leave.

The main principle is that an employee earns vacation leave by virtue of working for a certain number of days in a year.

Vacation leave is paid before the holiday begins, or at any other time agreed upon by the parties concerned.

Vacation leave cannot be granted during a period of notice given by the employer to terminate employment.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave

To qualify for maternity leave it is mandatory that the employee is at least 18 years old.

Be continuously employed, for a minimum of 52 weeks by the same employer as at the date the maternity leave begins, (the employee must have completed 52 weeks prior to going on maternity leave).

The employee is required to present a medical certificate to her employer stating that it is necessary for her to be absent owing to reasons of pregnancy if she is requested by her employer to present the same.

The employee should be at least 28 weeks pregnant and should be working a minimum of 18 hours per week, (not necessary to work a 40 hour-work-week).

A qualified employee is entitled to a minimum of twelve (12) weeks of maternity leave:-the first eight (8) weeks of which should be paid for; while the last four (4) weeks will be without pay.

If there is a medical reason that necessitates an extension of the initial 12 weeks of maternity leave (either arising from the illness of mother or child), then the Act provides an additional fourteen (14) weeks leave on submission of a medical certificate. This extension, if necessary, will not be paid for, unless the employer wishes to do so.

Sick Leave, Paid Sick Leave, and Family Care Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 10 days of paid sick leave after 110 days of continuous employment.

Jury Duty Leave and Voting Leave (Leave due to Public Interest)

Employers are not required by law to give their workers paid leave to serve on a jury.

Bereavement Leave

Not specified by law.

Military Leave

Not Specified by law.


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Jamaica Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    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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