Costa Rica

< View all countries

Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Costa Rica. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

The notice must be provided in writing, but if the contract is made verbally, notice can be given verbally in the presence of 2 witnesses. The duration of notice is as follows:

  • 3 to 6 months of service - 1 week
  • 6 to 12 months of service - 15 days
  • More than 1 year of service - 1 month.

 

Work Permits

Foreign nationals who wish to work in Costa Rica must obtain a work permit from the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners. The permit allows them to work for a specific company or employer. Employers must apply for a work permit on behalf of foreign employees. The application must include an employment contract indicating tasks to be performed, the contract's duration, and salary. The work permit is valid for 3 years. After that, employees may apply for a residence permit. Foreigners who have a residence permit can work without a work permit.

Paid Annual Leave

Costa Rica's Labor Code provides 4 months of paid maternity leave to pregnant employees: 1 month before and 3 months after childbirth. To benefit from this leave, an employee must submit a medical certificate stating that the delivery will probably occur within 5 weeks from the certificate's date of issue. 

The benefit amount for the entire duration of maternity leave is equal to the employee's salary. Benefits are funded equally by the employer and Costa Rica's Social Security Fund.

An employee who adopts a minor is also entitled to 3 months' paid leave immediately following the arrival of the child. 

Working Hours

In Costa Rica, the labor law indicates that regular working hours are 8 hours per day, 6 hours for night shifts, and 7 hours for mixed shifts. The standard workweek is 48 hours. However, in jobs that are not unhealthy or dangerous, an ordinary day shift of up to 10 hours and a mixed shift of up to 8 hours may be stipulated, provided that the weekly work does not exceed 48 hours.

The daily work time limit for persons above 15 years and below 18 years of age is set at 7 hours (42 hours a week). The working hours for persons above 12 years and below 15 years of age cannot exceed 5 hours a day.

Telecommuting (or working outside of the office) is legally permissible in Costa Rica. No contract for teleworking may contravene the provisions of the Labor Code of August 27, 1943, with regard to working hours.

Maternity Leave

Costa Rica's Labor Code provides 4 months of paid maternity leave to pregnant employees: 1 month before and 3 months after childbirth. To benefit from this leave, an employee must submit a medical certificate stating that the delivery will probably occur within 5 weeks from the certificate's date of issue. 

The benefit amount for the entire duration of maternity leave is equal to the employee's salary. Benefits are funded equally by the employer and Costa Rica's Social Security Fund.

An employee who adopts a minor is also entitled to 3 months' paid leave immediately following the arrival of the child. 

Minimum Wage

The government sets the minimum wage annually according to occupation. The minimum wage ranges from CRC 358,609.50 (Costa Rican colones) per month (unskilled) to CRC 765,985.67 per month (university graduate).

 Salary can be paid monthly, fortnightly, weekly, daily or hourly, per piece, etc. The parties will set the term for the payment of the salary, but said term may never be more than a fortnight for manual workers, nor a month for intellectual employees and domestic servants. If the salary consists of participation in the profits, sales or collections made by the employer, it must be paid biweekly or monthly. 

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Costa Rica.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Costa Rica.