Costa Rican Labor Law in reference to your part-time Domestic Worker
Part-time -also known as fractional domestic work- is a paid job that consists of assisting a family or person. This work includes cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, and other household chores, however, it is performed on a
Part-time -also known as fractional domestic work- is a paid job that consists of assisting a family or person. This work includes cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, and other household chores, however, it is performed on a schedule shorter than the standard workday (8 hours per day or forty-eight hours per week).
According to the Labor Code and the specifications of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTTS), all domestic workers, even if they work by the hour or by the day, are entitled to vacation pay, Christmas bonus (Aguinaldo), holidays, weekly rest days, overtime, social security (CAJA), and occupational risk insurance, as well as payment of notice and severance pay when applicable. In the case of those who work on a daily or hourly basis, these rights will be calculated proportionally to the time they work.
It is also important to mention that, even if the person is paid more than the minimum, this does not mean that this difference exempts the person from insurance. A salary increase is not a justification for not insuring the worker. In fact, Article 104 of the Labor Code indicates that employers of domestic workers are obliged to guarantee social security for the workers, register them with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CAJA or CCSS), and provide them with occupational risk insurance.
Regarding breaks within the workday: in case of part-time domestic work, if the schedule is less than eight hours a day but more than three hours a day, the right to rest will be proportional to these days.
In addition, employees are entitled to a full day of weekly rest, which will be fixed by mutual agreement between the parties (worker and employer), and at least twice a month this rest will be on Sunday.
As with any paid domestic work, the most important thing is to establish all the elements in a written contract. For example, working hours, salary, mutual responsibilities, or obligations.
We have to mention that when you want to make a change or modification in the labor relationship, it is best to stipulate it in an addendum or a new contract according to the change to be made. For example, if one has hired a person as a domestic worker and wishes to increase their working hours, this can be done with a new contract.
The same case applies when you have a person hired for specific tasks and then you want to modify or add more tasks that are not specific to a domestic worker.
The staff of Outlier Legal is glad to help you with your labor-related inquiries and provide you with contracts, calculations, and advice on ensuring your interests are taken care of. By setting it up right the first time, you will have a clear working relationship with your employees with no surprises for you or them. As always, we are here to help you move, invest and live in Costa Rica.