Remuneration for Holidays or National Mourning in Panama
Most of holidays and national mourning that are covered by Article 46 of the Labor Code of the Republic of Panama are in November, December and January. In fact, they are considered as such, November 3, 5, 10 and 28; December 8 and 25; and on January 1 and 9.
If the days off indicated in the preceding paragraph coincides with working days by virtue of the weekly working days agreed with the workers, they are paid as ordinary working days; in other words, despite not working during those days, due to the fact that they are considered as mandatory days off, workers shall be entitled to be granted their full salary corresponding to that day, as if they had worked.
Extraordinary Working Days
Workers who work overtime on holidays or national mourning are entitled to, first, apply the surcharge of 150% and, to the result, add the surcharge that corresponds to the overtime working hours on the ordinary working day. In other words, the concept of surcharges on surcharges is applied, as contemplated in the Panamanian labor law.
November, National Holidays
This year 2017, November 5th falls on a Sunday. Workers who, by virtue of their weekly working week must work on that day, are entitled to be paid a 50% on their wages, as it is a Sunday and, in addition, a surcharge of 150% for being a national holiday. On the other hand, as established in Articles 47 and 48 of the Labor Code, Monday the 6th is authorized as a mandatory paid day off. Work on that Monday will entail a 50% surcharge on the ordinary salary, without prejudice to the right to be granted an unpaid day off during the week as compensation. Likewise, working on the day to be given as compensatory implies a surcharge of 50% on the ordinary day.
November 28th, also a national holiday, this year falls on a Tuesday. Until 2013, in those cases, mandatory paid day off was moved to the preceding Monday. However, with the approval of Law 28 of May 4, 2015, which, among others, modified Article 46 of the Labor Code, mandatory days off on holidays or national mourning are granted on the same day of the week in which they fall; that is, they are immovable.
Recently, as a result of the qualification of Panama to the World Cup 2018 in Russia, Executive Decree No. 69, of October 11th of the current year, was issued, which ordered the closure of private offices that day, nationwide, declaring it as a day off.
Without debating at this time on the legality or not of the decree in question, upon declaring Wednesday, October 11th as a day off, workers who worked that day were entitled to receive their salary with a 50% surcharge, with no obligation to receive another day as compensatory day off.
Decree No. 69 excluded from closure to hospitals, hotels, restaurants, airlines, supermarkets, shopping centers, utility companies, places of entertainment and recreation. Consequently, the workers hired to work in the companies or activities indicated above have no right to receive any surcharge on their working day, because for them October 11th was a regular workday.
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