The Labour Code governs employee entitlement to annual and special leave.

Annual leave

Length

Employees with more than one year of service are entitled to 15 days' annual leave per year – in practice, 21 calendar days or three weeks. Employees who work in Chile's southernmost regions are entitled to 20 working days of annual leave (Regions XI and XII). Employees can accumulate leave for up to two years.

Progressive annual leave

Employees with 10 years of service for one or more employers (continuous or not) are entitled to an additional day's annual leave for every three years of work.

Use of annual leave (individual and collective)

Employees that want to use their statutory annual leave must arrange the dates with their employers unless the employer decides to close the company's facilities so that all employees take their annual leave at the same time.

Salary entitlement

Employers must pay employees their regular salary during their annual leave. For employees with a variable salary, remuneration is calculated using the average salary earned during the previous three full months of employment.

Payment of unused annual leave

Employees who leave their job without having used their full annual leave entitlement can claim payment in compensation. Compensation payments must consider unused leave plus any Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays that the employee would have been entitled to include in his or her annual leave.

Special leave

Leave for marriage

From July 18 2014 (when Law 20,764 was passed) an employee who gets married is entitled to five working days of continuous paid leave in addition to his or her annual leave, irrespective of the length of service. This leave can be used as desired by the employee (ie, preceding or following the wedding day).

To use this benefit, an employee must give 30 days' notice to his or her employer and present a copy of the official wedding certificate within 30 days of the wedding.

Leave for death of child, spouse or civil partner

In the event of the death of a child, spouse or civil partner, an employee is entitled to seven calendar days' paid leave in addition to his or her entitlement to annual leave, irrespective of length of service, under Paragraph 1, Article 66 of the Labour Code. This leave must be used following the bereavement and cannot be substituted for monetary compensation. An employee cannot be dismissed in the month following the bereavement.

Leave for death of child during pregnancy or death of parent

In the event of the death of a child during pregnancy or the death of a parent, an employee is entitled to three working days' paid leave in addition to annual leave, irrespective of length of service under Paragraph 2, Article 66 of the Labour Code. This leave must be used following the bereavement and cannot be substituted for monetary compensation.

Leave for medical check-ups

Article 66a of the Labour Code (introduced by Law 20,769), provides that employees over 40 with contracts for more than 30 days are entitled to a half-day off once a year to undergo a preventive health check-up. To use this right, employees must give one week's notice to their employer. For legal purposes, this time is considered as having been worked.

For further information on this topic please contact Maria Luz Ríos at Montt y Cia SA by telephone (+56 22 233 8266) or email (mrios@monttcia.cl). The Montt y Cia SA website can be accessed at www.monttcia.cl.

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