From a labor perspective, there are two types of feriado (holiday) in Chile: the non-waivable feriado no renunciable (mandatory, non-waivable vacation) and the feriado renunciable (waivable vacation), when it is up to each employee, in accordance with their employer, to decide if they will work or not. Employees get double salary for working waivable feriados.
A list of feriados, and relevant information, can be found at www.feriados.cl. As of late 2013, the feriado holidays are:
January 1st, New Year (not waived)
March 29th and 30th, Good Friday & Easter
May 1st, Labor Day (not waived)
May 21st, Navy Day
June 29th, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day
July 16th, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Day
August 15th, Assumption of Mary Day
September 18th, Independence Day (the previous day is automatically declared a “bridge holiday” if it falls on a Monday)
September 19th, Army Day (the following day is automatically declared a “bridge holiday” if it falls on a Friday)
October 12th, Columbus Day
October 31st, Reformation Day
November 1st, All Saints Day
November 17th, President and Parliament election.
December 8th, Day of the Immaculate Conception
December 15th, possible second President election (Segunda vuelta presidencial)
December 25th, Christmas Day (not waived)
December 31st, Bank Holiday
Employers must give employees at least two hours off of work on primary and election days.
Employee Vacation Days
Employees are granted 15 work days of vacation per year, starting after they have completed one year of work. If they do not use their 15 days of vacation, they can carry over all of their vacation days to the next year. However, the carry-over can only be done for 2 years, after which time there are legal limitations.
After an employee has worked 10 years for a company, they are granted one additional vacation day every three years they work; thus, after 13 years, they will have 16 days; after 16 years, 17 days. If the employee switches companies after 10 years, they do not need to repeat the 10 years in order to qualify for the extra vacation days.
Employees are paid their regular salary rate for vacation days.
If an employee is sick for reasons that have nothing to do with her work (i.e., if his illness is not caused by his work), the doctor gives a licencia médica (doctor’s note). During the term of the licencia, the employee must stay at home, and may not be fired. Her salary will be paid by the Isapre (health system), though the latter may object to the licencia. This is not a problem for the employer.
Maternity & Marriage Leave
If an employee is pregnant, she has the right to not work (still paid) for 18 weeks: 6 weeks before the birth and 12 weeks after the birth.