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Navigating Aruba's “Horeca” Labor Laws for a Festive Holiday Season

As the holiday season unfolds in Aruba, the heart of the Caribbean, the Food and Beverage industry gears up for a bustling time filled with shifts and celebrations. In the spirit of ensuring a smooth sailing Holiday season for both employers and employees, let's unravel the intricacies of Aruba's labor laws, specifically tailored for Horeca staff.



Artikel 21: Ensuring Fair Compensation on Festive Days


1. Maintaining Salary Entitlement:

Horeca employees maintain the right to receive at least their regular daily wage on public holidays or memorial days.


2. Enhanced Compensation for Regular Working Days:

For those whose typical workday coincides with a public holiday, the entitlement extends to double (200%) the regular daily wage.


3. Automatic Forfeiture Considerations:

Any entitlement lapses automatically if an employee fails, without a valid reason, to fulfill work obligations on a public or Memorial day.


4. No Premium Payment:

It's noteworthy that compensation for work on these special days is not provided as a premium on the regular salary.


Artikel 22: Recognizing Designated Festive Days


1. Designated Festive Days Include:

·        New Year's Day

·        Post-Carnival Day

·        Good Friday

·        Christian Easter Monday

·        Ascension Day

·        Christmas Days

·        Queen's Official Birthday

·        Labor Day

·        Dia di Himno y Bandera

·        Dia di Betico


2. Special Considerations:

If Labor Day falls on a Sunday or another public holiday, the next working day is considered Labor Day.


Funeral days of key figures like the King, Governor, or a Minister are treated as equivalent to public holidays.


Horecabesluit: Guiding Working Hours for a Flourishing Season


1. Standard Working Hours in Licensed Establishments:

In businesses with specific licenses, the maximum daily working hours are capped at nine and the weekly average at 45, with a flexible weekly maximum of 48 hours over four weeks.


2. Strict Overtime Regulations:

It is strictly prohibited to exceed standard working hours, except in the case of overtime.


3. Collective Agreements and Flexibility:

Collective agreements can allow for deviations from standard working hours.


Artikel 2: Tailoring Work Conditions for Productivity and Well-being


1. Special Provisions for Specific Establishments:

Certain regulations under the labor ordinance are not applicable, with the introduction of unique conditions.


Notably, weekly rest days are defined according to the employee's work schedule.


2. Health and Well-being:

The employer is encouraged to structure working hours, ensuring a continuous rest period between two consecutive shifts, along with a minimum break of at least half an hour for every six hours worked.


3. Director's Discretion:

The director holds the authority to impose additional conditions on working hours, inclusive of overtime, work timings, breaks, and rest periods, aiming to enhance the health and well-being of employees.


Artikel 3: Transitioning into New Regulations


1. Transition for Existing Employees:

Employees engaged for more than 45 hours per week retain entitlements to their agreed-upon salary.


2. Recalibration for Consistency:

With the introduction of new regulations, salaries are recalibrated to ensure a minimum annual consistency, allowing employees the choice of equal monthly disbursements throughout the year.


Amid the holiday season, compliance to Aruba's labor laws becomes a guiding beacon for Horeca establishments. By fostering a work environment that aligns with these regulations, the Food and Beverage industry not only ensures legal accordance but also cultivates a harmonious atmosphere for both employers and dedicated staff.

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