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Dominican Republic

International Employment Law Guide

This page outlines country-level details about the onboarding process when hiring employees, and touches upon the applicable rules when terminating employment contracts.

A. Hiring of employees (onboarding)


Mandatory employer requirements

When employing an individual* in the Dominican Republic, some employer obligations are to be met as established in the Labor Code. In general terms, it is required to:

  • Draft work rules and a Labor Contract, both verbal and written;

  • Register with the National Social Security Office (RSZ/ONSS) and tax office;

  • Maintain the places where work is to be carried out in the conditions required by the sanitary legislation ;

  • To provide free of charge preventive medicines indicated by the sanitary authorities, in case of epidemic diseases;

  • To observe appropriate measures to prevent accidents in the use of machinery, instruments and work material;

  • To install for the service of the workers, at least, a first aid kit;

  • To maintain a safe place for the deposit of the worker’s instruments and tools, when the worker uses his own tools that must remain in the place where the services are rendered;

  • To pay the worker the salary corresponding to the time he/she loses when he/she is unable to work due to the employer’s fault;

  • To keep the workers in due consideration, refraining from mistreating them by word or deed;

  • Provide training, education, updating and improvement to its workers;

With regards to the work rules, regardless of whether they were stipulated by verbal or written contract, the workers should know the mandatory items such as the work schedules applied within the company, the salary, pay date, disciplinary measures, complaints process, preventive drugs- and alcohol policy, etc. Each employer also has to obey some specific health and safety measures to mitigate work-related risks (mentioned above).

It is not required to establish a legal entity to hire someone to work. Foreign entities can handle all employer formalities by appointing a representative based in Dominican Republic.

Probation periods

There is no specific probation period foreseen in legislation, but during the first three months of employment, the contract can be terminated without any specific obligations for the employer. 

Hiring checks 


Medical examination

it is an obligation of the worker to undergo a medical examination if requested by the employer, to verify that he/she does not suffer from any disability or contagious disease that makes him/her unable to perform his/her work. Such examination shall be at the employer's expense.

Criminal background check

Criminal background checks are permissible for specific functions where it concerns a legal requirement for hiring. In practice, employers often ask for a certificate of good conduct showing recent convictions. Such a certificate can only be perused by the employer.

Reference and education checks

Reference and education checks are permissible with consent of the individual.

Diversity & inclusion

Any discrimination, exclusion or preference based on sex, age, race, color, national origin, social origin, or religious belief is prohibited.

Types of employment contracts

Where an employment contract is concluded without mentioning a time limit, it is considered to be an open- ended employment contract. Such a contract is not subject to any formal requirements, nor does it have to be concluded in writing.

A fixed-term employment contract is an agreement mentioning a specific end date after which the parties are released from their mutual obligations.

The employment contract for a clearly defined job does not need to specify the exact duration, but it must specify the work to be performed in such a way that it should be possible to determine when the job is done and thus the contract is terminated. This type of contract must be concluded in writing, at the latest when the employee enters into service.

Specific rules for executives

There is no official category of executives under Dominican law whose rights to some extent deviate from the labor law rules applied to employees.

Language requirements

The language in which HR-related documents (such as employment contracts) must be drawn up is Spanish.

Equal Pay

Except for general non-discrimination measures, the Dominican Republic has no specific equal pay measures at the moment.

Remote Work

In the Dominican Republic there is no special rule aimed at regulating teleworking. However, this modality does not find opposition for its application in the Labor Code.

B.  Termination of employees (Offboarding)


Kinds of dismissal

Dismissal consists of the termination of the employment contract by the unilateral will of the employer based on the allegation of just cause. There exist two types of employment contract terminations:


  • Justified Dismissal: It is justified when the employer proves the existence of a just cause listed in the Labor Code. In this case, there is no advance notice period required and no severance pay is due.

  • Unjustified dismissal: is the opposite of the above and in this case the employee will be entitled to receive the following benefits: the sums corresponding to the notice period and severance pay indicated below, and a sum equal to the wages that the employee would have received from the date of the claim until the date of the final judgment, up to a maximum of six months' wages.

Dismissal motivation

Dismissed employees have the right to know the specific reasons that have led to their dismissal. This obliges employers to inform the employee on the cause of the Dismissal.

Notice period

Both the employer and the employee have the right to terminate the employment contract without cause. The party terminating the contract must give prior notice to the other party in accordance with the following table:

Employee's time in the company
From 3 to 6 months7 days
Over 6 to 12 months14 days
Over 12 months
28 days


The employer who omits to give notice must pay the employee an indemnity equivalent to his salary during the notice period.

Severance pay

It is a right of workers to be indemnified in the event of termination of the labor relationship without cause. The employer must pay the severance payment within 10 days from the date of termination of the contract, under penalty of paying one day's salary for each day of delay. The severance payment is exempt from income tax, according to the following table:


Employee's time in the companySeverance
From 0 to 3 monthsNone
From 3 to 6 months6 days of salary
Over 6 months to 1 year13 days of salary
Over 1 to 5 years
21 days of salary
Over 5 years23 days of salary


Dismissal formalities

Dismissal does not exist and cannot produce effects when it is unknown to the affected party. Therefore, the will to terminate the contract must be communicated to the affected party. This communication must be made to the competent authority "Ministry of Labor" in order to be able to exercise due control on compliance with the Law.

Special dismissal protection

A woman may not be dismissed from her job because she is pregnant. Any dismissal due to pregnancy is null and void.

Any dismissal of a woman who is pregnant or within six months after the date of childbirth must be previously submitted to the Department of Labor or to the local authority exercising its functions, so that it may determine whether it is due to the fact of pregnancy or is a consequence of childbirth.

Legal means of employees

The term will depend on the manner in which the employment relationship was terminated, however, every employee, can bring forward claims based on the termination or on some of the employer’s obligations.

Specific rules for executives

There is no official category of executives under Dominican law whose rights to some extent deviate from the labor law rules applied to employees.

Collective dismissals

In Dominican Republic there is no legislation on collective dismissals.


Get in touch


Pornpun Niyomthai

Thailand | +66 2034 0000

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