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Costa Rica December 1st Public Holiday Passes First Reading

Source: Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social de Costa Rica (San José)
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019
Updated: Saturday, December 28, 2019


The Plenary of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly approved, on first reading, the bill 21.137, which replaces the annual October 12 public holiday, and replaces it with a new annual public holiday on December 1st, to commemorate the Day of the Abolition of the Army.

Last summer (2019-07-18), bill 21.137, had received approval from the lower house's committee for science technology and education, before moving to the floor for debate.

The ancestor of bill 21.137 is bill 19 230 (Celebración Del 1º De Diciembre Como “Día De La Abolición Del Ejército, Neutralidad En Conflictos Y Promoción De La Paz Entre Las Naciones”), which had been introduced in Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly, a few years ago (2014-07-31), but which, despite initial ministerial support (2014-11-28) languished in committee.

A new bill to that effect was subsequently introduced in Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly (2016-09-19), with amendments to exchange it for the October 12, Día de Encuentro de Culturas, annual non-working public holiday of Costa Rica, but it was rejected by the Committee on Social Affairs of Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly (2017-01-18).

Just as all hope of seeing a new annual December 1st public holiday in Costa Rica had been lost, out of the blue, the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, expressed his support for a re-introduced bill which would similarly declare a new annual public holiday in Costa Rica on December 1, as the Day of the Abolition of the Army (2018-12-08).

Bill 21.137 will go through a second and final reading next Thursday, December 5, before becoming Law of the Republic, if passed.

Note that the new December 1st public holiday, as is the case for the October 12th public holiday it is meant to replace, are non-mandatory payment holidays (feriado de pago no obligatorio). In a non-mandatory holiday, all working people, regardless of the type of activity they do, have the right to enjoy the holiday, that is, not to work and cannot be penalized for that cause.



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