March 17—Many employers throughout Europe and the Americas are required to provide employees with paid leave in recognition of the Christian Easter holiday, generally observed this year on March 27. Easter holidays also are observed in some African and Asian countries.
The observance of Easter across the globe varies. Some countries, such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, mandate that Good Friday, March 25, be a paid holiday. Other countries include Easter Monday, March 28, and the Thursday before Good Friday.
Good Friday is a mandated holiday in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The day after Easter, commonly known as Easter Monday, is celebrated in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the U.K.
This year in Greece and Bulgaria, Easter is May 1. Employees in the two countries are mandated to receive both Good Friday, April 29 and Easter Monday, May 2, off. Employers in Greece must pay all employees bonuses at Easter, typically equal to half a month's salary.
Good Friday, March 25, is mandated in Argentina, Aruba, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
In Venezuela, the Thursday before Good Friday also is a mandated holiday. In 2016, the Easter holiday will be expanded to March 19 through March 27 to accommodate for an electricity crisis.
Easter Monday is mandated in Aruba, the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
Good Friday is mandated in Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Easter Monday is mandated in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
This year in Ethiopia, employees are mandated to receive both Good Friday, April 29, and Easter, May 1, off.
Good Friday, March 25, is a mandated holiday in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore.
Easter Monday is mandated in Australia, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.
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The Venezuelan announcement of the expanded Easter holiday is available in Venezuela's Official Gazette in Spanish at http://www.mp.gob.ve/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=10733540&folderId=11480897&name=DLFE-11353.pdf.
More information on payroll issues in the countries mentioned can be found within the International Payroll Decision Support Country Primers.
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