Maternity Leave, Allowance and Benefits

Information on the maternity rights and employment protection for working mothers in Costa Rica...

Pregnant women in Costa Rica are eligible for benefits and job protection. An expectant mother should inform her employees of her pregnancy once she becomes aware of it. This is done by submitting a medical certificate issued either by a clinic affiliated with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social), or by a private medical institution.

Mothers are allowed 120 days' paid maternity leave, the cost of which is split between the employer and the social security fund. The standard arrangement is to take 30 days before the birth and 90 days afterwards. The 90-day period is known as the Período de Lactancia, allowing the mother to be with the child for the whole of what is considered the minimum length of time that the infant should be breast-fed.

Returning to Work

The Período de Lactancia can be extended if a doctor deems it necessary; this is officially confirmed by supplying medical documents to the employer.

During the period that the child is breast-fed, the mother is allowed either fifteen minutes every three hours, half an hour twice a day, or an hour at the beginning or end of a working day to breastfeed her child.

For more information on employment rights, contact the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social):

  • Ministry of Labor and Social Security (in Spanish)
    At: Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social, MTTS, Edificio Pbro. Benjamin Núñez, Barrio Tournón, Costa Rica
    Tel: 2542 0000
    Freephone: 800-TRABAJO (800 872 2256)