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Guyana
Public Holidays
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Public Holidays 2017

This page contains a national calendar of all 2017 public holidays. Please scroll down to view.

The laws of Guyana provide for paid holidays for each worker based on time committed to employment. The laws of Guyana establish official holidays for the nation. Once established by the legislature, the Ministry of Home Affairs sets the official register of national holidays and paid holidays.

Guyana is unique among South American and Caribbean nations. It consists of cultures and populations from Indian Subcontinent, Africa, Amerind, and European peoples. Its official holidays include Hindu, Muslim, Christian, historic events, and folk traditions. Established as a tobacco colony by Dutch trading companies, it also was a hub for African Slave trading. When African slavery was finally stopped by Britain and France, Guyana grew post-slavery into an agricultural hub for European trade.

Framework of Laws

The basic laws of Guyana stem from its Constitution which guarantees rights and freedoms. The fundamental law of Guyana protects individuals against forced labour. This reflects the solemn history of Guyana and its role as a European colony wherein its indigenous people were used as forced labour, at Guyana Constitution, Article 140.

Labour laws and Holidays

The basic framework of labour laws consists of rights of Trade Unions, public employees, and individual labourers.

  • The Trade Unions Act, Chapter 98:03 (No. 17 of 1921) – regulates trade unions and rights of collective bargaining.
  • The Public Utility Undertakings and Public Health Services Arbitration Act, Chapter 54:01 (No. 44 of 1956) – provides for the establishment of an Arbitration to decide labour issues in public utility areas where the right to strike has been reduced.
  • Labour Act, Chapter 98:01: (No. 2 of 1942) – regulating employer-employee contracts and wages, hours; provides government powers for resolving labour disputes.

Paid Holidays

Guyana uses a five-day work week; the standard week runs from Monday through Friday. Sunday is a traditional day of rest or weekly holiday. Financial institutions work primarily Monday through Friday. Most commercial businesses operate on Saturdays. Sunday is not a paid holiday unless otherwise provided in the official paid holidays.

The Holidays with Pay Act, Chapter 99:02, (No. 6 of 1995) to provide for the grant and regulation of annual holidays with pay for all categories of workers. This law established paid holiday rights for workers of every kind in Guyana. The law established a ratio for daily workers of one holiday paid day per month of service. For hourly workers, the ratio was set at one day of paid holiday leave for each 160 hours works. This is in effect a twenty work-day month and one holiday per month of service. Employers must permit holidays in not less than six consecutive days, and they may not count Sundays and holidays as part of the consecutive vacation day requirement.

Social Security Leave and Holidays

The laws of Guyana provide for other sources of paid leave in the social security policies including those for life events such as maternity, adoption, childbirth, and family illness. The National Insurance and Social Security, Chapter 36: 01 Act No. 15 of 1969 provides paid holiday or leave from work in Guyana. In addition to a system for old age security for workers, this Act provides for a system of national insurance for persons with long-term disability.

Public Holidays 2017

DateDayHoliday
1 JanSunNew Year's Day
2 JanMonNew Year Holiday
23 FebThuRepublic Day
12 MarSunHoli
13 MarMonHoli Holiday
14 AprFriGood Friday
17 AprMonEaster Monday
1 MayMonLabour Day
5 MayFriArrival Day
26 MayFriIndependence Day
3 JulMonCARICOM Day
1 AugTueEmancipation Day
1 SepFriEid-Ul-Azha
(Feast of Sacrifice)
19 OctThuDeepavali
(Festival of Lights)
1 DecFriYouman Nabi
25 DecMonChristmas Day
26 DecTueBoxing Day