Caribbean Beach

Public Holidays in the Caribbean in 2020


Below is a table showing the number of public holidays per country for the Caribbean.

In the first of a series of blog posts on the number of public holidays that each country observes within a region, we take a look at the Caribbean. Beautiful beaches like the one above abound throughout the Caribbean, but how many days off a year do the inhabitants get to enjoy the amazing scenery?

The Caribbean is a series of small countries that have broken free from the shackles of colonial control, mainly from Britain and Spain. The first thing to note is that the previous colonial country doesn’t have any bearing on how many holidays a country gets, with ex-British colonies peppering the list at all levels.

Usually a revolution is a good source of public holidays, but while the countries who have had the most turbulent recent pasts, Cuba and Haiti, do have several patriotic holidays they have effectively replaced public holiday slots that are filled by religious holidays elsewhere.

In the table we have added information about minimum annual leave days in each country. So note that while Martinique props up the table with only 10 public holidays on weekdays in 2020, workers benefit from the generous French vacation allowance, so in fact they get a higher number of days off during the year compared to the other Caribbean countries.

Caribbean 2020 Public Holidays by country
CountryPublic HolidaysPaid Vacation DaysTotal
Puerto Rico151530
Saint Lucia131427
Saint Kitts and Nevis121224
Turks and Caicos Islands121426
Antigua and Barbuda111021
Cayman Islands111425
St. Vincent & the Grenadines111627
Trinidad and Tobago111021
Dominican Republic101020
  • General: The public holidays column ignores any holidays that fall on a weekend and are not compensated by a public holiday in lieu on a work day.
  • General: Where paid vacation days increase with time in a job, we have shown the minimum to aid comparison.
  • Antigua and Barbuda: Only V.C. Bird day is lost if it falls on a weekend.
  • Puerto Rico: None of the public holidays are legally paid holidays.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: If a public holiday falls on a Saturday, then no additional public holiday is observed.

Avoiding Holiday Jealousy

From time to time, we will take a look at how many public holidays each country in a region have.

The press often run similar articles to highlight if a country is disadvantaged by their lack of public holidays. This is often very misleading. Take the UK as an example. They have 28 days statutory leave, and the eight public holidays are simply days included in that figure when leave is generally taken – they could have double the amount of public holidays and nobody would get any extra time off – it would simply reduce the flexibility when holidays are taken.

Also many countries do not have in lieu holidays if a public holiday falls on a weekend. This means that over the course of a generation, an employee will lose 27% of their public holidays.

We have tried to reflect both these issues in our lists to give you a clearer view of time off in this region.