Commemoration of the abolition of slavery: on Saturday May 27 and it is a official holiday

According to the decree of November 23, 1983 pertaining to the commemoration of the abolition of slavery and its consolidated version of May 23, 2017, the date of this commemoration in Saint-Martin is Saturday, May 27, and not Sunday, May 28.

For many years, the commemoration has been celebrated in Saint-Martin on May 27, the day of abolition in Guadeloupe. This was enacted by decree. Yet several historical documents have proved that abolition took place here the following day, on May 28. So the Territorial Council voted in 2015 for a deliberation to change the date and adapt it to the local context.

An official request was filed with the government services, as the change could only be made by ministerial decree. At the beginning of the year, a decree was published, but it included an error about the date. It was listed as March 28 instead of May 28. Since then, no correction has been made. The commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Saint-Martin therefore remains May 27 according to the consolidated version of the 1983 decree.


From a legal point of view, this will be an ordinary holiday just like the Monday of Easter or July 14. That is to say that it is not a non-working day, unless that decision is made by the company.

Only May 1 is a non-working holiday.

Ordinary holidays over the territory:

- January 1;

- Easter Monday;

- May 8;

- Ascension Day;

- the Monday of Pentecost;

- July 14;

- August 15 (Assumption);

- November 1 (All Saints' Day);

- November 11;

- December 25 (Christmas Day).

+ the day of commemoration of the abolition of slavery locally


The law does not provide for particular compensation when a holiday is worked; the hours worked on that day will be compensated according to the usual rules. As a reminder, an employee who works on May 1 must be paid double.

It is also not provided that the hours worked entitle employees to additional time off.

However, it is always appropriate to check that the collective bargaining agreement does not provide for particular compensation, whether in money or time off.

When a holiday is non-working, only employees with at least three months of service legally benefit from compensation. This right is not open to home workers, employees under intermittent labor contracts, and interim employees.

Seasonal workers benefit from maintained compensation if they total 3 months of service in the company. This accumulated service takes into account all their contracts, whether successive or not. (Source: Fiducial)


Estelle Gasnet