The Labour Law in Argentina is regulated mainly by the Labor Contract Law No. 20,744. The Labour Contract Law governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, employment relationships. The other acts that govern employment relationships are Law on Work Time, 1929, No. 11,544, Decree on National Holidays, No. 1584/2010, Collective bargaining agreements, etc.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Normal working hours are a maximum of 8 per day and 48 per week from Monday through Saturday.
The 48 hours may be distributed unequally over the week as long as they do not exceed 9hours on any day, and employees do not work after 1 pm on Saturday. Managers and Directors are exempted from the application of the normal working hours.
Shift Work – In the case of Shift Work the duration of the work may be extended beyond 8 hours per day and 48 weekly distributing the hours of work over a period of 3 consecutive weeks or a total of 144 hours in 18 working days in a manner that the average working hours do not exceed 8 hours per day or 48 weekly and in no case, the weekly working hours shall exceed 56.
Weekly Limitation – Working hours can be up to a maximum of 8 hours per working day of the week, provided that Saturday’s work hours end at 1.00 pm
When work is carried out in unhealthy places where the vitiation of the air or its compression, emanations, or permanent toxic dust, endanger the health of employees, the duration of work shall not exceed 6 hours a day or 36 hours weekly. The 36 hours may be distributed unequally over the week in a manner that the daily working hour does not exceed 7 hours and does not extend beyond 1 pm on Saturday.
If unhealthy work is alternated with healthy work, each hour worked in the former will be considered as 1 hour and 33 minutes; In this case, the staff should not remain working in unhealthy places for more than 3 hours, and the normal working day may be extended to complete the maximum limit of 8 hours a day. Law on Work Time, 1929, No. 11,544 (as amended) arts. 1-2, Decree 16,115 / 33, Art. 1(b) and 8.
The maximum number of overtime hours that can be performed by the employee is 30 hours per month and 200 hours per year. Daily overtime may not exceed 3 hours per day, and the tasks on Saturday must be completed on or before 1 pm.
When the work is carried out in teams in rotating shifts, the duration may be extended beyond eight hours per day and forty-eight weekly distributing the hours of work over a period of 3 consecutive weeks or a total of 144 hours, in 18 working days, in such a way that the average working hours within the cycle do not exceed 8 hours per day or 48 weeks, without in any case the weekly work exceeding 56 hours.
Overtime Pay – When an employee works overtime a premium of 50% on the regular usual salary is paid to the employee. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), art. 201 (Spanish); Decree on Working Hours, No. 484/2000 (Spanish), Decree 16,115 / 33, Art. 13
Night work is work performed between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. A full night working hours shift may not exceed 7 hours per day. Night employees are not paid a higher rate for working at night, instead, their working hours are reduced from 8 hours to 7 hours.
In the event that the daytime work hours are combined with the nighttime hours, the total hours of work are reduced proportionally by eight minutes for each hour of nighttime work, or the extra eight minutes is paid as overtime (50% on the regular salary).
The working day in tasks or conditions declared unhealthy may not exceed six (6) hours per day or thirty-six (36) per week.
Compensation for Overtime Work Performed at Night or Mixed Shift – A premium of 50% calculated on the usual salary, if the night shift is done on a regular day, and 100% on Saturday after 1 pm, Sunday, and holidays. Law on Work Time, 1929, No. 11,544 (as amended), Decree 16,115 / 33, Art. 9, Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 200 and 201.
A female employee who works in the morning and afternoon is entitled to 2 hours of rest per day, except where such rest would lead to serious interference with the continuity of the work. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 174.
Employees are entitled to a rest period of not less than 12 hours between the end of one working day and the beginning of another.
Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), art. 197.
An employee is entitled to a weekly rest period of 35 hours, from 1 pm on Saturday and until midnight on Sunday (24 hours). Law on Work Time, 1929, No. 11,544 (as amended) arts. 1-2, Decree 16,115 / 33, Art. 13, Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 204 – 207.
If an employee performs work on a rest day he would be entitled to compensatory rest for the same duration with the regular salary and a 100 % premium.
Overtime on Rest Day
If an employee performs overtime work on a Rest Day, the employer is obliged to pay the regular salary with a 100% premium. Law on Work Time, 1929, No. 11,544 (as amended) arts. 1-2, Decree 16,115 / 33, Art. 13, Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 204 – 207
Employees are entitled to 12 paid public holidays:
- January 1: New Year.
- Monday and Tuesday of Carnival.
- March 24: National Day of Memory for Truth and Justice.
- Holy Friday.
- April 2: Veterans and Fallen Day in the Falklands War.
- May 1: Labor Day.
- May 25: May Revolution Day.
- June 20: Pass to the Immortality of General Don Manuel Belgrano.
- July 9: Independence Day.
- December 8: Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
- 25th December, Christmas
Transferable National Holiday
The transferable national holidays whose dates coincide with the days Tuesday and Wednesday will be transferred to the previous Monday. Those that coincide with Thursday and Friday will be transferred to the next Monday.
- June 17: Step to the Immortality of General Don Martín Miguel de Güemes.
- August 17: Step to the Immortality of General Don José de San Martín.
- October 12: Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity.
- November 20: National Sovereignty Day.
- Holy Thursday (employee will be granted this holiday at the sole description of the employer).
- Establish as non-working days for all the inhabitants of the Argentine Nation who profess the Jewish religion on the days of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), two (2) days, the Day of Forgiveness (Yom Kippur), a (1) day, and of the Jewish Passover (Pesach) the first two (2) days and the last two (2) days.
- Establish as non-working days for all the inhabitants of the Argentine Nation who profess the Islamic religion, the day of the Muslim New Year (Hégira), the day after the culmination of fasting (Id Al-Fitr); and the day of the Feast of Sacrifice (Id Al-Adha).
- Employees and officials of public bodies and students of Armenian origin are allowed to freely dispose of April 24 of each year to attend and participate in activities carried out in commemoration of the tragedy that affected their community.
- The National Executive Power may annually establish up to three (3) holidays or non-working days destined to promote the tourist activity, which must coincide with the days Monday or Friday.
Employees who do not provide services in the religious holidays will earn remuneration and other rights arising from the employment relationship as if they had rendered service.
Work on Holiday
If employees do work on national holidays, they are entitled to an additional 100 percent compensation based on their regular hourly rate.
Overtime Work on Holiday
Overtime work during the holiday, should not exceed 30 hours per month or 200 hours per year. Decree on National Holidays, No. 1584/2010 (Spanish); Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 166, 201.
Employees have a minimum period of paid annual vacations depending on seniority. They are:
- 14 calendar days for employment for less than five years.
- 21 calendar days for employment between five and 10 years.
- 28 calendar days for employment between 10 and 20 years
- 35 calendar days for employment for more than 20 years
The length of the vacation which an employee is entitled to based on seniority is the one that the employee would have as of 31st December of the year to which it corresponds.
An employee is required to work at least half of the working days of the calendar year to earn their full annual leave entitlement. For this purpose, the holidays on which the employees should normally provide services will be counted as business days.
The holiday shall begin on Monday or the next business day if that is a holiday. In the case of employees who work on non-working days, annual vacation shall begin on the following day or the subsequent business day if that is a holiday. For this purpose, an employee does not require minimum seniority.
The vacation must be taken between October 1 and April 30 of the following year, with the employee receiving a 45-day prior written notice for the vacation period. The employer and employee may agree that leave is taken in several shorter blocks at any time of year. Employees who have not completed 6 months of service get one day off for every 20 days worked.
By agreement, an employee may carry over up to 1/3rd of the annual leave entitlement from one calendar year to the next. Any unused leave in excess of this is forfeited at the end of the year.
The employee will receive compensation during the holiday period, which will be determined as follows:
- In the case of paid work with a monthly salary, dividing by twenty-five (25) the amount of the salary received at the time of its granting.
- If the remuneration has been set per day or per hour for each day of vacation, the amount an employee is entitled to receive on the day prior to the date on which the vacation begins will be paid to an employee.
- In the case of piecework, individual or collective commissions, percentages, or other variable forms, according to the average of the salaries accrued during the year that corresponds to the granting of vacations or, at the option of the employee, during the last six (6) months of service provision.
An employee shall be paid vacation pay at the beginning of the annual vacation.
Termination of Employment
An employee whose employment is terminated is entitled to compensation equal to the vacation pay in proportion to the days effectively worked, for the year in which the termination took place. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 150-155.
Effective December 1, 2020, the national minimum wage in Argentina is at 20588 Argentina Pesos/month.
Paid leave due to an illness or an accident:
- Employees with less than 5 years of service – 3 months
- Employees with 5 or more service or with dependent – 6 months
- Employees with 5 or more years of service and with dependents – 12 months
Employees who are unable to return to work after their leave expires for physical or mental reasons are entitled to an additional 12 month’s unpaid leave during which time their employers must keep the employee’s job position open. The employer can terminate if the employee doesn’t return subsequently, the employer may terminate the employment without severance. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 208, 212.
Employees are entitled to 45 days of unpaid leave to their expected childbirth and 45 days after. The employee may choose to reduce this pre-delivery leave, which in such case shall not be less than 30 days, and to add to the postpartum leave. In case of early delivery, the amount of prenatal leave not taken is added to postnatal leave, in order to complete the 90 days. The employee must provide a medical certificate with an expected date of childbirth.
Pay – The employee is not entitled to be paid by the employer but receives a social security benefit from the Social Security system equivalent to normal remuneration. Upon expiry of the maternity leave, the employee can decide whether to:
- Return to work under the same conditions in which they have been previously working.
- Take up to a minimum of 3 months leave and a maximum of 6-month additional unpaid maternity leave, in which case employers must reinstate employees once the leave expires. This is applicable to employees who have been with the employer for at least 1 year.
- Resign and obtain a special farewell bonus equivalent to 25% of the mandatory severance pay, which may not exceed a minimum living wage per year of service or a fraction greater than three (3) months. This is applicable to employees who have been with the employer for at least 1 year.
A female employee who gives birth is entitled to two 30 minutes break each day for a period of 1 year calculated from the date of childbirth for the purpose of breastfeeding unless a longer time is required due to medical reasons for breastfeeding. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 177, 179.
Men are entitled to 2 days of paid leave for the birth of a child. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 158.
Employees can take paid leave for the following circumstances:
- Marriage: 10 calendars days;
- Birth of Child: 2 days
- Death of a spouse, child or parent: 3 days;
- Death of a sibling: 1-day ; and
- High school or college exam: two days (maximum 10 days per year) – The beneficiary must prove to the employer that they have taken the exam by presenting the certificate issued by the institute in which they study.
- Foreign Nationals who come from a bordering country are entitled up to 4 days’ leave.
Such leaves shall be paid, and the salary shall be calculated in the same manner as vacation pay is calculated, which states that in case of paid work with a monthly salary, dividing by twenty-five (25) the amount of the salary received at the time of its granting.
In case of paid leave granted for the birth of a child, death of a sibling, and for the death of a child, spouse or parent, a business day must necessarily be computed, when they coincide with Sunday, holidays or non-working days. Employment Contract Law, No. 390/1976 (as amended), arts. 158
An employee who is called to give testimony before the court is entitled to paid leave. Those who are elected to sit on a representative body are entitled to leave without payment. The period of leave considered working time for seniority purposes.
Article 215, Labor Contract Act.
An employee who has to render compulsory military service shall be provided paid leave from the date of convocation and up to 30 days after the service has been concluded. Employers can however claim reimbursement from the government authorities. Article 215, Labor Contract Act.
Last updated on: March 8th, 2021