Last updated on: October 5th, 2023
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
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.
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 is 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.