Last updated on: July 3rd, 2023
The Brazilian consolidation of labor laws is regulated by the Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho [CLT] 1964 (last amended in 2021). The Law governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages and other employment conditions.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Employees are entitled to 30 calendar days of annual leave, but only after they have completed 12 months of work for the employer. The annual leave must be taken within 12 months after it accrues.
The main condition that employees must follow to have the right to 30 day-vacations is to not have more than 5 unjustified absences in a year. Otherwise, the vacation days are decreased as follows:
- 30 calendar days when the employee was absent for no more than 5 days;
- 24 calendar days when the employee was absent between 6 and 14 days;
- 18 calendar days when the employee was absent between 15 and 23 days; and
- 12 calendar days when the employee was absent between 24 and 32 days.
Provided that the employee agrees, vacations may be taken in up to 3 periods, one of which cannot be less than 14 calendar days and the others cannot be less than 5 calendar days each. Employees shall not start vacations in the period of 2 days preceding a holiday or paid weekly rest days.
Holiday Pay – Holiday pay is based on an employee’s monthly salary. Employers shall provide one-third of an employee’s monthly salary as a holiday bonus. In case the employee does not take the holiday within 12 months following the accrual period, the employer shall pay double remuneration during annual leave.
Termination of Employment – Upon termination of the employment contract, whatever the reason, the employee will be paid a single or double remuneration, as the case may be, corresponding to the vacation period to which he has acquired the right. The employee who is dismissed without just cause, or whose employment contract is terminated within a predetermined period, before completing 12 months of service, will be entitled to remuneration related to the incomplete period of vacation. Art 129-143 Consolidated Labor Code.
Effective May 1, 2023, the national minimum wage in Brazil is BRL 1,320 per month.
A pregnant employee is entitled to 120 days of paid maternity leave. The duration of maternity leave before and after childbirth may be increased by 2 weeks upon presentation of a medical certificate. In the event of the mother’s death, the employee’s spouse or partner is entitled to leave for the entire period of maternity leave or for the remaining time to which the mother would be entitled, except in the case of the child’s death or abandonment.
In the case of a non-criminal abortion, proven by an official medical certificate, the employee will have a paid rest period of 2 weeks.
Breastfeeding Break – In order to breastfeed the child, even if resulting from adoption, until the child reaches 6 (six) months of age, the employee shall be entitled, during the working day, to 2 breaks of 30 minutes each.
The payment is made by the employer to the pregnant employee and reimbursed by the National Social Security. An employer can grant additional 60 days of paid maternity leave and recover that paid amount from tax benefits granted by the federal government. In cases of an adopted child, the employee remains entitled to the same maternity leave provisions. Art 391-400 of the Consolidated Labor Code.
A male employee is entitled to up to 5 days of paid parental leave. An employer can grant an additional 15 days of paid paternity leave and recover the paid amount from tax benefits granted by the federal government. In cases of an adopted child, the employee remains entitled to paternity leave. Temporary Constitutional Provisions Act, art. 10.
An employee has the right to paid time off in the event of illness or injury, provided that they give a medical certificate stating the number of days that they must be absent from work.
Pay – The first 15 days of time off are paid by the employer, at the usual salary rate. After the first 15 days of time is over and further days off are paid through fixed rates by the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) (a governmental institution). There is no entitlement to unpaid time since, in all the cases of illness and injury, employees are entitled to paid time off. Art 129-138 Law no. 1,535.
An employment agreement may be suspended for a period of two to five months for training program purposes, as long as the training suspension is provided for in the applicable collective bargaining agreement, and the employee expressly consents to it. During the period, the employee is not paid; however, the employer may provide the employee with financial aid.
The employee may take paid leave of absence for the below reason:
- Employees are entitled to 3 days of paid leave for marriage.
- The employee is entitled to 2 days of paid bereavement leave if a spouse, parent, child, sibling or other dependent dies.
- 1 day, in case of birth of a child during the first week of employment
- 1 day, every 12 (twelve) months of work, in case of duly proven voluntary blood donation;
- Up to 2 consecutive days or not, for the purpose of registering voters
- The period of time in which the employee has to comply with the requirements of the Military Service
- On the days in which they are carrying out entrance exams for admission to a higher education institution
- For as long as necessary, when he has to appear in court for court or jury duty.
- For as long as is necessary, when, as a representative of a trade union entity, he is participating in an official meeting of an international organization of which Brazil is a member.
- Up to 2 days to follow up on medical appointments and complementary exams during the pregnancy period of the employee’s wife or partner;
- 1 day per year to accompany a child up to 6 years old for a medical appointment.
- Up to 3 days, in every 12 months of work, in case of duly proven cancer-preventive exams.
Art 473 of the Consolidated Labor Code.
*For more information on Brazil Labor Law, kindly refer to the Global Compliance Blog Post published on June 10, 2018.