The Brazilian consolidation of labor laws known in Brazil as Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho [CLT] is the major legislation regulating labor activities in the country.
Hours & Pay Regulations
The Consolidated Labor Law (CLT) provides that the maximum weekly working hours in Brazil is of 44 hours per week, or 8 hours per day up to a maximum of 220 hours a month. Differentiations may exist through an autonomous bargaining or collective labor agreement. Workers who work up to only 25 hours per workweek are considered to be part-time.
Employees who work outside the employer’s establishment and those who occupy a management position are not subject to working time limitations. Art 62 Law No. 10.243, dated 6.6.2001.
For establishments with more than 20 (twenty) employees, it will be mandatory to note the time of entry and exit, in the manual, mechanical or electronic record, according to instructions issued by the Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labor of the Ministry of Economy- Art 72 Law nº 13,874, of 2019).
The regular 8-hour working day may be extended by 2 hours per day, and the employees are entitled to a premium rate of at least 50% for each hour of overtime worked. Employees are required to work a maximum of only 2 overtime hours per day. In an emergency, additional overtime may be required if a special agreement is registered with the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Art 59 Provisional Measure No. 2164-41 of 2001.
Night work, which is the work performed between 10.00 pm and 5.00 am. Employees who work during night hours are entitled to receive an additional payment of at least 20% of the worked hour value. Minors are prohibited from performing night work. For purposes of calculating night work, each completed hour corresponds to 52 minutes and 30 seconds, which means a seven-hour period of work at night is equal to eight hours of work in day hours. Art 73 Decree-Law No. 9,666, 28.8.1946.
Between 2 working days, employees must be granted 11 hours of rest. If the daily work period is extended to 12 hours, it must be followed by 36 hours of uninterrupted rest. Employees are entitled to provide 24 hours paid weekly rest, preferably on Sundays.
Every employee whose working day exceeds 6 hours is entitled to a 1-hour paid break during the day. Employers that fail to grant this rest break must pay workers a 50 percent wage premium for the hour that was supposed to be a break. When an employee is working 4 to 6 hours, they are entitled to 15 minutes break. Art 66-71 Law No. 229 of 28.2.1967.
Breast Feeding Break
The female employee who is a mother can take up to 2.5 hours for a nursing break until the child reaches 6 months of age. Art 392-393 of Law 10.421, 15.4.2002.
The worker is entitled to paid leave on national and religious holidays. In Brazil, there are 11 holidays classified in 3 different types: national, state and municipal. Employees are generally entitled to the following eight national holidays:
- New Year’s Day (January 1)
- Tiradentes (April 1)
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Independence Day (September 7)
- Our Lady of Aparecida Day (October 12)
- All Souls Day (November 2)
- All Saints Day (November 1)
- Proclamation of the Republic Day (November 15)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
Brazil also recognizes the following optional holidays and optional partial holidays:
- Carnival (the two days before Ash Wednesday)
- Ash Wednesday (44 days before Good Friday)
- Good Friday (two days before Easter)
- Corpus Christi (on a Thursday about two months after Easter)
- Public Service Day (October 28)
- Christmas Eve (December 24 after 2 p.m.)
- New Year’s Eve (December 31 after 2 p.m.)
Depending on where employees work, they also may be entitled to local holidays. General and state elections are also considered public holidays.
Employees who are required to work on a public holiday are entitled to a 100% premium or a compensatory day off. If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, employees are allowed to observe the holiday on the following Monday. Federal Law No. 605/1949, art. 9, Law No. 662 of April 6, 1949.
In Brazil, any worker has the right to 30 calendar days of paid vacation per year. Such vacation can be annual, a period set by the employer for each individual or collective vacation for the whole company or just to some sectors of it.
The main condition that workers must follow to have the right to 30 calendar day-vacations is to not have more than five unjustified absences in a year. If this happens, the vacation days are decreased as follows:
|Unjustified Absence||Days of Leave|
|6 to 14||24|
|15 to 23||18|
|24 to 32||12|
Art 129-138 Law no. 1,535, dated 13.4.1977; Law No. 13,467/2017.
The national minimum wage is BRL 1100 per month effective January 1, 2021.
Brazil’s states are permitted to establish and enforce minimum wages that are higher than the national minimum wage and may do so for some industry sectors but not others. Consolidated Labor Code, 1943, No. 5,452, arts. 73, 193.
A pregnant employee is entitled to 120 days of paid maternity leave. The payment is made by the employer to the pregnant employee and reimbursed by the National Social Security. An employer can grant an additional 60 days paid maternity leave and recover that paid amount from tax benefits granted by the federal government. The employer is not allowed to terminate a pregnant employee from a period when her pregnancy is confirmed until 5 months after her delivery. In cases of an adopted child, the employee remains entitled to the same maternity leave provisions. Art 392-393 of Law 10.421, 15.4.2002.
A male employee is entitled up to 5 days paid parental leave. An employer can grant an additional 15 days 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.
In Brazil, 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. 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, dated 13.4.1977.
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. Provisional Measure No. 2.16441.
Employees are entitled to 3 days of paid leave for marriage. Consolidated Labor Code, 1943, No. 5,452, art. 473.
The employee is entitled to 2 days of paid bereavement leave if a spouse, parent, child, sibling or other dependent dies. Consolidated Labor Code, 1943, No. 5,452, art. 473.
All employees are entitled to leave of one day per year to attend medical appointments with their children until the children reach six years of age. In addition, male employees are entitled to up to two days per year to accompany their wives to medical appointments during the wife’s pregnancy. Art 473 Law no. 13.257, dated March 8, 2016.
*For more information on Brazil Labor Law, kindly refer to the Global Compliance Blog Post published on June 10, 2018.
Last updated on: September 29th, 2021