Last updated on: January 5th, 2021
The Guatemala workforce consists of an estimated 1.93 million individuals employed in the formal sector and roughly 4.47 million individuals who work in the informal sector, including some who are too young for formal sector employment. The Labor Code sets out employer responsibilities regarding working conditions, especially health and safety standards, benefits; severance pay; premium pay for overtime work; minimum wages; and bonuses.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee is entitled to paid vacations of 15 consecutive days per year after completing 12 months of continuous work with the same employer. The worker must have worked at least 150 days in the last year to be entitled to the license. There is no provision in the law that shows that the vacation premium increases with seniority. The amount that the worker is entitled to receive for an annual leave is an average of his ordinary and extraordinary remuneration in the last three months (for agricultural workers) or last year (for other categories of workers).
The amount of the annual vacation payment must be paid to the worker before he or she enjoys this permit. The employer is required to indicate to a worker the proposed calendar of annual leave within 60 days of qualifying the annual vacation. When planning the annual vacation, the employer must give priority to the good running of the company and the effectiveness of the rest periods and not overload the workers who will stay to work. The Labor Code does not allow the division or accumulation of annual leave in general cases. However, if the work is of a special nature, where the long absence cannot be allowed, the annual vacation can be divided into more than two parts. Work is prohibited during the annual leave. A worker cannot receive compensation for annual leave, except in the case of termination of the contract before the holiday. A worker is entitled to compensation for a proportional vacation if there is a termination before completing a year of service. Labor Code, §130-137.
Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Guatemala is as follows –
For agricultural activities: Q. 90.16 per day, equivalent to Q. 11.27 per hour. For nonagricultural activities: Q. 92.88 per day, equivalent to Q. 11.61 per hour. For the export and maquila activities: Q.84.88 per day, equivalent to Q. 10.61 per hour.
According to the Labor Code, workers are entitled to sick leave for up to 6 months, provided that the insured worker has made contributions for 3 months during the 6 months before the sick leave begins. Two-thirds of a worker’s average income are paid as sickness benefit, up to a maximum of 180 days; It can be extended to 39 weeks. The combined maximum benefit for several periods of disability is 52 weeks in a 24-month period. The maximum benefit is GTQ 2,400. §28 & 31 of Decree no. 295, National Profile of the ISSA.
Grant of Leave with Pay
- When the death of the spouse, or parent or child, three (3) days.
- When the worker got married, five (5) days.
- Birth of son, two (2) days.
- When the employer expressly authorizes others permits or licenses and has indicated that these will be also paid.
- To answer a judicial summons for the court to take the appearance and as long as it does not exceed half a day within the jurisdiction and one day out of the department in question.
- For the performance of a union function, provided that this is limited to members of the Executive Committee and does not exceed 6 days in the same calendar month, for each of them. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the employer must grant leave without pay to the members of the aforementioned Executive Committee that they request it, for the necessary time to attend the attributions of his position.
- In all other cases specifically provided for in the collective agreement or agreement of conditions of the job.
Labor Code, §61(o).
Women workers are entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks (84 days) as maternity leave. The general duration of maternity leave is 30 days before delivery and 54 days of post-natal leave. Maternity leave may be extended in case of an illness caused by pregnancy or childbirth, provided that the period does not exceed 3 months, starting from the moment the license was taken (In essence, it is an extension of 36 days after making use of the 54 days post-natal). Labor Code, §153.
Right of lactation
All workers during breastfeeding may arrange in the place where the worker works, break of half an hour twice daily during their work in order to feed their son. The worker during lactation may accumulate the two half hours to get right and enter an hour after the start of the day or leave an hour before it ends, in order to feed your youngest son or daughter. Labor Code, §154
Any employer who has at his service more than 30 workers are obliged to prepare a room for the purpose for mothers to feed their children without danger under three years and so they can leave them there for working hours, under the care of a suitable person designated. Labor Code, §155.