7 Things to Consider Before Hiring in Brazil
This article will give you an overview of the hiring process in Brazil, including its costs and legal aspects.
It is very common to hear foreigners businessmen saying that workforce in Brazil is very expensive. This is true, but not because Brazilian people, in general, make a lot of money, but because there are many aspects involving the hiring process.
Issued in 1943, the Consolidation of Labor laws regulated labor relations, with the creation of an established workday and resting hours. Since its creation, employers must follow its denominations when hiring an employee.
However, the expenses involved in the hiring process are not only those established by the Consolidation of Labor Laws. There are also the benefits that are already expected by the employee and that will definitely contribute to which job he/she is going to choose, such as health care or day care assistance.
1. Usual working week
According to the Brazilian law, no one can work more than 44 hours/ week and the ideal is that the person would work 8 hours/day, on a Monday to Friday basis, and then 4 hours on Saturdays. Many companies do not require its employees to work on Saturdays, so the workday would exceed the 8 hours.
Some occupations allow employees to work only 6 hours a day. This is the case of telephone operators and receptionists.
Many Brazilians tend to accept working for minimum salaries as long as the company provides benefits. The benefits vary accordingly to the company and to the employee's occupation.
For example, companies that concentrate a high percentage of women, such as call centers, will focus on benefits such as day care and cesta básica de alimentos; yet companies with a significant number of trainees and students will focus on scholarships.
The most common benefits are:
- Cesta básica de alimentos - it consists on a box with foods that are considered standard to the Brazilian diet, such as rice, beans, sugar, coffee, pasta and so forth. Lately, there has been a tendency of giving the employees an amount of money instead of the box with food, so that they can choose what is relevant to their diet.
- Health care: most companies offer health care to the employees and many times this benefit can be extended to children and spouse.
- Day care assistance: the employer pays the daycare or at least part of it for the parents who have little kids. Some companies also pay part of the tuition for employees who are willing to attend a course that is relevant to his/her occupancy in the company.
- Life insurance: despite being optional, life insurance as a benefit is much more common than health care.
3. Transportation and Meals
Since 1987, employers are obliged by law to provide its employees with transportation to and from work. Transportation is paid only when the employee actually goes to work, so absences are not covered.
Employees who work 44h/week are usually provided with one meal. Employers may pay its employees an amount corresponding to the price of a regular meal (the minimum is of BRL 4,69) or provide an internal restaurant, where the employees would have their meals.
Companies are not obliged to provide meals to its employees, but those with more than 30 employees must have, at least, a proper place where they may eat their meals.
Pregnant women have the right of taking a maternity leave. Officially, this leave is of four months. During these four months, she will still receive a monthly salary, paid by the social security. There has been an initiative from the government in order to increase this period from four to six months, but the companies are not obliged to adhere to it yet.
Men also have the right of taking a leave when their child is born. This leave is of five days and must be communicated in advance. They will also get paid for the absent days.
5. 13th Salary
A Christmas bonus, 13° Salary is practiced in different countries, such as Brazil, Germany and Portugal. In Brazil, it corresponds to one salary and it is paid in two portions, one in November and the other one in December.
It was instituted by law in 1965 and constitutes an obligation for every and each employer.
6. Paid Vacations
Every employee has the right of taking 30 days off after 12 months of work. This is established by law and the employer gets to decide when the vacations will be taken.
Family members who work together have the right of taking their vacations together, as long as it does not affects the company.
7. Payroll Costs
It is common to hear that in Brazil your employee costs the double of his/her salary. This is due to the fact that there are several charges involved in the hiring process.
Every month employers are charged at least 68,18% over each employee's payroll. For example, an employee who is paid 900,00 BRL/month actually costs 1512,00 BRL. And this sum does not include transportation, meals and the benefits many employers offer to their employees. Facing that, it is possible to say that an employee costs even more than the double of his/her salary.