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R$ (BRL)

Work Hours


The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in South America. Brazil is divided into 26 states and the Federal District, where the capital, Brasilia, is located. The official language is Portuguese, which distinguishes the country as the only Portuguese-speaking nation in South America. Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America. It has a diverse economy and vast deposits of natural resources. Strategic location, vast economic potential and economic stability are considerations for businesses considering expansion into Brazil.

A written employment contract in Brazil is recommended and should include:

  • name of the employer and employee,

  • specific duties to be performed,

  • salary, method of payment and payment intervals,

  • leave entitlements, and

  • start date and end date (if for a fixed term).

The standard work period in Brazil is 44 hours a week, with eight hours per day for five days and four hours on a sixth day. Some collective bargaining agreements may provide for different work hours. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 11 hours of rest between two consecutive work days. Every employee is also entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week, which must include Sunday. Employers generally cannot require an employee to work on a Sunday or a public holiday unless an exception applies. Special rules apply for shift work, night work and other circumstances.

Employees receive 15 days of fully paid sick leave in Brazil with a medical certificate. After 16 days of sick leave, employees are entitled to receive sick benefits from National Institute of Social Security (INSS). The employer is responsible for paying the first 15 days of sick leave and INSS will pay a portion of the employee’s salary after the 16th day.

Female employees receive 120 days of paid maternity leave in Brazil and male employees receive five days of paid paternity leave. These leaves can be extended in certain cases. While pregnant and for a period following the birth, the employee cannot be dismissed.

Wages in Brazil generally are paid on a monthly basis. Annual increases are not mandated but are common and typically negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement. Employees also receive a 13th-month salary bonus. The right to get the bonus begins after 15 days of work and is payable in two installments. Other allowances, such as a travel allowance, also can be included in an employee’s compensation package.

Employees receive 30 calendar days of paid annual leave in Brazil after one year of service. Vacation days are reduced if the employee is absent from work frequently.

In Brazil, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Carnival

  • Good Friday

  • Tiradentes

  • World Labor Day

  • Corpus Christi

  • Independence of Brazil

  • Our Lady Aparecida

  • Day of the Public Servant

  • All Souls’ Day

  • Proclamation of the Republic

  • Christmas Eve

  • Christmas Day

  • New Year’s Eve

Brazil has a universal healthcare system, but employers often offer their employees supplementary private health insurance.

An employment contract can be terminated in Brazil at the end of the contract term (if for a fixed period), by the employer (with or without cause), or by the employee. Absent cause and outside the probation period, employers must provide notice before dismissing an employee. The notice period can vary depending on the employee’s length of service and the salary interval, but is frequently 30 days. An employer may terminate an employee at the end of a fixed-term contract, which can be no longer than 24 months. If an employee is terminated before the end of the contract term, the employer is required to pay a percentage of the employee’s salary over the remainder of the contract term. In Brazil, severance is coordinated through what is called the Guarantee Fund for Time of Service system. Employers deposit a percentage of an employee’s salary into an account on behalf of the employee. The accumulated balance transfers if the employee changes jobs. Employees can access these funds if terminated.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Brazil can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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