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Ecuador is on the West Coast of South America. Quito is the nation's capital. Ecuador has used the U.S. dollar as legal tender since 2000, after a financial crisis. Ecuador's primary exports include petroleum products, fish, crustaceans and fruits. The government of Ecuador is focused on increasing private sector investment to drive economic growth.

Indefinite contracts are a common type of employment contract in Ecuador and have a probation period of 90 days. Fixed-term contracts are allowed for some permanent activities, seasonal work, event-based work, on-call and specific projects. Employers can use a permanent-activities contract for work that is one to two years in duration.

The standard work week in Ecuador is 40 hours a week. Employees typically work eight hours a day, five days a week. Overtime is limited to four hours a day and 12 hours a week but must be approved by the local labor inspector. Overtime is paid at 150% or 200% of the standard rate, depending on when the work is performed.

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave in Ecuador for up to 185 days. The employee cannot be dismissed during sick leave of up to one year.

Female employees receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave in Ecuador. Two weeks must be taken before the birth. Maternity leave is paid at 100% of salary and can be extended by 10 days in the event of multiple births, and they receive up to a year of unpaid leave for a pregnancy-related illness. Male employees receive 10 days of paid paternity leave. This can be extended by five days in the event of multiple births or a cesarean birth or eight days for a premature birth. Employees receive 15 days of paid adoption leave once the adoption begins.

Employees receive mandatory 13th- and 14th-month bonuses in Ecuador. The 13th month is paid before Dec. 22, and employees can decide to have this bonus paid as monthly payments. The 14th month is paid in March or August and is a fixed minimum amount. Employers also pay 15% of their net profits as a bonus, which is capped at 24 times the employee’s monthly salary.

Employees in Ecuador receive 15 days of paid annual leave, and those with at least five years of service receive either an extra day of leave or cash payment. Some collective bargaining agreements allow for more paid annual leave. Employees can carry over their annual leave up to a maximum of three years.

In Ecuador, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Carnival

  • Good Friday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • The Battle of Pichincha

  • Independence Day

  • Independence of Guayaquil

  • Independence of Cuenca

  • All Souls' Day

  • Christmas Day

Ecuador has universal healthcare which is free at the point of access. It is operated by the Ministry of Public Health and IESS (Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security). This includes pregnancy care both before and after the birth.

Employment contracts can be terminated in Ecuador by the employer for just cause, breach of contract, with the permission of the labor inspector, or for economic reasons. Notice may be required depending on the reason for termination. The employer may be required to pay severance.

  • 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 Ecuador 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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