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El Salvador

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This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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El Salvador is a small country in Central America. San Salvador, its largest city and capital, is located on the Ace Chaute River in the Valley of the Hammocks. Spanish is the predominant language spoken in the country. The economic sectors with the most significant investment have been textiles and retail establishments, though investment in energy projects has been increasing gradually.

Employment contracts in El Salvador should be written in Spanish and include:

  • employee’s birth date, nationality, marital status and gender,

  • workplace location,

  • work hours,

  • salary,

  • job description, and

  • duration or purpose of the contract.

There must be a written copy for the employer, employee and another submitted to the General Labor Office within eight days of the start date. A fixed-term contract must state the duration of the work and the specific task to be undertaken. It is for a defined period and if it is renewed, it may become an indefinite contract. Fixed-term contracts are for a limited time such as a project or to replace an employee who is temporarily not working.

The standard workweek in El Salvador is 44 hours over six days. Employees typically work eight hours a day five days a week and then four hours day on the sixth day. Work hours are reduced for employees who work at night or in dangerous conditions. Overtime generally is paid at double the salary. Overtime pay is waived in the event of force majeure.

Employees receive up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave in El Salvador. The first three days are paid by the employer and then social security covers the remainder. If the employee has a disability, they are covered by social security for up to one year.

Female employees receive 12 weeks of maternity leave in El Salvador. At least six weeks of maternity leave must be taken after the birth. Maternity leave can be extended pre-birth if there is a pregnancy-related illness. Eligible employees can receive maternity benefits from social security. Paternity leave falls under emergency family leave and male employees receive two days of paid leave.

Bonuses are common in El Salvador with a Christmas bonus paid around Dec. 20. Employees with one to three years of service receive 15 days of salary. Those with up to 10 years of service receive 19 days and those with more than 10 years of service receive 21 days.

Employees in El Salvador receive 15 days of paid annual leave after one year of service and they are paid 130% of the standard rate for these days. Annual leave cannot be carried over.

In El Salvador, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Maundy Thursday

  • Good Friday

  • Holy Saturday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • Mothers' Day

  • Fathers' Day

  • Celebrations of San Salvador

  • Independence Day

  • All Saints Day

  • Christmas Day

El Salvador provides healthcare through ISSS to those who are employed, while the Salvadoran Institute of Master Welfare (ISBM) looks after teachers and their families. The Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD) provides medicine, vaccinations, medical and laboratory supplies to national health centers and hospitals.

Employers can terminate an employment contract in El Salvador by providing written notice to the employee, which includes the reason for termination. No notice is required if the employee is still on probation. Severance is required in some cases, depending on the reason for dismissal and the type of contract. Generally, it is 30 days of salary for each year of service.

  • 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 El Salvador 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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