Before employing any member of your workforce from Argentina’s talent pool, ensure to stay updated on local laws and how they may affect your interaction with employees. One of the first things to do before hiring an Argentine expert is to find out about any mandatory benefits stipulated by law. By learning these benefits, it’ll be easier to create a recruitment package that will comply with local laws while keeping employees happy. 

Eligibility and Expectations: Understanding the Argentinian Benefits Landscape

Yes, Argentina is a hub for impressive talent, and most organizations are tasked with creating favorable working conditions for their employees. To maintain the quality of working conditions, Argentina’s labor law has outlined a list of benefits from employer to employee. These benefits are available to those employed by local and foreign organizations within the region. 

It’s exciting to note that Argentina’s current benefits system was introduced in the middle of the 20th century and has grown to incorporate several policies and programs. The purpose of these benefits is to provide social security protection as well as improve other aspects of life.  

Statutory vs Market-Driven Benefits in Argentina

Every Argentinian employer is obliged to offer employees mandatory or statutory benefits for their service. These mandatory benefits refer to all those aspects of employee protection stipulated by Argentine labor law. They include: 

Social Security

Argentinian laws stipulate that employers commit 25% of the employee’s monthly salary to social security. This contribution will cover disability benefits, retirement plans, mandatory life insurance, family allowances, employment insurance, and unemployment benefits. All employees are eligible for retirement at 65 years old and will receive the governmental pension after making their social security contribution for 30 years. However, employers can compel employees to retire at age 70.  

Health Insurance Plans

All employees are entitled to healthcare insurance plans, which offer them access to premium medical treatment and care. Essentially, these plans are usually funded by employee and employer contributions. Employers are obliged to contribute 6% of employee salaries. Depending on the health insurance plan, this coverage may also extend to family members. 

Paid Vacation or Leave

Furthermore, Argentine employees are entitled to paid vacation. This means employers are supposed to allow workers to spend some time off work without reducing their pay during that period. There are different types of leave that an employee can benefit from, including annual leave, maternity leave, and sick leave. 

Statutory Holidays

All employees are eligible for statutory holidays. Employers are expected to treat statutory holidays as paid days off. However, these holidays may differ based on religion and municipality. There are also statutory holidays observed nationwide. Here’s a list of nationwide statutory holidays held annually: 

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Carnival – Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday
  • Memorial Day for Truth and Justice – March 24
  • Good Friday – the Friday before Easter Sunday 
  • May Revolution Day – May 25
  • Independence Day – July 9
  • Flag Day – June 20
  • Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity – October 12
  • Immaculate conception – December 8
  • Day of National Sovereignty – November 20
  • Christmas – December 25

Overtime Pay

Argentine labor laws strictly limit how many employees can work. These laws stipulate that a regular working day should be 8 hours long, while a work week is 48 hours. However, any employee performing overnight work or activities classified as ‘unhealthy work’ is limited to a 7-hour work day. 

However, the law also allows employees to work overtime, up to 3 hours per day. There’s a 30-hour limit per month and a 200-hour limit per year. The overtime rate in Argentina is also 150% of regular salary, while overtime on Saturday, Sunday, or a public holiday is paid at 200% of salary. 

Severance Pay

The severance pay is a one-time payment made to employees who have been dismissed without cause. In Argentina, severance pay is equal to one month’s pay for every year they worked, unless they were terminated due to economic reasons. If they were terminated due to economic reasons, severance pay would equal half the monthly salary for each year worked. You may also be eligible for some portion of the 13th-month salary, depending on the reason for the termination. 

13th Month Salary

All employees in Argentina are entitled to a 13-month salary, which is to be paid in two instalments (on June 30 and December 18). Each salary installment should be equal to 50% of the employee’s highest monthly wage for the past six months. 

Unlike statutory benefits, market-driven benefits refer to those rewards that are demanded based on ongoing trends in the global labor market. They serve as additional benefits for the best talent in Argentina and include: 

  • Meal vouchers 
  • Gym allowance
  • Transportation allowance
  • Internet/phone allowance

When designing your benefit system, it’s crucial to note that the mandatory benefits mentioned in this piece are only statutory minimums. So, you’re free to offer more than what’s stipulated. But the truth is that most organizations prefer to create a balance between mandatory and market-driven benefits, depending on available resources. 

Further reading: Employee Termination and Severance Pay in Argentina and Work Hours in Argentina

Health, Wellness and Beyond: What Top Talent Wants

To comply with global demands, Argentine employers are expected to provide their employees with impressive health and wellness benefits. Most employees request state-of-the-art health benefits, including mental health support, before committing to work with them. They want a comprehensive health insurance plan that may also cover their family members. Many potential employees also want to know how much they’d contribute to get these benefits. 

The Demand for Additional Benefits: From Equity to Education 

Aside from the mandatory benefits mentioned above, Argentine top talents are also interested in additional benefits that make their job roles more exciting. They want comprehensive benefit packages that aim to improve other aspects of life. These benefits may include, but are not limited to, meal vouchers, transportation allowances, gym allowances, and a flexible working schedule. Certain startups may also reward their employees with stock options, educational stipends, and profit-sharing formulas. 

You’d do well to note that each organization is free to create their own list of benefits while offering as much reward as possible, depending on available resources. However, organizations with a long list of benefits are best suited to attract the best talent to work for them. 

Remote Work Benefits: Bridging the Gap for Argentinian Talent

Today, there are several remote Argentine employees working with local and foreign organizations.  While remote organizations operate differently compared to regular workplaces, their workers still demand the same level of protection. Hence, several employers with remote workers create a benefits system that ensures these employees are fully protected. This benefits system ensures that remote workers have access to sick leave, health insurance, social security, statutory holidays, 13th month salary, overtime pay, etc. 

Leave Entitlements: Beyond the Basics

As mentioned earlier, one of the mandatory benefits for employees is a paid vacation or leave. However, there are different categories of leaves available to employees. 

Annual Leave

All employees are entitled to an annual paid vacation. These vacations are compulsory and must be granted between October 1 and April 30. Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility criteria for this benefit: 

  • Employees with less than five years of service are entitled to 14 days of paid vacation.
  • Employees with five to ten years of service are entitled to 21 days of paid vacation. 
  • Employees with ten to twenty years of service are entitled to 28 days of paid vacation.
  • Employees with over 20 years of service are entitled to 35 days of paid vacation. 

Both parties may agree to a longer annual leave than those stipulated by law, but never to a shorter period. You’d also do well to note that national holidays do not count as part of annual leaves. 

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave, which is split into two halves. The first part of the holiday is observed 45 days before childbirth, with the second half 45 days after childbirth. Depending on employee preference, maternity leave can be observed 30 days before childbirth and 60 days afterwards. You should also note that maternity leave is paid by the social security system as a form of family allowance. 

Female employees may also request additional unpaid leave to care for their newborns between three and six months. When caring for a newborn baby and breastfeeding, female employees can take two 30-minute breaks to feed their babies for up to one year after childbirth. Paternity leave for male employees is two days. 

Sickness and Disability Leave

If an employee encounters an injury related to work or falls sick, they are entitled to sickness and disability leave. During this period, employers are expected to pay employees for the first fifteen days. After the fifteenth day, the insurance company will settle the employee’s sick leave. If an employee who has served up to five years suffers an illness or injury, they are eligible for three months of paid sick leave. However, if an employee who has served more than five years suffers an injury, they are entitled to six months of paid sick leave. 

These paid sick leaves are covered by the employer. However, the employer has the right to ask for a medical report to verify the employee’s medical condition. If the paid sick leave is complete and the employee is yet to return to prime condition, the employer is obliged to keep you on the payroll but without any payment or salary for up to twelve months. 

If it’s discovered that the employee has a permanent disability that makes them unable to perform the same work or activities as before, the employer may give them another role that suits their disability. However, if the employer can prove that they don’t have work for the disabled employee, they can terminate their employment by making a 50% severance pay. The severance pay is 100% for total permanent disability. 

Other Leaves 

Argentine laws also support employee leave of absences for marriage (10 days), mourning (3 days), or educational purposes (2 days per exam for up to 10 days per year). However, you’ll find that collective bargaining agreements indicate other days of leave. 

Navigating Employee and Contractor Benefits Expectations 

As an employer, it’s crucial to understand that most contractors and employees pay attention to the types of benefits offered by employers. They understand that the most talented workers will only commit their skills and services to an organization that pays attention to their welfare. 

More often than not, employers need to create a benefit system that will cater to their workers. This system will typically contain details on overtime pay, severance pay, 13th month salary, social security, paid leave, and statutory holidays. When dealing with contractors, these details should be clearly stated and included in all negotiations. 

Implementing Competitive Benefits Strategies in Argentina

There’s no gain in saying that creating a competitive benefits strategy for employees is one of the main goals of top-rated organizations worldwide. However, it’s easier said than done. To create a comprehensive benefits system, you’ll need a HR team that’s familiar with local labor laws. They’ll understand the perfect balance of mandatory and market-driven benefits to adopt. 

Employers may also rely on technology to simplify this process. Technology may be your asset to help you create a seamless benefit experience. By embracing digital platforms, you’ll be able to streamline administrative activities such as enrollment and activity tracking. Mobile apps can also ensure employees can access their benefits in real time. 

Further reading: Work Hours in Argentina and Employee Leave Policies in Argentina

Frequently Asked Questions

Employee contributions in Argentina include social security, healthcare, and pension contributions. These deductions are made from the employee’s salary and are used to fund various social programs, such as retirement benefits and health insurance.

Salaries in Argentina are typically paid monthly. Employers are required to pay employees via bank transfers. Payments must include all mandatory benefits and deductions, such as social security and income tax with holdings.

The 13th salary in Argentina, also known as the “aguinaldo” is an additional annual payment. It is paid in two installments: half in June and the other half in December. Each installment is equivalent to 50% of the highest monthly salary received in the past six months.

The seven common employee benefits in Argentina include health insurance, paid leave (annual, maternity, paternity), unemployment insurance, retirement benefits, work injury insurance, family allowances, and severance pay.

Employee taxes in Argentina consist of income tax and social security contributions. The income tax is progressive, with rates ranging from 5% to 35%. Social security contributions include retirement, healthcare, and other social benefits, typically totaling around 17% of the gross salary.

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Article author
Vit Koval
Co-founder at Globy
A top Global Hiring voice on LinkedIn, co-founder of Globy, and host of Default Global. Using deep expertise in global hiring, remote work, and global business expansion to help companies excel worldwide with innovative strategies.