Brazil is one of the biggest countries in South America and the world’s 11th-largest economy, according to Investopedia. Its booming workforce of over 100 million people is highly sought after by businesses around the globe. Anyone looking to hire in this country should be familiar with local regulations surrounding leave entitlements. There are different rules for employees and contractors, as well as best practices in benefits administration to know about before getting started. 

What Is the Employment Leave Policy In Brazil?

The employment leave policy in Brazil includes a mandatory minimum of 30 days paid annual leave, as well as national holidays and maternity/paternity leave. Employees are also entitled to sick leave, compassionate and bereavement leave, and three days off to get married.

Read more: Employee Benefits In Brazil: Comprehensive Guide In 2024

L5ввссаассeave Entitlements for Employees and Contractors In Brazil

Employees and contractors in Brazil aren’t seen equally under national labor laws, and their leave entitlements are also different.

Brazilian Civil Law defines an employee as an individual who provides services to an employer on a permanent basis. They are indefinitely engaged in their job and receive employment benefits like paid time off and sick days. 

A contractor, on the other hand, is an individual who has the freedom to work independently with multiple clients. These professionals engage in contracts for specific projects with predefined term lengths. Unlike full-time employees, they are not entitled to statutory benefits like leave.

Contractors do have the right to receive at least four days’ notice upon the termination of a working relationship. Employers are further required to follow the same principles of non-discrimination, equality, and fairness when hiring and managing contracted team members.

Maternity and Paternity Leave: Aligning Benefits for Diverse Workforces

Paternity and maternity leave in Brazil is a statutory benefit intended to provide new parents with protected time off after welcoming a child into their family. It’s most often used in the case of birth but can also apply when adopting. Leave is age-based in the case of adoption, totaling 30 days for children between one and four years of age and 15 days for children who are between four and eight years of age.

Brazil maternity leave is paid for by employers at the rate of an employee’s regular pay, without a cap. This amount can then be deducted from the social security contributions due to the INSS at the end of the tax year.

When it comes to maternity leave Brazil gives women 120 days of time off and men 5 days. A mother’s term is allowed to begin up to 28 days before the expected due date and can be extended by up to two weeks with a doctor’s order. Fathers who work for companies that participate in a government-run Brazil paternity leave program called Empresa Cidadã get as much as 15 days of paid leave.

Special Leave Considerations: From Bereavement to Marriage

There are a couple of other unique situations in which a Brazilian employee is entitled to time off work. Marriage is one example. Individuals get three days for their wedding ceremony and the ensuing celebrations. The days are paid for by employers and usually taken consecutively.

In the unfortunate event of a loved one’s death, employees can request up to two consecutive days off work to mourn their loss. Bereavement leave is generally reserved for the passing of an immediate family member, such as a parent, child, or partner.

Federal election days occur every four years, usually on a Sunday, and are considered public holidays. Employees get this protected time off to vote along with seven paid national holidays and five religious/municipal holidays throughout the regular calendar year.

Individuals also have the right to request one day of leave per year to donate blood, which must be accompanied by proof of donation.

Sick Leave: Balancing Obligations and Flexibility

Regular employees in Brazil enjoy at least 15 days of paid sick leave (licença médica) every year. In order to claim it, they must provide a stamped doctor’s note that validates their need for time off along with a timeframe for how long they expect to be away. Employers cover the cost of these 15 days at the employee’s full rate of pay. After this, Brazil’s Social Security agency pays for the leave at a capped monthly rate. Individuals must have worked for at least a year in order to qualify for payments after 15 days.

Contractors do not get guaranteed sick leave and must instead arrange absences with employers directly. Companies often permit a reasonable amount of time off so long as it’s backed up with a valid reason. They have full discretion to approve or deny requests and are not obligated to continue paying workers while they’re away. The onus is on contractors to make up for any lost time and income.

When Offering Extended Leave Can Pay Off

Of course, just because contractors aren’t legally guaranteed paid sick leave doesn’t mean they don’t need or want it. All people face unexpected illness at some point in their lives, and managing it can be difficult without proper support from an employer. This is why many companies opt to provide contractors with paid sick leave as a perk.

Offering extended paid sick leave can have several benefits for both contractors and companies. For contractors, it provides much-needed financial support while they recover from illness or injury. This allows them to focus on their health and well-being without worrying about lost income. It also helps to establish a sense of trust and loyalty between the contractor and employer, as the company shows that they value their contractors’ health and well-being.

For companies, offering extended paid sick leave can lead to increased productivity and loyalty from their contractors. When employees are given the necessary time off to recover, they are more likely to return with renewed energy and motivation, leading to better-quality work.

Annual Leave: Crafting Policies for Maximum Impact

Brazil leave labor laws may guarantee employees minimum amounts of leave per year, but companies choose to set up and administer their leave programs in different ways.

Employers are legally required to offer time off, but the specifics of how much time and under what circumstances vary. Some companies may offer just the minimum required by law, while others may provide more generous amounts to attract and retain top talent. Additionally, some companies may have strict policies on when employees can take leave, while others offer more flexibility.

Those looking to enhance the value of their offerings to staff make changes in accrual, encashment, and carry-over rules. The accrual rate is the speed at which employees accumulate vacation time, while encashment refers to the ability to convert unused leave into cash. Carry-over rules determine whether unused leave can be carried over into the next year or if it must be used or lost by a certain date.

Even unpaid time off can be incredibly attractive to workers like contractors, who don’t usually enjoy the same benefits as their fully employed counterparts. The key to offering this kind of policy is proper planning and communication. Employers need to make sure they have clear guidelines in place for requesting, approving, and reporting contractors’ unpaid time off.

Perks & Benefits: Bridging Gaps Between Contractors and Employees

Leave is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to employee benefits in Brazil. Companies can—and should—offer more when looking to attract and retain talented staff.

Here are a few examples of popular perks that are appealing to full employees and contractors alike:

Health Insurance

Brazil has a universal healthcare system, but many employees appreciate the option of having private health insurance to access better quality care and avoid long wait times.

Equity and Stock Options

Offering equity or stock options to employees is a common practice in Brazil, especially for startups and tech companies. This is an attractive incentive that provides employees with a sense of ownership in the company and potential financial gain.

Lifestyle Benefits

Beyond the basic necessities, companies in Brazil often offer lifestyle benefits to their employees like meal vouchers, transportation assistance, and gym memberships. These perks both improve team members’ overall quality of life for employees and showcase a dedication to their well-being.

Tech Perks

Remote employees in particular rely on their tech equipment to do their jobs efficiently. Whether it be a laptop or phone, covering the expenses associated with it can be a great perk for staff.

Crafting Custom Benefits Packages: Employee and Contractor Perspectives

Leave programs are most effective when they’re designed with circumstances in mind. Companies must consider not only what their staff need, but also the unique perspective different types of employment status bring.

Brazilian professionals, both employees and contractors alike, expect a good work-life balance and are attracted to companies that prioritize employee well-being. In this tech-savvy community, employers must go beyond the traditional benefits package if they want to remain competitive.

Personalization goes a long way in meeting diverse expectations, as does an open ear to feedback. The more informed a company is about what its employees and contractors value, the better it can craft benefits packages that meet those needs.

Navigating Compliance and Flexibility In Benefits Provision

As an employer, it is important to be aware of the various legal requirements and compliance regulations when providing employee benefits. This is especially true in Brazil’s complex legal system. Specific laws and regulations govern the provision of benefits to employees and contractors, and the rules aren’t the same for everyone. Working with a local employment agency is the safest way to compensate your Brazilian employees for all they do while mitigating the compliance woes of benefits provision.

Author avatar
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.

FAQs

Employees in Brazil are entitled to 30 days of paid vacation every year after working for their employer for 12 months.

The employment policy in Brazil is governed by the Brazilian Labor Law, which provides various protections for employees such as minimum wage, maximum working hours, and paid vacation.

Brazil has seven paid national holidays and five religious/municipal holidays throughout the regular calendar year.

The annual leave policy in Brazil states that employees are entitled to 30 days of paid vacation after working for their employer for 12 months. Employees can also take time off for sickness, marriage, adoption, and bereavement.

Vacation pay in Brazil is calculated based on the employee’s monthly salary and length of service. Employers must provide a vacation bonus, which equals one-third of the employee’s monthly salary, during their time off.

The notice period in Brazil is 30 days for both the employer and the employee. This can be extended to 90 days in some cases. Contractors are entitled to at least four days’ notice before the termination of a contract.