If you research the labor market in Chile, you’re bound to find scores of talent that are accessible by local and foreign companies. It’s worth noting that the value of the IT outsourcing market in the region is projected to reach 1 billion dollars by 2029 which is an indicator that foreign interest in Chilean tech talent is only going to keep increasing. While these employees offer several benefits to your organization, it’s also worth noting that onboarding workers would be challenging without adequate knowledge about employment laws, including leave policies and perks. 

Unless you’re hiring for a local company, Chile’s employee leaves and additional perks may differ from what’s widely acceptable in your jurisdiction. Hence, it makes sense to learn about them before starting the recruitment process. 

Leave Entitlements for Employees and Contractors

Chile’s leave policy is regulated by the Labor Code created in July 2002. This code contains details about all public holidays and statutory leaves. According to Article 67 of the Labor Code, any employee who has worked at least one year of service is entitled to an annual leave of 15 days. During this period, employees will receive 100% weekly or monthly payments. Article 70 of the Labor Code further stipulates that employee annual leave must be continuous for the first ten days. Then, employees and employees can negotiate when to have the remaining five days. 

However, workers who want an annual leave must apply at least one month beforehand. According to Article 68 of the Labor Code, workers who have worked more than ten years are entitled to an extra day of leave for each additional three years of service. Aside from the annual leave, there are other types of Chile leave available to employees. They include: 

  • Sick leave
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave 
  • Childcare leave
  • Marriage leave

Chile also has 15 annual public holidays. They are treated as rest days aside from the annual leave cycle. Here’s a table showing the public holidays Chilean employees are entitled to: 

DateHoliday
January 1stNew Year
January 2ndServes as New Year holiday when January 1st falls on Sunday
April 7thGood Friday
April 8thGood Saturday
May 1st Labor Day
May 21st Naval Glories Day
June 21stNational Day of Indigenous People
June 26thSaint Peter and Saint Paul
July 16th Virgin of Carmen Festival
August 15thAssumption of the Virgin 
September 18thIndependence Day
September 19th Day of the Glories of the Army
October 9thDay of the Meeting of Two Worlds
October 27thDay of the Evangelical and Protestant Churches
November 1stAll Saints Day
December 8thImmaculate Conception 
December 25thChristmas 

Read more: Employee and Contractor Termination in Chile

Maternity and Paternity Leave: Aligning Benefits for Diverse Workforces

One of the strengths of Chile’s workforce is that they focus on establishing a good work-life balance that fosters solid bonds and boosts productivity. As a result, maternity and paternity leave offers flexible options to help mothers and fathers focus on parenting. These are the flexible maternity leave options available to workers in Chile: 

  • Twenty-four weeks of maternity leave, where workers are paid at 73.2% regular weekly or monthly rate. This leave is split into 12 weeks before childbirth and 12 weeks after birth. 
  • Twelve weeks of paid maternity leave, during which workers are entitled to 100% of the regular monthly or weekly rate, followed by another 18-week period during which workers are paid at 50% of the weekly or monthly rate. 
  • Workers are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave for 73.2% of the regular weekly or monthly rate. The remaining 12 weeks may be split into six weeks between her parents and a mother-employee, paid at 73.2% regular weekly or monthly rate. In a scenario where the new mother wishes to transfer her rest period to the child’s father, only 12 weeks of part-time work is transferable. This part-time work will be paid at 50% regular weekly or monthly rate. 

On the other hand, different types of paternity leave are available to fathers depending on the circumstances surrounding the birth of their new child. Each of these leave options offers workers different types of compensation. They include: 

  •  Childbirth and Adoption: Article 195 of the Chile Labor Code stipulates that fathers of newly born children are entitled to five days of paid leave. 
  • Multiple Births: Article 195 of the Chile Labor Code states that parents of newly born or adopted children are entitled to 5 days of paid leave, regardless of how many wards they have. 

If you’re eligible for paternity leave, you must note that you can use them immediately or within a month of childbirth. You’d also do well to note that paternity leaves are statutory benefits. Therefore, employers cannot deny their requests. However, they can request the necessary documentation to prove your status. 

Sick Leave: Balancing Obligations and Flexibility

The sick leave in Chile is mainly unpaid. However, employers are expected to make provisions to compensate workers during this period. While the duration of the sick leave in Chile is determined by the medical practitioner, there are seven conditions that make workers entitled to this benefit: 

  • Pre and post-natal diseases
  • Common illness or accident 
  • Preventive medicine purposes
  • Serious illness of a child younger than one year
  • Job-related injury or disease 
  • Work or commuting accident 
  • Pregnancy-related diseases

A significant downside of sick leave in Chile is that it may not offer enough compensation in certain jurisdictions. The duration of the leave is also considerably variable because it’s determined by a medical practitioner. Hence, highly skilled workers are not thrilled by the prospects of a sick leave. 

Special Leave Considerations: From Bereavement to Adoption

Other unique leave options available to workers in Chile include Marriage leave and Childcare leave. Here’s a breakdown of what these benefits offer to workers in Chile: 

Marriage Leave

Regulations on Chile’s marriage leave are stipulated in Article 207 (Bis) of the Labor Code. This law states that workers who get married during their service period are entitled to five days of paid leave. This leave should be requested at least 30 days before the period you wish to take it. However, the marriage leave must be approved by the day of the event or for five consecutive days after the event. 

Childcare Leave 

There may be instances when your child or ward falls sick, and you may have to care for them. You’d note that Chile’s Labor Code makes provisions for this type of event. These regulations stipulate that working parents or caregivers are entitled to 30 days of paid leave. The compensation offered to employees during this period is determined by Las Instituciones de Salud Previsional (ISAPRES) if the child’s health is insured. However, without prior insurance the amount of compensation is determined by El Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA), the country’s national healthcare system. 

To gain eligibility for Chile’s childcare leave, the worker’s child must have: 

  • Experienced a critical health condition defined under Article 7 of Law No 21,063. 
  • Suffered from cancer and currently receives pain relief treatment for advanced cancer (as of February 1, 2018).
  • Recently undergone a solid organ transplant (as of February 1, 2018). 
  • Recently passed through a terminal phase of life (as of January 1, 2020). 
  • Been involved in a life-threatening accident that has led to grace injuries or permanent disability (as of December 1, 2020)

Crafting Custom Benefits Packages: Employee and Contractor Perspectives

There are thousands of workers in Chile, each of whom has varying degrees of talent. To attract the best employees, an organization must create a comprehensive benefits package. A good benefits package indicates everything employees stand to gain from working with you. These benefits may include different Chilean leave policies, including maternity and paternity, sick, and childcare leave. 

Employers may also include other benefits like equity options, gym membership, health insurance, meal vouchers, transportation vouchers, etc. While these additional perks may not offer as much compensation as Chile’s leave policies, their purpose is to ease the lives of these workers. 

Navigating Compliance and Flexibility in Benefits Provision

Before employing anyone in Chile, learning about the leave benefits and perks available to workers in the region is crucial. Chilean employees are renowned for striving for a work-life balance and that’s why the labor code in the country focuses on benefits like sick leave, maternity leave and paternity. While there are other leave alternatives like childcare leave and marriage leave, employees are encouraged to be flexible about what they offer their workers. 

For instance, they may opt to add meal vouchers or transportation allowance for their workers. The 13th month salary is another perk certain companies use to stand out from others. However, ensure that all agreements on future benefits are clearly stated in the contract. Failure to offer statutory benefits or any other perks specified in the contract will be considered a lack of compliance, which may lead to sanctions and penalties. 

Further reading: Payroll Taxes & Expenses in Chile and Work Hours in Chile

FAQs

Chile has a mandatory 13th-month salary, a common practice in some Latin American countries. However, bonuses and other forms of additional compensation may be provided by employers based on company policies or collective bargaining agreements. These bonuses are often given at the employer’s discretion rather than being legally mandated.

The maximum working hours in Chile are 40 hours per week, typically distributed over five or six days. This standard is established by Chilean labor law to ensure a balance between work and personal life. Daily working hours should not exceed ten hours, including overtime, which is also regulated to prevent excessive working hours.

Mandatory benefits for employees in Chile include social security contributions, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and vacation leave. Employees are entitled to 15 days of paid annual leave after one year of service. Employers must also provide a safe working environment and comply with occupational health regulations.

Yes, Chile has a retirement benefits system primarily based on individual accounts funded by mandatory contributions from both employers and employees. This system, known as the AFP (Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones), requires workers to contribute a percentage of their salary to a personal pension fund, which private companies manage.

Overtime in Chile is strictly regulated. Any work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek must be compensated at least 150% of the regular pay. Overtime is limited to a maximum of two hours per day and should not be a regular occurrence. Employers must obtain consent from employees to work overtime, ensuring it is mutually agreed upon.

Employees in Chile are entitled to a minimum of 15 working days of paid annual leave after completing one year of continuous service. These days can be taken consecutively or split as agreed upon with the employer, ensuring workers have sufficient time for rest and relaxation.

In Chile, maternity leave includes six weeks of paid leave before the birth and 12 weeks after, totaling 18 weeks. Additionally, mothers can take parental leave, extending paid leave up to 24 weeks, ensuring ample time for recovery and bonding with the newborn.

Yes, employees in Chile are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees must provide a medical certificate for absences due to illness. But they must submit a medical report to their employer as evidence of their illness. 

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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.