Brazil’s employment laws favor employees, and it is common to face litigation from former employees after termination. Therefore, Brazil employment compliance hinges on a strong employment contract and a thorough understanding of the country’s laws regarding hiring and recruiting.
Recruiting in Brazil
In Brazil, recruiting talented workers involves knowing how to reach them. You may want to reevaluate your typical hiring procedure as you begin recruiting in the country.
Social media is an increasingly popular channel for companies in Brazil that wish to recruit active and passive candidates who are already employed but are open to a new job. Social media platforms can be used to reach out to potential hires directly and build employer brand awareness.
There are also recruiting agencies available to help. However, recruiting and headhunting services normally come with steep fees.
During the recruitment process, it’s standard for employers to request proof of the candidate’s education and conduct a background check to verify the potential hire’s identity and professional history. These parts of the screening process are common and acceptable in Brazil. That said, you cannot run a criminal background check unless doing so is pertinent to the job.
Due to the nuances of recruiting in Brazil, many international companies seek legal advice to ensure compliance throughout the process.
Laws against discrimination in Brazil
In Brazil, employers cannot discriminate against prospective employees for any reason, including:
- Marital status
- Family situation
Avoid making any references to protected categories in job postings. For example, saying that your company is looking for an employee to join your “young and energetic team” could be considered age-based discrimination.
Companies should also avoid asking questions pertaining to the above categories during interviews, such as asking whether the prospective employee is married or has any children.
How to hire employees in Brazil
The native language in Brazil is Portuguese, therefore, if the candidate does not speak English, a translator may be necessary to help during the hiring process. Employment contracts must also be in Portuguese and contain the agreed gross monthly salary in BRL (Brazilian reais).
The hiring process in Brazil usually takes a significant amount of time to finalize. Salary and benefits must be negotiated, and to do that it is necessary to fully understand the country’s tax, payroll, and employment compliance laws before onboarding any employees.
Brazil employment laws
In Brazil, the maximum weekly working hours is limited to 44 hours. Often, employers standardize working hours at 40 hours a week. Generally, a daily shift is of 8 hours plus 1 hour of lunch (not included in the work shift).
The working hours limitation is set by the Labor Code. Please note that overtime is a major source of litigation in Brazil, so be attentive to the limitation.
Employees also are entitled to vacation, sick, maternity, paternity leave in Brazil:
- Vacation leave: 30 calendar days each year after working for 12 months
- Sick leave: 15 paid days with a medical note
- Maternity leave: 4 months of paid leave
- Paternity leave: 5 paid days off
Onboarding in Brazil
While no specific laws for onboarding are in place, the best way to onboard employees is to outline your company’s expectations early on. Share an itinerary for their first week and review areas such as working hours and any internal rules or policies, including your company’s code of conduct.
If you do not follow Brazil employment compliance laws, please note that litigation costs can be high and labor courts often rule in favor of the employee.
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THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.