The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 grants workers and employees several fundamental protective rights. In the following you’ll find a resume of the most significant labour rights:

1. Protection against arbitrary dismissal ("despedida arbitrária")

The employment contracts are protected against arbitrary dismissals (those without a justifying reason). A dismissal is arbitrary, if it isn’t based on a legally defined reason, such as: inebriation, a criminal sentence, insufficient professional performance, infringement of moral and conventions, abandonment of the workplace, assaults. In case of an unjustified dismissal, the employee is entitled to a judicial compensation, among other rights.

2. Unemployment insurance

In case of an involuntary loss of employment, the operator is entitled to payments from the unemployment insurance.

3. Employee’s security fund ("F.G.T.S.")

The „Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço - F.G.T.S.“ is a monthly bank deposit provided by the employer in favor of the employee in the amount of 8% over the paid wage, before the deduction of the social security contribution (“INSS”). The disbursement of the F.G.T.S.-deposit occurs in legally defined cases.

4. Mimimum wage

Brazil has a legally established minimum wage, which has to be paid to workers and employees all over the country regardless of the economic sector. The minimum wage is periodically adjusted. Since 1.1.2018 the “salário-mínimo” has been fixed at an amount of R$ 954,- per month.

5. Wage groups

According to the extent and complexity of the performed activities, a specific minimum wage can be established for each professional segment ("piso salarial").

6. Prohibition of salary cut

During the validity of the labour contract the salary of the employee can’t be reduced, with the exception of collective wage agreements or wage agreements between the affected employee and employer categories.

7. Thirteenth monthly wage

In Brazil the annual wage has to be paid in thirteen instead of twelve monthly salaries.

8. Working hours

The ordinary working hours cannot exceed a duration of 8 hours a day and 44 hours a week. The duration of shift work is 6 hours.

9. Overtime

Work efforts exceeding the ordinary duration of working hours has to be compensated with an extra payment of at least 50% over the normal wage.

10. Night-work

Labour between 22.00 hs of one day and 5.00 hs of the following day, is considered night-work and has to be compensated with a higher wage. In general, the minimum increase should be 20% over the normal wage. Furthermore, every 52 minutes and 30 seconds of night-work are considered a full hour.

11. Rest day ("Descanso Semanal")

The employee is entitled to one day of rest a week of 24 successive hours. This rest day has to be refunded by the employer and should preferably fall on a Sunday.

12. Holidays

Every employee is entitled to 30 days of holidays a year, maintaining the monthly wage. Furthermore, the holiday wage has an additional of one third over the normal wage.

13. Term of notice ("Aviso Prévio")

The term of notice for the dissolution of a labour contract is related to its duration, but is in any case at least 30 days.

14. Labour protection for women

The Brazilian Constitution stipulates legal regulations to protect jobs of women. Pregnancy leave of 120 days is granted to women, without loss of workplace or payment, whereas a paternity leave of 5 days is granted to the father.

15. Labour protection for minors

Each employee in the age between 14 and 18 years, according to the civil law, is considered a minor. Adolescents can start an apprenticeship from 14 years on. Any kind of labour is prohibited for adolescents under 14 years.

16. Prescription period ("Prescrição")

There are prescription periods for the judicial enforcement of claims resulting of employment relations. The prescription period for labour claims is 5 years. The claims have to asserted in court within a maximum period of 2 years after the rescission of the labour contract. After this prescription period, the employee loses his right to enforce any demand.

17. Pension

The right to receive pension is granted to each employee who contributes to the social security (“INSS”).

18. Domestic employees

Domestic employees (cooks, cleaning personal, nannies, caretakers, etc.) are granted the following rights: 13th monthly wage, minimum wage, prohibition of salary cut, rest day (preferably on Sundays), paid annual holiday, additional holiday wage of at least 1/3 of the regular wage, pregnancy leave of at least 120 days, paternal leave, term of notice of at least 30 days, pension entitlement.

19. Labour Unions

Employees are free to enter any Union. The Constitution interdicts the foundation of more than one Union for the same professional field in the territory of one municipality.

20. Strike

The right to strike is granted, the employees being free to decide in which occasion and for the protection of what interest it will be exerted.

21. Companies with more than 200 employees

In companies with more than 200 employees the election of a staff representative is granted, who’s only task is to promote the direct communication with the employer.

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