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Brazil Employees Expectations sample essay

In Brazil the maximum working hours per week are usually 40 to 44 hours, depending upon whether the employee works 5 or 6 days a week. The Brazilian Labour Law prescribes an annual vacation of 30 days which should be taken all at once or divided in two parts (one half must be of at least 20 days). Brazilian workers are eligible for full-time employment already at the age of 14 but there are certain protective regulations covering adolescents aged 14 to 18. Brazilian labour unions

There are several thousand unions and umbrella organisations in Brazil which are supposed to support full-time workers. The Brazilian Trade Union Federation (Central Unica dos Trabalhadores) has made protection of employees and health policies one of its top priorities. Yet as most employees in Brazil work without an official work contract they have no access to the support of a labour union.


Employment Agreements Since labor laws are statutory in nature, labor contracts must fit squarely within their narrow parameters. Employment contracts cannot deviate from the law in any way that waives, releases, or circumvents a worker’s rights. Some employers get creative and choose to frame the relationship as that of an independent contractor, rather than an employee. However, structuring the relationship in that manner has little effect if a Labor court finds that the independent contractor was in fact performing activities of an employee as legally defined.

Courts will consider variables such as work hours, place of work, subjectivity to the employer’s administrative rules, reporting requirements, and compensation, among others, in determining whether the individual is indeed an independent contractor or in fact an employee. Unfortunately for companies, courts tend to favor protecting the employee and usually grant whatever statutory benefit for which the individual has petitioned. Employee Wages and Hours

After your company has established the type of relationship that it will have with the individual, it must comply with strict labor requirements. In Brazil, the minimum wage (“salário mínimo”) is currently set by the federal government at R$545.00 per month, although some regions may require a minimum that exceeds this baseline. Accompanying the minimum wage is the concept of the workday, or jornada, defined as the time the employee is available to the employer, whether performing his function or not. A workday cannot exceed eight (8) hours per day and 44 hours a week. Employees whose working hours exceed the maximum hours of work prescribed by law earn overtime, one of the major sources of labor litigation.

Generally, the employee will earn time and a half for overtime hours worked. However, if overtime is earned on weekends and holidays, then the employee will earn two times the regularly earned wage. Employees working on commission are treated no differently, and are entitled to either double or time and a half commissions for all overtime hours worked. The legal workday varies depending on the industry involved. For example, bank workers, telephone operators, and doctors enjoy shorter workdays. Shift workers are also subject to different standards. If an employee works any one shift (morning, afternoon, or night) on any given week, his or her shift must be limited to six (6) hours. Employee Benefits

Brazilian employees enjoy many benefits. For example, Brazilian law calls for a “thirteenth salary” (“décimo terceiro”), plus 30 days of vacation time that all employees earn at the end of each year. Disbursement of at least half of the “thirteenth salary” must be made by November, or in the month when the employee takes vacation, if he or she has solicited the thirteenth salary in January. The last portion must be paid by December 20. Employers must also comply with social contributions and the FGTS (Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço, or “Guarantee Fund for Time of Service”).

Both regular earnings and the thirteenth salary are subject to the FGTS, which corresponds to an eight (8) percent withholding of the monthly salary plus 0.5 percent of social contribution by the employer. This fund provides financial support in certain employment termination situations. The federal government administers the fund through mandatory deposits in accounts opened by the employer for the employee’s benefit with the Caixa Econômica Federal (one of the largest government-owned banks).

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