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  • Legal system, currency, language

    Constitutional and civil law with certain application of case law. Pesos (ARS). Spanish.

     

  • Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

    A foreign entity cannot hire employees in Argentina without a local corporate presence.

    Employers must pay social security contributions (23% or 27% on top of salaries, depending on the company's activity and revenues). Employees must contribute 17% of their salaries to the social security system (to be withheld by the employer and subject to certain taxable limits). Income tax is also withheld by the employer when paying employees' salaries (maximum rate 35%, subject to a progressive scale).

    Collective bargaining agreements for certain activities provide payments to be made by the employer and/or the unionized employees to the relevant unions.

  • Pre-hire checks

    Required

    • Pre-hire medical checks are required pursuant to resolutions issued by the Occupational Hazard Superintendence. If an employee does not complete a pre-hire medical check, the employee will be deemed to have begun work in optimal health; therefore, any injuries or diseases which subsequently arise will be deemed to have happened during the employment relationship.
    • Criminal record checks are required for foreign employees to obtain a work visa.

    Permissible

    Where criminal checks are not required for work visa purposes, they are only permissible (and often done in practice) for specific roles (eg, high-level managerial positions). Reference and educational checks are common and permissible, provided applicant consent is previously obtained.

  • Immigration

    Foreigners from non-Mercosur countries must obtain a temporary residence permit that permits them to enter and work in Argentina. Temporary residency is granted for a maximum period of up to 1 year, extendable for periods of equal or shorter terms. After 3 consecutive years as a temporary resident, foreign employees are entitled to apply for permanent residence.

    Citizens of Mercosur countries can apply for temporary Mercosur residence in Argentina without the need to present a work contract to the authorities. Temporary Mercosur residence is granted for 2 years and enables the individual to work and to apply for permanent residence on expiry of the temporary residence.

  • Hiring options

    Employee

    Full-time, part-time, fixed-term, indefinite-term employees or trainees.

    The following factors tend to indicate a labor relationship: availability to work for his/her employer; an employer who directs and subordinates the individual; an employer who instructs the services and duties required and creates the individual's schedule. Courts will also look at the extent to which the worker depends economically on the employer.

    Independent contractor

    Contractors should only be engaged where there is no labor relationship, that is, no direction/subordination or economic dependence.

    Misclassification, that is failure to register an individual as an employee, or submission of an incomplete or defective registration, carries the risk of severe sanctions and fines from the authorities (including amounts owed to social security for unpaid contributions). In addition, steep fines are levied upon statutory severance, including the doubling of the amount of severance owed to a (misclassified) employee.

    Agency worker

    Employers can engage workers through agencies. Agencies must be authorized by the authorities to function as an agency.

    The employer will be jointly and severally liable with the agency for all labor obligations arising from the worker's employment.

  • Employment contracts & policies

    Employment contracts

    There is no general, legal requirement to execute employment contracts in a specific form – meaning that they can be in writing, made orally, etc. unless a specific law or collective convention applies and indicates otherwise. Notwithstanding, employers are advised to enter into a written employment contract.

    Probationary periods

    The maximum permitted duration of a probationary period is 3 months. After the end of the 3 month period, the employee will turn into an indefinite term employee.

    Policies

    The law does not require employers to have specific policies in place. Notwithstanding, there are some policies that are strongly recommended to prevent potential conflict, such as bonus policies.

    Third-party approval

    Third-party approval is not required for employment contracts or any policies.

  • Language requirements

    No statutory language requirements; however, in practice, employment contracts are drafted in Spanish.

  • Minimum employment rights

    Employees entitled to minimum employment rights

    The Employment Contract Law No. 20,744 (LCL) governs the minimum employment rights in Argentina.

    Pursuant to Article 3º of the LCL, the law governs everything related to the validity, rights and obligations of the parties, provided the employment contract is performed in Argentina, even if the contract was entered into abroad.

    The LCL applies to "workers" which covers not only employees working under an employment contract, but also other individuals who personally perform "work" or provide services for the employer.

    For this purpose, "work" should be understood as any legitimate activity that is provided in favor of someone who has the power to direct that work, through the payment of remuneration for those activities and/or services rendered.

    The main factors that will tend to indicate that an individual is an employee rather than a worker or self-employed worker, are:

    • The employee must be available to work for his/her employer
    • The employer will direct and subordinate the employee, appoint the services and duties required and order the employee to comply with a schedule

    Courts will also weigh the extent to which the worker depends economically on the income obtained from the alleged employer.

    Working hours

    The general maximum number of hours is 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week for all employed workers in public or private enterprises. Each extra hour worked above these limits is deemed to be overtime.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, Article No. 3 of Law No. 11,544, in its subsections a), b) and c) regulates exceptions to the abovementioned maximum limitation on working hours. The limitations do not apply to employees performing duties under the form of a "job team," that is, working in a special coordinating rotation system, nor to employees performing duties in high-level positions (main managers, directors etc.).

    Overtime

    Employees in Argentina are allowed to perform overtime. Overtime will be only compulsory in cases of danger or accidents or imminent force majeure, or by exceptional demands of the national economy or the company (Article No. 203 of the LCL).

    Overtime must be paid with a surcharge of 50%, calculated using the employee's usual salary if the overtime hours were worked during business days, and 100% on Saturday after 1pm, Sunday or holidays. In no event may employees work overtime of more than, 3 hours per day, 30 hours per month or 200 hours per calendar year.

    Wages

    The national minimum wage (NMW) is updated regularly by the National Council of Employment dependent of the Ministry of Production and Labor. The NMW rate as of December 2018 is AR$11,300.

    Most CBAs also provide for a specific minimum wage applicable to employees subject to the CBA.

    Vacation

    Employees with less than 5 years seniority are entitled to 14 calendar days after 6 months of work. This increases to 21 calendar days for employees with between 5 to 10 years of seniority; 28 days for employees with between 10 to 20 years of seniority, and 35 days for employees with more than 20 years of seniority. For employees with less than 6 months of service, employers must grant 1 day of vacation per worked month. Companies should grant vacation to their employees between October 1 to April 30 of the following year.

    Sick leave & pay

    Sick/accident leave of up to 3 months per year must be provided to employees with less than 5 years of seniority, while 6 months must be granted to employees with seniority of 5 years or longer. For employees with "family dependents" (generally understood to be the immediate family that economically depends on the employee’s wage and labor benefits), these periods are doubled, to 6 and 12 months, respectively.

    Maternity/parental leave & pay

    Pregnant employees may take leave of 45 days prior to giving birth and up to 45 days after giving birth. However, the employee may choose to reduce the leave prior to giving birth, but it may not be less than 30 days, and add those days to the maternity leave period after the birth of the child. In the event of premature birth, the period of the leave that has not been enjoyed before the birth will be added to the leave period after the childbirth. Further, the employee is entitled to earn her gross remuneration (without any withholding contributions made to the social security system), during maternity leave. The ANSES (as defined below) pays the remuneration of employees during maternity leave.

    Fathers are entitled to paid leave of 2 consecutive days for the birth of his child. There is no general regulation providing other parental leave after the birth of a child. 

  • Discrimination

    The law prohibits discriminatory acts or omissions based on race, religion, nationality, ideology, political or trade union opinion, sex, economic position, social condition or physical characteristics.

    In addition, Argentina has ratified international antidiscrimination conventions, such as the Convention of Belem do Pará and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

  • Benefits & pensions

    The Social Security National Administration (Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social, hereinafter ANSES) is the authority in charge of the administration of the social security system in Argentina, called Sistema Integrado de Jubilaciones y Pensiones (SIJP). Employers and employees are required to make contributions to the SIJP which provides for old age pension and disability benefits.

    To qualify for a statefunded pension distribution, male employees must be 65 years old, while female employees must be 60 years old. In both cases, in order to qualify for pension the employee must have contributed to the SIJP for a minimum of 30 years.

    Employers do not have a legal obligation to provide a private pension scheme for employees, as the employees are entitled to state pensions.

  • Data privacy

    The Data Privacy Law No. 24,766 sets limits to the type of personal data that may be collected by prohibiting the collection of sensitive personal data, such as data that is related to political or religious opinions, and regulates the collection, use, processing and transfer of personal data.

    Employers are allowed to monitor employee's work devices, provided the employee is duly notified in advance, and personal information is safeguarded and not disclosed.

  • Rules in transactions/business transfers

    Where there is an asset transfer that qualifies as a business transfer, all obligations arising from the employment contracts that the transferor has executed with its employees will be taken on by the transferee after the transfer. Employment contracts will continue with the transferee and the employees will retain their seniority with the transferor and the rights arising from it. Therefore, on the execution of the transfer, all employees are automatically transferred to the transferee, after their written consent has been obtained.

    Although in practice both internal consultations and collective consultation with trade unions are held before a business transfer takes place, the transferor and the transferee are not required by law to inform or consult employees on a business transfer. However, in order to perform the transfer of staff, the employee’s written consent must be given prior to the transfer. In the absence of this consent, the employee may terminate the employment, with the right to compensation.

    The transferor and the transferee will be jointly and severally liable for any dismissals that arise due to the transfer.

  • Employee representation

    Argentina is a highly unionized country with approximately 3,100 active trade unions with considerable political power. There are unions in nearly all sectors or industries.

    A trade union must be recognized by the Ministry of Production and Labor. Only recognized and authorized unions can enter into a CBA. Employers cannot recognize an unauthorized union voluntarily, not even for collective bargaining purposes.

    The National Constitution sets out collective labor rights in its Article No. 14 (bis), guaranteeing unions the right to collectively bargain and the right to strike.

    CBAs are very common in Argentina. There are different types of CBAs depending on the territory in which they are going to be enforceable. Some CBAs only govern employees within one specific company, whereas other CBAs govern employees performing certain activities in a geographical region or industry.

  • Termination

    Grounds

    Cause is not required for termination of employment; however, it is required to avoid payment of statutory severance. There is no exhaustive and/or exemplary list of behaviors that constitute cause for dismissal; therefore, whether a dismissal is with or without cause will depend on judicial judgment on a case by case basis. 

    Who is subject to termination laws?

    All employees.

    Prohibited or restricted terminations

    Public employees and union delegates cannot be dismissed without cause and without complying with the statutory procedure for these terminations. All other employees can be dismissed with payment of statutory severance, which will differ based on the case (maternity, illness, etc.)

    Pregnant employees are protected from dismissal. If a pregnant employee is dismissed within the period of 7-1/2 months before or after the date of childbirth, the pregnancy will be considered to be the cause of the dismissal, entitling the employee compensation for the discrimination equivalent to their annual salary, in addition to the applicable severance payment.

    Further, if a dismissal occurs 3 months before the marriage of an employee, or 6 months after it, the dismissed employee will be entitled to a special compensation.

    In order to dismiss employees on sick leave, employers must pay a special severance (full severance payment applicable for dismissal without cause, plus the salary which would be payable for the entire period the illness would be expected to last, according to medical opinion).

    Third-party approval for termination/termination documents

    Under Decree No. 1043/18 (effective as of November 14, 2018), employers wishing to dismiss indefinite term employees without cause must notify the Ministry of Production and Labor at least 10 business days before the decision goes into effect. This Decree is effective through March 31, 2019.

    As this decree was issued recently, there is no administrative or judicial case law interpreting the Decree.

    Mass layoff rules

    Prior to a mass dismissal, an employer must provide notice to the respective trade union that regulates the employer's industry. Collective consultation may be required depending on employee headcount.

    Prior to executing or communicating dismissals or suspensions due to force majeure, economic or technological causes that affects more than:

    • 15% of the employees where total headcount is less than 400
    • 10% of the employees where total headcount is between 400 and 1,000 and
    • 5% of the employees where total headcount is greater than 1,000

    Employers must comply with the Preventive Procedure of Companies Crisis (PPC) before the Ministry of Production and Labor. During this procedure, the company will engage in negotiation with the respective union acting on behalf of their members. The aim of this procedure is to avoid business shutdowns or bankruptcy. After the company files the request at the Ministry of Production and Labor, the Ministry will forward the claim within 2 business days of the filing to the other party for its response. After a response is made, a settlement hearing will be scheduled within the next 5 business days. If a settlement is not reached, the Ministry will open a "negotiating period" that must not extend beyond 10 business days. If the parties still do not reach to an agreement within that period, the PPC process will conclude. Notwithstanding this, in practice, this procedure normally takes longer than the law sets out.

    Notice

    In order to proceed with termination, employers must give notice to employees before the dismissal. 

    The term of this notice will depend on the seniority of employees:

    • During their probationary period, notice must be given to employees 15 days before termination
    • In order to dismiss employees who have completed the probationary period but who have less than 5 years of seniority, notice must be given 1 month prior to the dismissal and
    • Employees with more than 5 years' seniority must receive 2 months' notice before their dismissal

    Statutory right to pay in lieu of notice or garden leave

    Employers are permitted to pay in lieu of notice. Current legislation does not regulate nor prohibit garden leave.

    Severance

    An employee who is dismissed without reasonable cause is entitled to statutory severance of 1 month's salary for each year of service, or period longer than 3 months. This amount is calculated using the employee's highest monthly, regular compensation received in the last 12 months of work. This baseline cannot be more than 3 times the "monthly payment," which is the average of all compensation set out in the applicable CBA at the time of the dismissal (this average is periodically published). The Ministry of Production and Labor governs the updating of this average for every authorized trade union.  

    If the employee is not subject to a CBA (typically, senior employees), the limits applicable to the activity in which he/she performs duties will apply. In no case will the amount of the compensation payable be less than 1 month of real salary.

    Currently, in the Vizotti case, the Supreme Court of Justice has raised the basis for calculating compensation subject to a limit, establishing that it will be 67% of the employee's monthly and usual compensation, the amount to be multiplied by the years of service of the employee, based on constitutional reasons and in cases where the application of the legal limit imposes a reduction to the severance payment of more than 33%.

    This severance payment may be reduced or increased in other types of termination (eg, force majeure and lack or reduction of work; death of the employee; employer's bankruptcy; employee's retirement; employee's illness; employee's pregnancy; etc.)

  • Post-termination restraints

    Non-compete, customer non-solicitation and employee non-solicitation clauses are often used, especially when the employer and employee negotiate the terms and conditions of the termination of the employment.

    Restrictive covenants are capable of being enforced post-employment, provided the employee receives compensation for the restrictions. Therefore, consideration is required for valid restrictive covenants. The amount must be fair and in accordance with the salary of the employee, his/her position in the company, the agreements that the company intends to impose and the extent (period and territory) of the restrictive covenant.

    The law does not specifically regulate restrictive covenants. However, most restrictive periods range between 2 years to 5 years. However, under certain circumstances the court has enforced a 10 year post-termination restraint period, based on the business and the amount of consideration paid to the employee.

    Where an employee is in breach of an agreement, the employer can file a claim against the employee in court requesting compensation for damages. The complaint may include injunctive relief to stop the violation immediately. Alternatively, courts may declare the covenant null and void if it has been drafted too widely.

  • Waivers

    Pursuant to the LCL, any executed agreement that suppresses or reduces rights granted by the LCL, labor laws related to specific industries, collective agreements or individual employment contracts, either at the time of their agreement or execution, or the exercise of the rights arising from its termination, shall be null and void.

  • Remedies

    Discrimination

    Compensation is available as a remedy for discrimination or harassment. In case the event of a complaint based on harassment, the employee can file a claim requesting the payment of the statutory severance payment applicable to dismissals without cause and an additional amount for the pain and/or emotional distress caused by the harassment.

    Employers are liable for the acts of their employees. Therefore, the employer and the harasser will be declared jointly and severally liable for the payment of any compensation granted to the victim.

    Unfair dismissal

    Employees may challenge a dismissal without cause within 2 years of the dismissal and seek payment of statutory severance, plus interest and court fees. The complaint must be filed before the labor courts.

    Failure to inform & consult

    Not applicable for terminations as there are no consultation obligations.

  • Criminal sanctions

    Breaches of labor law do not entail a criminal breach or sanction unless such a breach or offense is specifically regulated by the National Criminal Code as a crime. In that case, criminal sanctions will be applied for the breach of criminal law and not for the breach of labor law.

  • Key contacts
    Osvaldo Jofre
    Osvaldo Jofre
    Cordova Francos [email protected]

Benefits & pensions

Argentina

The Social Security National Administration (Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social, hereinafter ANSES) is the authority in charge of the administration of the social security system in Argentina, called Sistema Integrado de Jubilaciones y Pensiones (SIJP). Employers and employees are required to make contributions to the SIJP which provides for old age pension and disability benefits.

To qualify for a statefunded pension distribution, male employees must be 65 years old, while female employees must be 60 years old. In both cases, in order to qualify for pension the employee must have contributed to the SIJP for a minimum of 30 years.

Employers do not have a legal obligation to provide a private pension scheme for employees, as the employees are entitled to state pensions.

Australia

Under the Superannuation Guarantee scheme, employers are effectively required to contribute 9.5% of employees' quarterly "earnings base" to employee superannuation funds. There is a minimum monthly wage that should be paid before an employee is entitled to the 9.5% and a maximum contribution base. Most employers make regular contributions to the employee superannuation fund rather than making lump sum quarterly or annual contributions.

Australian law also requires that all employers maintain adequate workers' compensation insurance for the benefit of workers injured during the course of their employment.

Austria

Currently, no benefits required above those covered under social insurance contributions.

Bahrain

In respect of Bahraini national employees, the employer is required to set up (and contribute to) a pension fund. All other employees are entitled to receive an End of Service Gratuity (EOSG) on termination calculated by reference to age and length of service unless the employer contracts out of these arrangements with their employees by providing a savings scheme or pension scheme.

Belgium

Currently, no benefits obligatory above those covered under social insurance contributions. Sectorial pension schemes within some joint committees. Strict legal framework with regard to complementary pension schemes.

Brazil

All Brazilian employees must be enrolled with the Brazilian Social Security System, which provides for pension and disability benefits, and public health coverage.

Employees must be granted transportation vouchers and benefits set out in collective bargaining agreements. Granting meal vouchers and a private health plan is not uncommon.

Canada

Employers are not required to provide benefits or pensions other than those provided through social security contributions (Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan and Employment Insurance regimes) and, in most jurisdictions, workers' compensation insurance. Many Canadian employers do, however, provide health and welfare benefits and some form of retirement savings program. In Quebec, employers are required to make a Registered Retirement Savings Plan available to employees through a third party provider but are not required to contribute on behalf of the employee.  

Chile

The employer is required to withhold from the salary, the following amounts for social security purposes:

  • 10% for retirement savings (capped at 79.2 UF Unidades de Fomento - approximately US$3,250)
  • 7% for health insurance and capped at 79.2 UF Unidades de Fomento - approximately US$3,250)
  • 0.6% for unemployment insurance (capped at 118.9 UF Unidades de Fomento - approximately US$4,900)

Contributions for retirement and health insurance are not mandatory in the following circumstances

  • foreign staff with technical skills or university diplomas who prove that they have protection abroad for contingencies of health, old age retirement, disablement and death or
  • seconded workers from a country with which there is a social security treaty in force

Contributions for unemployment insurance are always mandatory.

In addition, employers, are required to contribute to a workers compensation fund that compensates workers when they are injured on the job or are diagnosed with occupation-related diseases.

Employers have no legal obligation to provide fringe benefits, other than benefits which may be voluntarily agreed upon in individual or collective agreements. There is no legal obligation to provide catering facilities, meals and transportation, however it is a common practice to pay modest allowances in compensation for such perks.

Additionally, the labor reforms that took effect in April 2017 bar employers from extending benefits negotiated as a part of collective bargaining agreement to non-union employees without obtaining the union's consent.

China

Employers and employees are required to contribute to certain mandatory social insurance and housing fund schemes in China. Social insurance includes pension, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance. The minimum contributions required by employers and employees are determined by the local labor and social security bureaus.

Colombia

Employees in Colombia must be enrolled in the social security system (for pension, health and labor risks) and employers have the obligation to make the corresponding monthly contributions on time.

If foreign employees are covered by the pension system in their home country, they are not obligated to be enrolled in the pension system and to pay monthly contributions to the Colombian pension system.

Social security contributions must be made as follows:

Contributions1 Rate Employer Employee
Pension 16% 12% 4%
Health 12.5% 8.5%  4%
Solidarity pension Fund 1%-2% N/A  1%-2%
Professional Risks2 0.348% - 8.7% 0.348% - 8.7% N/A
Payroll Taxes3 4% or 9% 4% or 9% N/A
1The basis to calculate contributions to the social security system (pensions, solidarity pension fund, health and professional risks) is the ordinary monthly salary earned by the employee. However, if the monthly salary exceeds 25 times the minimum wage, contributions to the social security system will be calculated on the maximum basis of 25 times the minimum wage. Non-salary payments agreed between the employer and the employee are not included in the basis to calculate social security contributions, if such payments do not exceed 40% of the employee’s compensation. If these non-salary payments exceed 40%, the difference will be subject to social security contributions.
In case of employees earning integral salary, 70% of salary will be the basis to calculate contributions to the social security system. However, if 70% of the integral salary is more than 25 times the minimum wage, contributions to the social security system will be calculated on the maximum basis of 25 times the minimum wage.
2The contribution to the Solidarity Pension Fund only applies for employees who earn more than 4 times the legal minimum wage. This payment is equivalent to 1% of the monthly salary, but in the case of employees earning more than 16 times the minimum wage, the rate will be increased as follows: between 16 and 17 times the minimum wage, an extra 0.2%; between 17 and 18 times the minimum wage, an extra 0.4%; between 18 and 19 times the minimum wage, an extra 0.6%; between 19 to 20 times the minimum wage, an extra 0.8%; and between 20 and 25 times the minimum wage, an extra 1%. Contributions to the solidarity fund also have the cap of 25 times the minimum wage.
3Contributions to SENA, ICBF, Family Compensation Fund (payroll taxes) shall be calculated based on the ordinary monthly salary earned by the employee, including any paid rest, such as vacation. For employees who earn less than 10  times the minimum wage, contributions to ICBF and SENA do not apply. In case of employees earning integral salary, 70% of salary will be the basis for this contribution. Non-salary payments are excluded from payroll taxes. Payroll taxes do not have any ceiling.

Czech Republic

Obligatory pension insurance scheme (21.5% paid by the employer; 6.5% paid by the employee). No additional benefits required. 

Denmark

All employees must pay tax and labor market contributions which are deducted from the employee's gross salary. These deductions go to fund state benefits.

There is a mandatory Danish Labor Market Supplementary Pension, to which an employer pays DKK 180 per month for full-time employees, and the employees pay DKK 90 per month. There is no requirement to contribute to additional pension schemes unless this requirement is specified in a collective agreement or imposed by the employer's internal guidelines.

Finland

A statutory and mandatory earnings-related pension scheme accrues pension for all employees who are at least age 17 (as of 2017). Additional collective pension scheme rights may be agreed upon in a CBA. Collective and individual additional pension schemes are also possible, either where unilaterally provided by the employer or agreed contractually as a term of employment.

Employees are often entitled to fringe benefits, such as lunch, mobile phone or car benefits.

France

State social system provides for social security, welfare and pension coverage. In addition, since January 1, 2016, employers must offer healthcare insurance coverage to all employees. All employers, regardless of the size of the company, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and associations, are covered (with some rare exceptions).

CBAs and/or employment contracts can provide for additional mandatory benefits (complementary welfare coverage for all employees, supra-complementary pension plan, etc.). CBAs can also provide for minimum benefits entitlements (minimum welfare contribution rates, insurance bodies to be affiliated to, etc.).

Retirement upon the employee's initiative: initial entitlement to base retirement set at the age of 62 for employees born January 1st, 1955, or later; for those born between July 1st, 1951 and December 31st, 1954, the legal retirement age is gradually increased.

Retirement upon the employer's initiative: restricted under 70 years old. "Clause couperet," ie, clauses under which the employment relationship will automatically terminate at a specific age limit, are prohibited under French labor law.

Germany

No benefits required above those covered under social insurance contributions. Employers are required to provide all employees with an option to enroll in a deferred salary pension insurance plan with the administration costs borne by the employer.

Hong Kong

Subject to certain exemptions (for example, for people from overseas who enter Hong Kong for employment and who holds an employment visa with a validity period of less than 13 months or are covered by an overseas retirement scheme), once an employee has been employed for 60 days, the employer is required to enroll the employee into a Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) scheme. Generally, both the employer and the employee are required to contribute a minimum of 5% of the employee's "relevant income" up to a capped maximum amount of HK$1,500 (which may be adjusted from time to time). Relevant income includes wages, salaries, leave pay, fee, commission, bonus, gratuity, housing allowance, housing benefits, any perquisite or allowance. It does not include any non-monetary benefits, severance payments or long-service payments.

Hungary

The benefits offered to an employee will usually depend on his or her seniority within the company. At manager or director level, employees are likely to be offered a company car and/or mobile telephone, etc.

It is usual to provide employees with a range of optional fringe benefits (eg, contribution to a pension/healthcare fund, contribution to travel expenses, food vouchers, vouchers for holiday, etc.) on the basis of the respective Fringe Benefit Policy. Commonly, up to a pre-defined maximum amount, employees can select from among the options offered in line with their own preferences.

The Hungarian pension system consists of 2 pillars:

  • The state pillar is the social security pension scheme
  • The private pillars, which might be a privately managed pension scheme with voluntary contributions; a pension advance-saving account kept by a bank; or an employer's pension scheme (which are non-existent in practice)

India

Benefits

Benefits depend on a number of factors, such as the size of the employer, the industry and the employee’s length of service, including:

  • Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 provides for a lump sum amount payable on termination of employment after 5 years of service. In case of termination due to death or disablement, the employee will be entitled to the lump sum amount irrespective of length of service. The rate of gratuity payable is calculated at the rate of 15 days' wages for every completed year of service or part thereof in excess of 6 months and is currently is capped at INR 2 million.
  • Health benefits: The ESI Act provides for comprehensive medical care to eligible employees and their families. It also provides for cash benefits during sickness and maternity and monthly payments in case of death or disablement.
  • Employees Compensation Act, 1923 provides for the payment of compensation to an employee or his family in cases of employment-related injuries, death, and temporary or permanent disability.
  • Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 envisages payment of bonus to employees earning less than INR 21,000 per month.

Pensions

Pension/s in India can be divided into three categories:

  • Government pensions covering government employees)
  • Pension schemes governed by Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF Act)
  • Voluntary pensions

It is mandatory for every Indian employee drawing a monthly salary capped at INR 15,000 per month to be enrolled under the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme (EPFS). It is mandatory for expatriate workers to be enrolled under the EPFS, irrespective of their salary.

Indonesia

It is mandatory for every company or individual employer to register its employees with the SJSN programs (subject to the minimum number of employees below). The SJSN programs are divided into 2 main categories, namely:

  • Public health security, which is applicable for all Indonesian citizens
  • Social security, which covers occupational accident security, death security, old age security and pension security

The programs are run by the Social Security Agency (BPJS). The public health security program is managed by BPJS Kesehatan, whereas the social security programs, including occupational accident, death, pension and old age securities, are managed by BPJS Ketenagakerjaan. Employers should register their employees with the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan social security programs which are relevant to the employer's business scale. All employers should register their employees with the BPJS Kesehatan public health security program regardless of the number of employees in their company. The SJSN programs also extend to cover foreign employees who work in Indonesia for at least 6 months.

Ireland

No compulsory benefits beyond those covered by social insurance contributions.

Israel

Mandatory pension with minimum contributions (including distributions towards severance pay). Employees are also entitled to transportation expenses. Employees working over a year are entitled to recuperation pay, based on seniority (starting at 5 days) and payable on a monthly or annual basis, according to the employer's preference. Recuperation pay is much like vacation pay in other jurisdictions and is intended to be used for vacation or recuperation purposes and is normally paid between June and September. An additional benefit known as "Education Fund" is common, and provides tax breaks for employer and employee disbursements set aside for at least 6 years.

Italy

Enrollment in the social security public system and public insurance of employees is mandatory for all employers.

In addition to the ordinary social security and insurance, collective bargaining agreements provide for supplementary forms of social security/health care insurance.

Japan

There are 4 main types of social security systems with current rates as follows:

  • Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance: from 0.25% to 8.9%, depending on business which an employee engages in, on annual earnings
  • Employment Insurance: with the exception of some businesses, the employee pays 0.4% and the employer pays 0.7% on annual earnings
  • Health Insurance/Nursing Care Insurance: The costs are different according to prefecture. In Tokyo, 11.55% for an employee between age 40 to 64 and 9.91% for an employee under age 40 or over 64 (as of March 2017). The employer and employee equally bear the contribution
  • Employee's Pension Insurance: 18.182% (October 2016 - August 31, 2017), which is equally borne by the employer and employee

No obligation to provide additional benefits above those already covered, but it is fairly common to provide bonuses and retirement allowances.

Japan has a government sponsored pension plan that generally pays employees benefits if the employee has been paying into the system for at least 10 years. All persons employed in Japan pay into the system, even foreign nationals working in Japan (subject to any social security totalization agreements).

Kenya

Other than providing housing or a housing allowance, contributions to the NHDF, the NSSF and NHIF statutory pension and medical contribution, the employer is not mandated to provide any further benefits.

NSSF – this is a basic social security / pension provision which is mandatory for all employees. The employer is required to deduct the employee's contribution from the employee's income and make a matching contribution to the NSSF Fund for the employee's benefit. Currently, the contributions are KES 200 from the employer and KES 200 from the employee.

The NSSF Act 2013 came into force in January 2014 and sought to increase the contributions by both employers and employees to 6% of the employee's pensionable earning, with an equal matching contribution being made by the employer. However, this provision is yet to come into force, owing to an ongoing suit in court objecting to the new contribution rates.

 

NHIF – this is a contribution made by the employee towards mandatory basic health insurance. The deduction is made entirely out of the employee's income with no matching contribution from the employer. The employer is mandated to deduct the contribution from the employees' monthly income and remit it to the fund.

NHIF deduction amount is based on the employee's gross pay with a maximum limit of KES 1,700/- per month.

PAYE deductions on a graduated scale, up to a maximum rate of 30%.

The Industrial Training Levy is paid by the employer with respect to each employee at the rate of KES 50 per month per employee.

NHDF - The Finance Act, 2018 brought about an amendment to Section 31 of the Employment Act, 2007 introducing a new section 31A which requires both the employer and employee to contribute to the National Housing Development Fund at the rate of 1.5% of the monthly basic salary up to a maximum of KES. 5,000 per month.

Employers are required to remit the contributions by the 9th day of the following month.

This provision is expected to come into force by  January1 , 2019 after the gazettement of implementing regulations.

Kuwait

In most cases for Kuwaiti national employees and GCC national employees, the employer is required to set up (and contribute to) a pension fund. All other employees may be eligible to receive an end-of-service gratuity (EOSG) on termination, calculated by reference to length of service, unless the employer contracts out of these arrangements with its employees by providing a savings scheme or pension scheme. EOSG is reduced if the employee resigns within the first 10 years of service.

Luxembourg

Employers have no legal obligations to provide complementary/supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme.

Malaysia

All private sector Malaysian employees must be members of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), which is a government agency under the Ministry of Finance. The EPF manages employees' compulsory savings plan and retirement planning. Contributing to and registering with the EPF is mandatory for certain classes of employees, and employees for whom it is not mandatory can also voluntarily opt to contribute to and be registered with the EPF. EPF funds are derived from mandatory contributions from the employers (the rate of contribution is based on the relevant schedule of monthly wages, depending on the classification of the employee) and deductions from the employees' monthly salaries (the rate of contribution is based on the relevant schedule of monthly wages, depending on the classification of the employee).

The Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) is a financial support scheme intended to assist employees who have lost their jobs due to retrenchments and other specific reasons. The EIS provides financial support, trainings, and other related assistance to employees for up to 6 months post-termination. Employers and employees are required to contribute 0.2% respectively of an employee's salary to fund the EIS.

Mexico

The Social Security Law regulates employer, employee, and government participation in different federal social benefit programs through the Mexican Institute for Social Security (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS)). Registration of an employee with the IMSS relieves the employer from the following risks and obligations:

  • Work-injury related risks
  • Health and maternity insurance
  • Disability pension and life insurance
  • Retirement, advanced age and pension
  • Child care and social benefits

Companies must set aside 10% of their taxable income for employee profit sharing, in accordance with the rules established in the Mexican Income Tax Law.

Morocco

Mandatory enrollment of employees in the social security fund called Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale which provides health insurance and pension. Employee's contribution is approximately 7% and employer's contribution is approximately 25%.

Mozambique

Employees must be enrolled with the social security system, which ensures minimum subsistence and material security of employees in the event of illness or incapacity, old age or the survival of their family members in the case of their death. Complementary pension funds have specific regimes and are permissible.

Myanmar

There are no mandatory pension obligations, except for civil servants. A retired employee who has paid contributions to the Health and Social Care fund for at least 180 months is entitled to medical treatment provided by a specified clinic.

Some companies voluntarily provide benefits, such as private health insurance coverage, provident funds, other savings plans, and employee stock option plans (ESOPs), for their employees. Voluntary benefits are not regulated and are offered through and detailed within internal company policies or other documentation; thus, information on the extent of voluntary benefits that companies are providing is scarce.

Netherlands

In many industry sectors, a mandatory industry-wide pension fund applies. Employees who work in such a sector are required by law to participate in that pension fund, and their employers are required by law to pay pension premiums to the fund. In sectors without such an industry-wide pension fund, the employer usually sets up its own pension plan for its employees.

New Zealand

New Zealand has an optional superannuation saving scheme, "KiwiSaver." Employers may provide a private superannuation scheme if they wish to.

New Zealanders qualify for a government pension payment at age 65.

Nigeria

Employees are entitled to the following benefits under the Nigerian law: life insurance, employer's contributions (minimum 10% of monthly salary) to the employee's retirement saving account, medical care under the National Health Insurance Scheme paid for by the employer, contribution to National Social Insurance Trust Fund for social security payments for occupational injury or disease - the employer is required to pay a monthly contribution of 1% of the monthly payroll of all the employees.

Norway

Occupational injury insurance and contributions to a mandatory occupational pension scheme are required.

Oman

The Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI) pays social service benefits to Omani and GCC national employees who have subscribed to the scheme. Private sector employers are therefore required to make monthly contributions to the PASI scheme.

All other employees are entitled to receive an End of Service Gratuity (EOSG) on termination calculated by reference to salary and length of service, unless the employer contracts out of these arrangements with their employees by providing a savings scheme or pension scheme.

Philippines

13th month pay

Payment of 13th month pay equivalent to 1/12 of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year on or before the December 24 of every year is mandatory.

Separation pay

Separation pay is payable as

  • the employer's statutory obligation in cases of legal termination due to authorized causes under Articles 297 or 298 of the Labor Code of the Philippines
  • as financial assistance as an act of social justice
  • in lieu of reinstatement in illegal dismissal cases where the employee is ordered reinstated but reinstatement is not feasible or
  • as an employment benefit granted in a Collective Bargaining Agreement or Company Policy

Retirement pay

An employee, upon reaching the age of 60 years or more, but not beyond 65 years which is hereby declared the compulsory retirement age, who has served at least 5 years in the establishment, is entitled to a retirement pay equivalent to at least 1/2 month salary for every year of service, a fraction thereof of at least 6 months being considered a whole year.

Poland

The state social system provides for health insurance and pension coverage. On January 1, 2019, a new form of saving was introduced into the Polish legal system that allows the accumulation of additional funds for retirement into employee pension plans. Contributions to employee pension plans will be financed by the employer (1.5% of the remuneration) and by the employee (2% of the remuneration) – with limited options to increase these amounts. The introduction of employee pension schemes will take place in several phases. Initially, the obligation to create a scheme will apply only to employers with at least 250 employees, but the ultimate target is that all employers in Poland will be obliged to create a scheme.

There is a unified retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men.

Portugal

Both employer and employee have to pay contributions to the Social Security in Portugal to cover different protections (sick leave payment, maternity leave payment, unemployment benefit and retirement pension). The employer must withhold the contribution due by the employee and deliver both contributions (employer and employee) to the Social Security every month.

Current general rates are 11% of the gross wage for the employee and 23.75% for the employer.

Employees with a minimum contributory period (15 years) qualify for a retirement pension at age 66 and 5 months (or earlier in case of involuntary long-term unemployment or for some professions) or in cases of total incapacity. Possibility of a paid pre-retirement agreement between employer and employees aged over 55.

Employers have no legal obligation to provide complementary/supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme. However, some companies – mostly large companies or multinational companies who have their own schemes worldwide – set up and provide private complementary health and pension schemes to their employees.

Qatar

It is mandatory for Qatari nationals working for government entities or joint stock companies (public or private) to be registered with the relevant pension authority. In addition, there are other companies that have been specifically made subject to this requirement pursuant to special resolutions issued by the Council of Ministers of Qatar. Employers are required to contribute to the pension fund and deduct employee contributions from the employee's salary.

All employees are entitled to receive an end-of-service gratuity (EOSG) on termination, calculated by reference to length of service, unless the employer contracts out of these arrangements with its employees by providing a savings scheme or pension scheme that is at least as lucrative as the EOSG payout. There are certain conditions under the Labor Law, which if present, would absolve an employee's right to an EOSG.

Qatar has adopted a wages protection system (WPS) whereby all employees must be paid in QAR once a month directly into a local bank account, or, for some categories of workers, every two weeks. The requirements took effect on November 2, 2015. Firms that flout the new rules risk penalties that may include monetary fines and an imprisonment term. While the requirement to pay via WPS only applies to employers under the Labor Law, in practice, the WPS is also used by a number of employers within the QFC.

Romania

Currently, there are no general benefits applicable by law to all employees, but some that apply only in specific cases (such as employees working under a mobility clause).

In Romania, occupational pensions are not expressly regulated, and private pensions are not typically provided in practice as an employment benefit. By law, all employees are insured under the state statutory pension system, and social security (pension) contributions are currently made by employees, provided they work in normal conditions. For employees who work in particular or special conditions, there is an additional contribution to the pension fund, paid by the employer.

Russia

Currently, there are no benefits required other than those covered under social insurance contributions.

Saudi Arabia

Medical insurance is required for all employees, their male dependents under the age of 25, and their female dependents until they marry or until their sponsorship is transferred.

Pension is only payable for Saudi and GCC nationals. Pension is paid to the General Organisation of Social Insurance (GOSI). The total cost of GOSI insurance for Saudi nationals is 22%, of which 10% is paid by the employee and the remaining 12% is borne by the employer. All employees also receive an end of service gratuity on termination. However, where a GCC nationals is working in KSA, the applicable contribution is the rate which would have been imposed by the GCC State where the individual holds nationality.

Singapore

For employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents, the employer is required to make mandatory contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF).

Benefits offered to an employee will usually depend upon his or her level of seniority within the organization. EA Employees are entitled to minimum standards of benefits under the applicable part of the EA. Those at the managerial and/or executive level are likely to be offered additional benefits, which are usually contractually provided for. Many organizations provide for leave pay, occupational sick pay and notice requirements in excess of statutory entitlement to a wide range of employees.

Slovak Republic

No benefits required above those covered by way of social insurance contributions. There is a state pension system provided by the government.

South Africa

The contract of employment will determine whether the employee is entitled to any further benefits, including subsistence, travel and pension allowances, bonuses or acting-up allowances.

No obligation that employees should belong to a retirement fund.

South Korea

Employers must subscribe to mandatory social insurance programs, the National Pension, the National Health Insurance, the Unemployment Insurance and the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance.

Spain

Minimum benefits and pensions fixed by law and covered by the Social Security Scheme. CBAs may establish further benefits or pensions complementing those set out by the public system.

Sweden

In general, benefits are either introduced by the individual contract of employment or by the collective bargaining agreement. The benefits provided to an employee usually depend on his or her level of seniority in the organization. Common benefits, at least for persons at a more senior level, are: additional paid holidays; contributions to a private pension insurance; health and death insurance; mobile telephone; company car/car allowance; and contributions from the employer during parental leave (in addition to what is paid from the Swedish state). Collective bargaining agreements typically include provisions regarding payment of pension contributions into private pension insurance. Benefits are generally subject to social security charges to be paid by the employer and taxes to be paid by the employee.

Switzerland

Old-age, survivors and disability risks are covered by a three-tier system: first tier: mandatory social security contributions (AVS/AI); second tier: mandatory occupational insurance (the employer can agree to an occupational insurance plan over and above the mandatory requirements); third tier (optional and not related to the employment relationship): voluntary payments with tax exemption.

Taiwan

Labor and National Health Insurance systems covered through payroll deductions and contributions. There are 2 pension systems (older LSA and New Pension Act). Foreigners are only allowed to participate in the LSA pension system, unless they are married to a Taiwanese citizen or are a permanent resident.

Thailand

Statutory benefits

Workmen's Compensation Fund

Thailand has a worker's compensation scheme which requires employers to pay medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, or funeral expenses, as the case may be, incurred by employees due to injuries, sickness, rehabilitation, disappearance or death caused by accidents arising out of and in the course of employment. The current employer contribution rate (on yearly basis) is 0.2-1% of the total salary, payable to the employees subject to the types of business and as determined by the social security office, by January 31 of each year.

Social Security Fund

Every employer is required to register with the Social Security Fund. The government, employer and employee jointly contribute to the fund every time wages are paid. The rate of contribution is 5% of an employee's salary, with a maximum of THB 750 per month. As a member of the Social Security Fund, an employee is entitled to receive compensation benefits in non-work-related cases.

Voluntary benefits

Provident Fund

An employer may alternatively and voluntarily establish a Provident Fund, which is used to provide security to an employee in the case of death, termination of employment, or resignation from the fund. The employee can contribute a minimum of 2% to a maximum of 15% of his/her wages depending on the policy of the service provider, and the employer would normally contribute no less than the employee's contribution.

Turkey

With the amendments in the Private Pension Savings and Investments System Law No. 4632, it became compulsory for employers to include employees under 45 years in a private pension plan.

Under the system, if the employer employs five or more employees, it must execute a private pension plan agreement with one or more pension companies and must enroll its employees, who are younger than the age of 45 in the relevant pension plan(s). The employer must deduct the contribution fee (ie, 3% of the gross salary of the employee) from the monthly salaries and deposit such fees with the pension companies.

Uganda

Currently, no benefits required above those covered under social security contributions.

 

Ukraine

Employers must make regular deductions from employees' salaries for contributions to the state pension fund. Private pension plans can be implemented at employers' discretion.

United Arab Emirates

In respect of UAE national employees and GCC national employees, the employer is required to enrol in and make contributions themselves and employee deductions for the state pension funds. High earners in the UAE and GCC are entitled to an end-of-service gratuity (EOSG) for their earnings over AED 50,000. All other employees are entitled to receive an EOSG on termination based on their full earnings, calculated by reference to age and length of service, unless the employer contracts out of these arrangements with its employees by providing a savings scheme or pension scheme. The EOSG is reduced if the employee resigns within the first 5 years of service and is forfeited if the employee is summarily dismissed for one of the reasons under Article 120 of the UAE Labor Law.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi each have their own health insurance laws that apply across the respective emirates, including in the free zones, and which require all employers to provide compulsory health insurance to every employee. In Abu Dhabi, mandatory cover for employees extends to each employee's dependents (ie, a spouse and up to three children under the age of 18). In Dubai, coverage for dependants is not compulsory; however, it is common practice to extend cover to include family members.

United Kingdom

Currently, no benefits required above those covered under social insurance contributions.

There is a state pension system provided by the government, with eligibility determined by the national insurance contributions that have been paid or credited. Employers are required to automatically enroll eligible workers into a pension scheme and pay minimum contributions. Workers who are automatically enrolled have a right to opt out of the scheme.

United States

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) requires certain employers to provide insurance for their employees or pay a penalty. By state law, employers generally must maintain workers' compensation insurance for on-the-job injuries, and unemployment insurance to provide benefits to former employees in the event of a qualified involuntary termination of employment. No retirement benefits or pensions are required unless included in a written agreement (eg, a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union), but, where provided, their administration is governed by federal law.

Venezuela

Venezuelan labor laws establish an obligation to deposit a "guarantee of severance" quarterly. This deposit must be made in a severance fund, a company account or bank trust, and the amount is based on the salary of the employee (see under "Severance" below).

The Workers' Food Law obligates employers to grant a balanced meal during the workday to all employees. This benefit can be delivered by installing eating facilities in locations close to the workplace, hiring companies specializing in meal supply, or granting electronic cards, coupons, or tickets to the employees. The Venezuelan government establishes a monthly amount equivalent to the value of VES180.00.

Vietnam

The compulsory retirement age is 60 years old for men and 55 years old for women. The retirement age may be increased by up to 5 years for employees with high technical expertise, for those at managerial-level positions, or in a number of other special cases.

A retiree is entitled to a monthly pension financed by the social insurance fund, if that person has reached retirement age and has been paying into the fund for at least 20 years. Men and women are entitled to the same maximum pension rates. Lower pension rates may apply to those who only partially satisfy the above requirements. A lump-sum payment may apply where an employee fails to meet the above requirements.