Engage In Brazil

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About Brazil

Capital City

Brasilia

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Brazil is 216.4 million.

Currency

The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL). The currency symbol is R$.

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Overview

Brazil, officially known as the Federative Republic of Brazil, is a country located in South America. Covering an area of approximately 8.5 million square kilometers, it is the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil shares borders with almost all other South American countries, only Chile and Ecuador being exceptions. With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil is the seventh most populous country globally. Its capital is Brasília, while São Paulo stands as the most populous city. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, making it the only country in the Americas with Portuguese as its official language. The country’s diverse ethnic makeup includes significant percentages of White, mixed, Black, East Asian, and Indigenous populations. Christianity is the predominant religion, with Catholicism being the largest denomination. Brazil operates under a federal presidential constitutional republic system of government. Home to breathtaking natural wonders like the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands, Brazil is renowned for its rich biodiversity. The country also offers vibrant cities, beautiful coastlines, and a diverse cultural heritage that encompasses music, dance, cuisine, and festivities.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

Employment agreements are typically concluded for an indefinite term and at will, meaning either party can terminate without cause, upon mandatory prior notice, and, in the case of an employer-initiated termination, payment of severance. The first 90 days of a contract for an indefinite period is considered the probation period, and no severance is owed if employment is terminated within 90 days.  

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Brazilian labor law prohibits hiring workers on a fixed-term contract for tasks of a permanent nature. Fixed-term contracts can only be signed for services whose nature or transience justifies the predetermination of the term or for business activities of a transitory nature. Fixed-term employment contracts can be executed for a maximum period of 2 years and may be renewed for the same period once. If the employment relationship continues, the contract is then considered to be for an indefinite period. There are restrictions on the number of fixed term employees in an organization, depending on the total number of employees. 

Temporary Employment Contratcs

Companies can outsource all jobs and use third-party service providers to temporarily replace staff or meet the demand for services. The initial term of a temporary contract is 180 days which can be extended by 90 days (whether consecutive or not). The third-party service provider and the client company are jointly responsible for guaranteeing the temporary workers' safety, hygiene, and health.  

Probationary Period

In Brazil, the first 90 (ninety) days of an employment contract for an indefinite period are considered the trial period, and the employer can dismiss the employee within this period without paying compensation at the end of the period. Employees who work beyond the probationary period are considered to be under an indefinite contract.

Working Hours

In Brazil, the maximum working hours are 8 hours a day and 44 hours a week for daytime workers, with reductions allowed for hazardous jobs and night workers. Daily working hours can be increased to 12 hours per day; however, the weekly limit of 44 hours remains. If an employee works 12 hours per day, he or she is entitled to 36 hours of weekly rest. Employees who work outside the employer’s establishment and those in management positions are not subject to working time limitations. The definition of remote work has been expanded to include hybrid schedules, provided that the hybrid schedule is explicitly described in the employment contract.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Carnival - 2 days holiday; dates subject to change every year
  • Ash Wednesday - date subject to change every year
  • Good Friday – date subject to change every year
  • Tiradentes Day - April 21
  • Labor Day - May 1
  • Corpus Christi - date subject to change every year
  • Independence Day - September 7
  • Our Lady of Aparecida - October 12
  • Civil Servants' Day - October 25
  • Public Service Day - October 28
  • All Souls' Day - November 2
  • Republic Day - November 15
  • Christmas Eve (from 2 p.m.) - December 24
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • New Year's Eve (from 2 p.m.) - December 31

Paid Annual Leave

In Brazil, all employees are entitled to annual leave. The accrual of annual leave is not affected by the length of service. Instead, the amount an employee is entitled to depends on the number of unjustified absences during the year.  Workers are entitled to paid annual leave after each year of service based on the following: 30 days, when the employee has missed up to five calendar days of work 24 days, when there are six to 14 days of absence 18 days, when there are 15 to 23 days of absence 12 days, when there are 24 to 32 days of absence Collective leave, available to all employees or certain sectors of the company, may be an option, depending on the collective agreement.  The remuneration for annual leave must be paid in advance. In addition to the vacation pay, a bonus is paid as 1/3rd of the remuneration for the duration of the leave.  

Sick Leave

In Brazil, employees are entitled to paid leave if they are sick or injured. The employer pays the first 15 days of sick leave at the employee's normal salary. From the 16th day onward, the National Institute of Social Security pays the sick leave at rates fixed by the government.   The employee's contract is considered temporarily suspended while they are on sick leave. 

Maternity Leave

In Brazil, female employees are entitled to 120 days (approximately 17 weeks) of paid maternity leave: 28 days before and 91 days after delivery and an extension of a maximum of 4 weeks on medical grounds (2 weeks before and 2 weeks after birth). Employees are paid 100% of their salary for the duration of leave, funded by the National Institute of Social Security. Through the Corporate Citizenship Program (Programa Empresa Cidadã) established under Law 11.770 of 2008, organizations may extend the maternity leave for their workers by an additional 60 days. The employer bears the total cost of this 60-day leave. However, this amount can be deducted from the organization's corporate income taxes.

Paternity Leave

In Brazil, male employees in the private sector are entitled to five consecutive calendar days of paid paternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child. If the company is enrolled in a government program called "Empresa Cidadã," paternity leave may be extended to 20 days.  Employees in the federal public sector are entitled to 20 calendar days of paternity leave. At the state and municipal levels, entitlement to the additional leave period varies.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

In Brazil, an employer wishing to cancel an employment contract of indefinite duration without just cause must give 30 days' notice or pay in lieu of notice for workers who have been with the company for at least one year. The notice requirement will increase by 3 days for every year of service up to a maximum of 60 days, thus making a total notice period of 90 days for an employee with 20 years of service. During the notice period, an employee's regular working hours are reduced by 2 hours per day without prejudice to the full salary.

Severance Benefits

Employees in Brazil are entitled to a termination payment (verbas rescisórias) in the event of dismissal. The legal obligations for the employers depend upon the duration of the contract as well as the type of termination. Benefits range from salary balance, prior notice entitlement, prorated salary for 13th month, prorated vacations, and total balance available from the Federal Service Indemnity Fund (FGTS, Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço) severance fund.

Social Security

Pension

Retirement pension eligibility is based on age (65 for men and 62 for women). The amount of pension for those who fulfill the necessary contribution period is calculated as: 60% of the average of 80% of income for which social security contributions have been made since July 1994 2% is added for each year of contribution beyond the minimum required The amount of pension may not be less than the minimum wage, nor can it exceed the RGPS ceiling, currently BRL 7,786.02 (Brazilian reals) per month. Apart from the public retirement system, some companies provide their employees with a private pension plan, which can be defined by the company on the amounts of contributions by both the employer and the employee, which are subject to specific rules issued by a government agency called Superintendencia de Seguros Privados (SUSEP), with two types of plans available for employees. One is administered by complementary pension institutions and complements national insurance, while the other is characterized as life insurance.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

In Brazil, the dependents and survivors of an insured worker are provided for by the National Institute of Social Security in the event of the worker’s death. The death pension, which must be equivalent to the retirement benefit that the insured is due to, is released to them monthly. The pension is split equally among eligible survivors. If one survivor ceases to be eligible, the pensions for the remaining survivors are recalculated. Survivors are entitled to 50% of the pension the deceased received or was eligible to receive (100% of the minimum wage for rural workers), plus 10 percentage points per dependent, up to a maximum of 100%.  The amount of pension may not be less than the minimum wage, nor can it exceed the RGPS ceiling, currently BRL 7,786.02 (Brazilian reals) per month. There are 13 payments made in a year, which are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living index or the minimum wage. 

Invalidity Benefit

Employees who retire due to disability receive a monthly pension once a medical examination by a licensed practitioner verifies total incapacity for work. To become eligible to receive this benefit, an employee must have at least 12 months of contributions. If the disability is the result of an accident, the contribution period is waived. The benefit is paid as long as the disability persists and the insured person can be reassessed by the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) every 2 years. The disability benefit is calculated by as 60% of the benefit salary (80% of the salary in the contribution period) of the employee, increased by 2% for each year of contributions that exceeds the time of 20 years of contribution for men, or 15 years of contribution, for women. Maximum monthly pension is BRL 7,087.22 (Brazilian reais) per month. Retirees due to disability who need permanent assistance from another person, under the conditions provided for by law, may be entitled to an increase of 25% in the value of their benefit, including the 13th salary.

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The tax year in Brazil runs from January 1 to December 31. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed exclusively on income sourced in Brazil. The source of income is determined based on the location of the income payer and is irrespective of where the work is performed. The monthly income tax is calculated based on a progressive tax rate between 0 and 27.5% for residents and flat rate 25% for non-residents. There are no provisions related to local, state, or provincial income taxes in Brazil. 

Immigration

Types of Visas

Visas in Brazil can be broadly classified into two groups: temporary and temporary residence visas. Temporary visas include: Tourist – applicants must hold a valid return ticket and provide proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of their stay; this visa does not permit any kind of work activity. Cooperation – for entering Brazil for participation in work that is part of an international cooperation program; includes conferences, professional training, as well as athletes, volunteers, and medical tourists. Business – similar to a tourist visa and covers business trips Temporary residence visas allow a longer duration and authorize the visitor to bring in household items. The duration of these visa types depends on the specific activity for which they are issued: Performers – for athletes or artists participating in paid events, as well as their support staff Student – for students and unpaid student interns Work – for people working in Brazil with or without an employment contract, including professional training and internship in Brazilian branches of international companies. Journalism – for media professionals. Religious – for clergymen and missionaries going to Brazil to undertake missionary or academic work. Additionally, there are also the following types of visas: Permanent – for people moving to Brazil permanently. Diplomatic – issued to diplomats and officials from governments or international organizations traveling to Brazil on an official visit.

Work Permit

A temporary visa (VITEM-V) may be given to those who wish to work in Brazil, as long as they have a work permit approved by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. There are multiple eligibility requirements, including working at a legally established Brazilian entity. The visa holder is required to register with the Federal Police within 90 days of the arrival in Brazil and obtain a residence permit.

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