Legal Magazine

The Basics of Brazilian Labor Laws

Posted on the 11 January 2013 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

It’s quite common for foreigners to say that hiring employees in Brazil is very expensive. The statement has a basis just by looking at the hiring process set forth in the 1943 Consolidation of Labor Laws, which to date regulate labor relations in Brazil.

Employers, both foreign and local, are obliged to adhere to it when hiring an employee. Besides having a set of labor rules, what makes hiring more expensive is the package of benefits that Brazilian employees have the right to receive, including social security benefits.

Foreigners shouldn’t be daunted by this. The best course to follow is to know more about the country’s labor laws and how Brazilian professionals behave.

Popularly known among locals as Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho (CLT), the major legislation was approved by President Getúlio Vargas in 1943. The CLT enumerates the following types of employment schemes: Celetista, Intern and Trainees, Trabalhador Cooperado, Self-Employed and Domestic Employee.

A celetista is one who works under the CLT regime. A celetista has a CTPS (carteira de trabalho e previdência social), a book where all labor-related information is recorded.

Interns are usually students who take a part-time job. They can work a maximum of six hours per day on a job that is related to the course they’re taking. Trainees are often new graduates and young professionals who work under the CLT regime and are to assume executive and managerial positions later.

Trabalhadores cooperados are workers belonging to a cooperative. Once a member, a worker is no longer considered party to the CLT since a cooperative has its own statute by which it is governed.

Self-employed workers are private individuals who provide services to a company without having any employment relationship with it. They don’t have fixed working hours and have no access to regular benefits, such as 13th month salary and paid vacations.

Domestic employees provide domestic services to a household or an individual. Recently regulated by Law 11.324/2006, they are now entitled to benefits that regular CLT employees have, including maternity leave and 13th month salary.

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