Leave Policy in Brazil

Leave Policy in Brazil

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With some of the world's most extensive mining, agriculture, and manufacturing industries and a diverse market brimming with business opportunities, expanding into the Brazilian market can be beneficial for a range of businesses.

Successfully hiring employees in Brazil requires you to understand Brazil's labor law thoroughly. In Brazil, employees have a generous amount of time off annually. Additionally, employers must ensure that their employees take the appropriate vacation leave and may not replace paid time off with payment unless it's requested by the employee.

Foreign businesses must adhere to these laws when employing workers in Brazil. And that means understanding the local labor laws to stay compliant. Read on to learn more about how to comply with Brazil's leave policy and how Skuad can help you make sure it is seamless. 

Holiday Leave in Brazil

In Brazil, employees are entitled to paid time off depending on how long they've been employed. An employee who has been employed for a full year can take up to 30 paid days off annually. The employee may break up the 30 days into multiple vacation periods throughout the year. One period must be at least 14 days long, and two of the periods need to be at least five days long each.

The number of paid days off Brazilian employees get also depends on the number of unjustified absences they've taken in the year. The more unjustified absences an employee takes, the less paid time off they receive. Employees are entitled to holiday leave as follows:

Number of unjustified absences Number of days off for paid holiday leave
5 or fewer days 30 days
6 to 14 days 24 days
15 to 23 days 18 days
24 to 32 days 12 days
More than 32 days 0 days

Employees can prevent unjustified absences by presenting a document to their HR department proving a legitimate reason as to why they need to be absent. The company will determine whether that is a qualifying reason.

According to the official leave policy in Brazil, employers must pay employees their regular wage during their time off. In addition, employers must also give a vacation bonus that is equivalent to one-third of the employee's monthly salary. The employer must pay out this bonus at least two days before the start of the vacation date. Although this vacation bonus is paid at a different time from the regular payroll, your payroll department may record it with the monthly payroll.

Employees also have the right to work and be paid for one-third of their vacation period if they have unused vacation time. As the employer, you must pay them twice their wage for that time. It would be wise for employees to request a cash conversion for any unused vacation days, as they will not roll over to the following year.

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Bank Holiday in Brazil

In Brazil, employees are entitled to nine national holidays. There are also regional holidays that vary by state and optional holidays that apply to different companies. If an employee works during a national holiday, they can receive pay at double the rate or an extra day off for a future date.

A holiday that falls on the weekend does not carry over to the next business day.

The following are regional holidays celebrated in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Saint Sebastian's Day (January 20)
  • Saint George's Day (April 23)

The following are regional holidays celebrated in São Paolo:

  • São Paolo's Foundation Day (January 25)
  • Bridge Holiday (April 20)
  • Constitutional Revolution (July 9)

Black Consciousness Day, also known as Black Awareness Day, is celebrated in many states and cities on November 20.

2023 Calendar of Public Holidays in Brazil

Date Day of the Week Holiday
January 1 Sunday New Year’s Day
February 20 Monday Carnaval*
February 21 Tuesday Carnaval*
February 22 Wednesday Carnaval* (until 2 p.m.)
April 7 Friday Good Friday*
April 21 Friday Tiradentes Day
May 1 May 1 Labour Day / May Day
June 8 Thursday Corpus Christi*
September 7 Thursday Independence Day
October 12 Thursday Our Lady Aparecida / Children’s Day
October 28 Saturday Public Service Holiday
November 2s Thursday All Souls Day
November 15 Wednesday Republic Proclamation Day
November 20 Monday Black Consciousness Day
December 24 Sunday Christmas Eve** (from 2 p.m.)
December 25 Monday Christmas Day**
December 31 Sunday New Year’s Eve** (from 2 p.m.)

*Carnaval, Good Friday, and Corpus Christi are optional holidays (Ponto facultativos). Carnaval is a mandatory holiday in Rio de Janeiro, and Corpus Christi is a mandatory holiday in São Paulo.

**Most companies observe Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve starting at 2 p.m. on the day of the holiday.

Sick Leave in Brazil

The leave policy in Brazil states that employees can take up to 15 days of paid sick leave (licença médica) a year. Employees have to show a doctor's stamped note with a statement explaining why the employee needs to be absent from work to qualify for sick leave.

Employers must pay the employee their full salary for the first 15 days of illness. Starting on day 16 and onward, Brazil's Social Security (INSS) pays for the leave.

The INSS will only pay for the absence if the employee has been working for the company for at least a whole year. If the INSS payment is lower than the employee's salary, the employer may have to make the additional payment as established under a collective agreement. Employers may not fire employees who received sick leave payment from the INSS within the year after they return to work.

Work-Related Injury

Leave policy in Brazil takes into account the appropriate compensation employees are entitled to for work-related injuries. Bad working conditions may cause a sickness or injury that leads to an employee needing to take sick leave. In that case, the employer may be responsible for paying the employee for damages and reimbursing the INSS.

Maternity Leave in Brazil

Female employees with more than three months of employment are entitled to 120 days of paid maternity leave. The employee may extend the leave by 14 days if the doctor provides a note stating the necessity.

The federal government has also created an optional program (Empresa Cidadã) that allows employees to take off an additional 60 days if both the employer and employee agree. The employer pays the employee their regular wage and can claim the payment as tax deductions.

Mothers can take maternity leave starting 28 days before their due date. During the pregnancy, the employee can take time off to go to the hospital for checkups and other pregnancy-related needs. Employers may not dismiss an employee on maternity leave without cause in the five months after childbirth.

Mothers are also entitled to a breastfeeding break throughout the workday. For the first half year after childbirth, mothers can take two paid 30-minute breaks for breastfeeding. After six months, companies can translate the breastfeeding breaks into a one-hour reduction in the employee's daily working hours or give the employee an additional 15 days of paid time off.

Paternity Leave in Brazil

Male employees can take up to five days of paid leave per year. Paternity leave begins after the child is born. Employers must pay the employee their full salary while they're on leave.

Fathers are also eligible for an additional 15 days under the Empresa Cidadã program stated above. Employers can deduct the payment for the additional days from their corporate tax contributions.

Adoption Leave in Brazil

Adoptive mothers are eligible for the same benefits as biological mothers on maternity leave. The amount of additional leave will depend on the adoptive child's age. The mother is entitled to 30 additional days for a child between one and four years old and 15 days for a child between four and eight years old.

Carer's Leave in Brazil

Employees are not entitled to paid leave for the emergency care of family members under the national leave policy in Brazil. Typically, both parties can establish collective agreements to give time off for this purpose.

Marriage Leave in Brazil

Employees are entitled to three days of paid time off for their wedding, paid for by their employers.

Bereavement Leave in Brazil

Employees are entitled to two days of paid time off for the death of an immediate family member. Immediate family members include a parent, spouse, or child.

Medical Leave in Brazil

Employees are entitled to one day of paid time off for medical visits for themselves or to accompany their children under six years old.

Other Types of Leave in Brazil

Employees are entitled to paid time off for election day.

They are also entitled to one day of paid time off within 12 months to donate blood.

Hire Employees in Brazil

When developing your company's leave policy in Brazil, ensure you understand the mandatory leave requirements to stay compliant with all local employment laws. Meeting the mandatory leave entitlements is a minimum. Employers who want to attract and retain top talent worldwide should provide additional benefits beyond the minimum statutory requirements.

Companies considering expanding to Brazil may partner with a global employment solutions platform like Skuad to easily employ remote employees. Skuad makes it easy for you to hire and pay your full-time employees and contractors across the globe.

Skuad's employer of record services can help you:

  • Ensure compliance with national and local labor laws
  • Draft contracts and apply for necessary documents
  • Manage international payroll and meet all statutory benefits
  • Take care of HR responsibilities and payroll tasks for your international teams

Start building your remote team immediately with an employer of record like Skuad. Book a demo today!.

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