Brazil flag Brazil: Operating a Business in Brazil

Work conditions in Brazil

The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 105,542,221107,461,08399,843,130

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 70.17%70.31%70.93%
Men activity rate 80.09%79.97%80.19%
Women activity rate 60.50%60.90%61.89%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
The legal duration is 44 hours, although the norm in Brazilian and foreign companies is 5 weekly working days of 8 hours.
Retirement Age
The minimum retirement age is 55 for women and 60 for men in civil service. In the private sector, men have to have contributed for 35 years to the retirement scheme and women for 30 years. If the number of years of contributions is lower than these figures but over 15 years, it is also possible for men to retire at 65 and women at 60. If these conditions are not met, there is a minimum retirement pension accessible to everyone over 65.
Working Contracts
Legal measures govern work contracts; collective agreements and individual negotiation complete them. The formality of work contracts and constraints of dismissal are very rigid, while hiring conditions are rather flexible. The two types of contract mainly used are fixed term and open ended. A variation on the fixed term contract is a contract with no hierarchical relation for carrying out a particular task.
Labour Laws
Doing Business: Brazil, to obtain a summary of labour regulations that apply to local entreprises

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
BRL 1,212 per month ($ 217.18 dollars) since the 1st of January 2022 (Agência Brasil).
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage: BRL 1,921 in 2021 (FDR)
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: Employers are required to contribute 8% of an employee’s wages for the severance fund, 20% to the public pension system, and a maximum of 8.8% for other social security taxes. In some business sectors, the 20% INSS contribution has been replaced by a contribution levied on gross revenue (temporary measure until 31 December 2023) (Deloitte, 2022).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees:

Employees contribute 8% to 11% to social security, depending on their salary categories (Deloitte, 2022).

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
Labour unions, especially in sectors such as metalworking and banking, tend to be well-organised and aggressive in defending wages and working conditions. Unions in various sectors engage in industry-wide collective bargaining negotiations mandated by federal regulation. Strikes occur periodically, particularly amongst public sector unions.

The Labour Code prohibits having too many unions for a single profession and in each region. Although the law has not created a central institution representing the unions, four groups have tried to provide this, but without legitimacy: the Unitarian Workers Group (CUT), the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) and the Força Sindical (FS). Some industrial and mining sectors have powerful unions; however, the unions are more or less absent from the rural areas where the great landowners still hold sway.

Labour Unions
Unitarian Workers Group
CGT Brazil
Força Sindical
Unionisation Rate
The Ministry of Labour estimates that there are 15,000 labour unions in Brazil, but these figures are considered by some to be inexact. Labour unions account for approximately 19% of the official workforce according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Union dues are compulsory for all workers in the formal sector and are set at one working day's income per year.
Labour Regulation Bodies

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Latest Update: November 2023