Hire in Argentina
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Argentina.
Argentine Peso (ARS)
Key Country Facts
Argentina, is a country in South America, covering most of the southern portion of the continent. It is the world’s eighth largest country by area. Under the constitution of1853 is a federal union of 23 provinces and a federal capital district, the city of Buenos Aires. With a population of around 43 million it is considered an emerging economy, however the GDP per capita is relatively high.
Argentina shares land borders with Chile to the west; Bolivia and Paraguay to the north and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast, whilst the South Atlantic Ocean borders to the east. With a land mass of 2.7m square kilometers it is the second largest country in South America.
As a large country Argentina experiences a widely diverse climate. Most of the urban areas are temperate, the north of the country experiences sub-tropical weather and the polar conditions can be experienced in the far south.
Argentinean culture is a blend of European and Latin American. Larger cities show considerable influence of Spanish and Italian immigration. The country has developed cultural and artistic forms that are uniquely Argentine— perhaps most famously the tango, the dance originating from the Buenos Aires dockside district.
According to recent polls approximately 80% of Argentineans identify as Catholic. Evangelic protestants accounts for just under 10% and just over 10% express no religion. The constitution of Argentina guarantees freedom of religion.
Although not officially recognized in law, Spanish is the national language of Argentina. Many local variants and dialects of Spanish are also spoken. English is taught in education as a second language and over one third of Argentineans consider themselves conversationally fluent. Italian is also spoken by at least 1.5 million, a result of historic immigration from Italy.
Argentina HR at a Glance
Employer-employee relations in Argentina are mainly governed by the Labor Contract Law 20744 (CLA), its’ subsequent amendments, collective bargaining agreements and the individual terms of labour contracts. Conditions are standard nationally as the Labor Law is a federal law. Individual agreements may grant employees more rights than those set forth by the relevant labour laws or CBAs, however, employees may not waive, or forfeit rights established by labour laws.
Written employment contracts are not mandated for permanent, full-time employment relationships, as labour laws are mandatory, comprehensive and rule most terms of the employment relationship and implied into contract. However, it is considered good practice for white collar workers to receive a written contract and particularly when parties want to regulate aspects that otherwise are not covered by the CLA.
The CLA establishes that an employment contract for a fixed term:
- a written employment contract must be executed
- should include the term of its duration
- Has a maximum term of 5 years
- should evidence the extraordinary need that duly justifies executing a fixed term contract
If the employment relationship does not have a ground that justifies (as the law requires) a fixed-term contract, it will become an indefinite-term employment contract.
The employer must serve prior notice of termination (no less than 1 month and no more than 2 months). Failure in serving such notice cannot be replaced by any compensation and will automatically transform the contract into an indefinite term contract.
In the event the employer dismisses an employee without justified cause before the expiration of the agreed term, the employee is entitled to claim damages. Typically, this amounts to the pending wages through until the original expiration of the agreed term.
Probation Period/Trial Period
Trial periods of up to 3 months are allowed for indefinite term contracts. Termination during the trial period can be decided without paying any compensation or severance payment liability for the employee. The only obligation is to give notice of termination 15 days in advance.
A fixed term contract has no trial period.
The normal working hours are limited to 8 per day or 48 per week. Night shift and unhealthy workplace provides reduced working hours, typically 7 hours per day (night shift) and 6 hours per day (unhealthy environment).
Overtime is any work rendered in excess of the standard working hours. Employees who work overtime receive an additional payment of 50 per cent of their salary on weekdays, and double their salary on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and holidays. Applicable Collective Bargain Agreements may provide higher payments. Overtime must not exceed 3 hours per day, 30 hours a month and 200 hours a year. All employees are entitled to overtime payment, except registered corporate directors or corporate managers.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Employers are required to provide mandatory life insurance and working accident insurance to employees. Employers are also obliged to provide a healthy and safe workplace (both physical and psychological), in compliance with the working insurance instructions.
Employees are entitled to a 13th salary or statutory annual bonus, known as sueldo annual complementario (SAC) or Aguinaldo. It is payable in two semi-annual instalments which are due in June and December. Each instalment should be equal to 50% of the highest monthly salary accrued during the corresponding semester.
Employers can terminate employment at any time without justified cause, subject to payment of severance compensation provided by labour laws. Termination of employment with justified cause does not entail payment of severance compensation.
The employer can dismiss an employee with justified cause in the event of failure of the employee to fulfil his obligations to the employer and which do not reasonably allow for the continuation of the relationship. Labour laws do not list specific breaches that justify such dismissal, each case must be examined on an individual basis. The burden of proof lies on the employer and the employee may challenge any such dismissal; in which case a Labor Court will make a judgment on whether or not the employer had a justified cause for dismissal.
In the event of the employee resigning, no severance compensation is payable.
The employee can consider themself dismissed on constructive basis should there be a breach of employer, which due to its gravity does not allow for the continuation of the relationship. Again, in such case a Labor Court will decide if the employee had a justified cause for constructive dismissal.
Employers must give prior written notice to the employee in the event of a termination of employment with no justified cause. Such prior notice must be given by the employer:
- 15 days in advance, if the contract is under the probationary period;
- 1 month in advance, if the employee has served for up to 5 years;
- 2 months in advance, if employee has served for more than 5 years.
The Employer may in each case choose to dispense with the notice period by making payment in lieu of notice.
Employees must give prior notice of 15 days to the employer in the event of their resignation.
In case of the employer terminating employment without justified cause, the employer must pay the employee mandatory severance compensation as follows:
Seniority compensation – One month salary for each year of employment (or part year exceeding 3 months), taking as a calculation basis the best monthly, regular salary during the last working year. This compensation is subject to a cap, depending on the applicable CBA, but which cannot be lower than 67 per cent of the employee’s monthly salary.
Compensation in lieu of notice – The employer must give a prior written notice as outlined above If the employer does not give such prior notice, it must pay severance compensation in lieu of notice, equal to 15 days salary, one or two monthly salaries, depending on each case. It is custom that employers opt to pay this compensation instead of giving prior notice.
Pending days till the end of the month – In the month of dismissal, the employee is entitled to receive the full salary regardless of the fact that he or she rendered services for a shorter period. If the dismissal does not take place on the last day of the month, the employer must pay compensation equal to the proportional salary for the pending days to complete the entire month in which the dismissal took place.
Compensation for unused vacations – The employee is entitled to compensation equal to the vacation pay in proportion to the days effectively worked of the year in which the dismissal took place.
Statutory Annual Bonus – The employee is entitled to the proportional amount of this 13th salary.
In the case of the employer terminating employment with just cause the employee is not entitled to mandatory severance. However, If the employee challenges the dismissal and a court considers that the cause for the dismissal is not sufficiently significant to be deemed a breach of the main obligations of the employment contract, the court may award the employee mandatory or even increased severance. As employment relationship legislation in Argentina has become more contentious and challenging to employers it is often considered most prudent to execute a conciliatory agreement before the labour authority that includes a general release.
The law provides that employers may dismiss employees invoking objective reasons – lack of work beyond the employer’s responsibility, force majeure etc. In such case the employer is obliged to pay half the compensation based on seniority instead of paying the full compensation based on seniority.
In Argentina, trade unions and employers’ associations represent all types of activities. Employees have the right to organize themselves into unions. Affiliation to unions by employees is not mandatory. Employees are free to decide whether to affiliate or not to the union. The Government grants official recognition only to the most representative union. Consequently, that is the only union that can represent the employees in collective bargaining agreements.
1. Termination without cause by the employer: payment of salary balance, accrued vacation plus one-third bonus, proportional vacation plus one-third bonus, proportional 13th salary, 50 per cent severance fund (FGTS) fine over the balance of the employee’s individual account. The employee is also entitled to withdraw the FGTS balance and receive the unemployment insurance.
2. Resignation by the employee: payment of salary balance, proportional 13th salary, accrued vacation plus one-third bonus and proportional vacation plus one-third bonus;
3. Indirect termination: same payments due as in a termination without cause;
4.Termination by mutual consent: half the payment of the prior notice and the FGTS fine (employee’s part) and, in full, other labour allowances due in a termination without cause. In this type of termination, the employee will be able to withdraw up to 80 per cent of the FGTS balance and will not be entitled to receive the unemployment insurance.
5.Termination for cause: payment of salary balance and accrued vacation plus one-third.
Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants
Post-employment non-compete agreements are neither prohibited nor expressly regulated under Argentine law. However, the enforceability of such agreements is questionable considering the constitutional (§14 of the Constitution) right to work. Based on case law, to be enforceable, a post-employment non-compete agreement must be justified by the important position of the employee (e.g., chief financial officer, chief executive officer), be limited to specific activities and territory, have a time limit (maximum 2 years) and be compensated (with at least 50% of the prior monthly salary).
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
Individual residents in Argentina are taxable on worldwide income and may obtain a foreign tax credit for taxes paid on income from foreign sources. Non-residents and foreign beneficiaries are only taxable on their Argentine-sourced income.
|Personal Income Tax||Tax Rate %|
|ARS 0 – 47,669.16||5%|
|ARS 47,669.16 – 95,338.32||ARS 2,383.46 + 9% on excess|
|ARS 95,338.32 – 143,007.38||ARS 6,673.68 + 12% on excess|
|ARS 143,007.38 – 190,676.65||ARS 12,393.98 + 15% on excess|
|ARS 190,676.65 – 286,014.96||ARS 19,544.36 + 19% on excess|
|ARS 286,014.96 – 381,353.28||ARS 37,658.64 + 23% on excess|
|ARS 381,353.28 – 572,029.92||ARS 59,586.45 + 27% on excess|
|ARS 572,029.92 – 762,706.57||ARS 111,069.14 + 31% on excess|
|ARS 762,706.57 and above||ARS 170,178.90 + 35% on excess|
Employee social security contributions are between 24-26.4% of payroll costs, and are spread across contributions to the Pension Fund, Pensioner’s Healthcare Fund, Family Allowance Fund, Unemployment Fund and Medical Care as follows:
||Employer Contribution Rates (%)
||Employee Contribution Rates (%)
|National Employment Fund||5.64|
|Pension Fund, Family Allowance Fund, Social Services TOTAL||18.0||14.0|
|Social Health TOTAL||6.0||3.0|
|TOTAL SOCIAL TAX||24.0||17.0|
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
Employers are required to pay their employees via bank automated payroll deposits (rather than cash) and payment should be made by the 4th day of the following month.
It is mandatory to make payments to employees from an in-country bank account.
Salary payments must be accompanied by a receipt and signed by the employee. Details on the receipt must include place and date of issue, employees full name and address, CUIT, specific types of remuneration received, all deductions and proof of receipt. A copy should be provided to the employee.
Employees who have completed at least six months with the same employer are entitled to paid annual leave as follows:
- up to 5 years of service: 14 calendar days
- between 5 and 10 years of service: 21 calendar days
- between 10 and 20 years of service: 28 calendar days
- over 20 years of service: 35 calendar days.
The vacation must be taken between October 1 and April 30 of the following year unless subject to other agreement. The employer and employee may agree that leave is taken in several shorter blocks at any time of year. The parties may always agree to a greater allowance than the one provided by law.
Carry over rules
By agreement, an employee may carry over up to 1/3rd of the annual leave entitlement from one calendar year to the next. Any unused leave in excess of this is forfeited at the end of the year.
In the case of illness or accident unrelated to work employees with less than 5 years of continuous service are entitled to 3 months of paid sick leave. Employees with over 5 years of service receive 6 months of paid sick leave. Leave is doubled for those with dependents.
In the case of any accident or illnesses caused by work-related problems entitles the employee to 12 months compulsory rehabilitation and sick pay under the compulsory employment risk insurance.
The employer must pay the employee’s salary for the first 15 days, following which the insurance company will assume responsibility for sick leave payments.
Once the paid sick leave period expires, the position must be kept open for 12 months. If the employee is still unfit for work, severance pay should be granted to the employee.
Other Paid Leave
Employees can take paid leave for the following circumstances:
- Marriage: 10 days;
- Birth of Child: 2 days
Public Duty Leave: An employee who is called to give testimony before the court is entitled to paid leave. Those who are elected to sit on a representative body are entitled to leave without payment. The period of leave is considered working time for seniority purposes.
Examination for university or secondary school: 2 days at a time (with a cap of 10 total).
Collective bargaining agreements may grant additional days of leave and all leave of absence may be extended at the discretion of the employer.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
3 days bereavement leave are given for the death of a spouse, child, or parent, and 1 day for the death of a sibling.
Maternity & Parental Leave
Maternity Leave – Women are entitled to an unpaid maternity leave for a total of 90 calendar days – this is usually taken as 45 days before the delivery and 45 days after the delivery date however the employee has the option to take 30 days before delivery and 60 days after delivery.
During the period of unpaid maternity leave, the social security department pays female employees a maternity allowance that is equivalent to 100 per cent of the usual salary.
Female employees can request additional unpaid leave of between 3 and 6 months.
Paternity leave – Male employees are not entitled to paternity leave (other than the 2 days for birth of a child as per other paid leave above) However, although employers are under no legal obligation, recently more commonly some companies are granting rights to male employees associated with paternity.
Adoption Leave – No statutory requirement – though recently some legal cases have resulted in employees being entitled to maternity and paternity leave when they adopt.
Parental Rights – Mothers may resign from their employment in order to care for a sick child. Under these circumstances the mother has the right to a payment of 25% of the total severance pay she would have received had the termination bee a dismissal without cause.
Employees are entitled to paid leave on national public holidays. If employees do work on national holidays, they are entitled to an additional 100 percent compensation based on their regular hourly rate.
Benefits to the Employee in Argentina
The welfare system in Argentina provides public medical care, public education and other benefits such as public transport subsidies and unemployment support, to both residents and foreigners. All employers and most employees are required to contribute to social security and pension funds
Social security benefits include:
- Free medical treatment and hospital care
- Old Age Benefits
- Permanent Disability Benefits
- Survivor Benefits
- Universal Family Allowance
- Sickness Benefits
- Pregnancy and Maternity Allowance
- Employees under a collective bargain agreement for commercial activities are entitled to a retirement insurance.
- Supplementary healthcare packages
- Luncheon vouchers
Visas and Foreign Workers
A work visa is required to perform any paid or unpaid work in Argentina, it is not allowed to work as a tourist on a 90-day tourist visa stamp.
The employer will need a local corporate entity in the country to sponsor the Argentina work permits. The entity the employee will be working for in Argentina must be authorized to employ overseas workers and be registered with the National Immigration Office (Direccion Nacional de Migraciones) / the National Immigrant Sponsors Registrar.
Visa or residency-related processes in Argentina are very document-focused and involve a high level of bureaucracy. The majority of the paperwork is handled by the Argentinian employer / the company’s branch office in Argentina, or an Argentinian immigration lawyer.
Application for Entry Permit
The employee will need their “Entry Permit” (Permiso de Ingreso) granted before a work visa can be applied for (the entry permit serves as the initial work permission if the documents are approved). The application must be done by the employer on behalf of the employee through the Argentine Immigration Department (Direccion Nacional de Migraciones) (DNM).
The signed contract between the employee and the Argentina employer must be translated into Spanish, for the Argentina chamber of commerce to subsequently sign and certify it.
The contract must include information about the length of employment, details of the company, names of the spouse and all dependents as applicable, and evidence of a social security fund.
When the authorities grant the permit, they will inform the Argentina embassy or consulate in the employee’s home country.
Application for the Argentina work visa
For longer-term salaried employment undertaken by foreigners who are contracted by a business in Argentina, a “Contracted Personnel—Temporary Residence Visa” (23 A visa) is required, which allows to live in Argentina for a year but can be extended. In some cases, the work visa will come with a stipulated timeframe. The temporary residence visa gives the employee the full work permit for the duration of their assignment.
A separate work visa category (23 E visa) is specific for scientists, specialists, managers, technicians and administrative staff. Another variation is the “Secondment Visa”, which applies to U.S. employees sent by their companies to Argentina to continue their work; with this visa, no labour contract is required.
Certain expats from other South American countries, such as Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, do not need to acquire any of the above visas. Citizens from MERCOSUR — the South American customs union — countries should contact the closest Argentina embassy or consulate for the “MERCOSUR visa”.
The application process for a work visa includes for the employee to attend a personal interview with the consulate’s staff and paying all relevant application fees. Argentina work visa fees vary from country to country depending on the country the employee applies from.
The employee will need to present a set of required documents, including:
- A valid passport (valid for six months over the date when leaving Argentina. At least two blank pages in it);
- Three passport photos (no older than three months, the background must be white clear);
- Visa application form (completed, dated and signed);
- Proof of address (utility bill or any other formal document stating the personal address);
- Affidavit (commitment letter to tell the truth and have no criminal record, to be signed before the embassy officials, not prior to the visit);
- Residence permit (sent by the DNM, registration number of the Argentine employer [RENURE]);
- Notarized certification of the company’s intra-company transfer or an employer-signed employment contract;
- Individual documents (birth certificate legalized in the country of origin, a marriage certificate or divorce decree where applicable);
- Clean record (certificate of no criminal record from the police station in the employee’s home country).
When the employee applies for a work visa for Argentina, they can also organise visas as dependents for any spouses, parents, and children under 18 should at the same time and must submit all the same paperwork for these dependents with the exception of employment-related records.
After arriving in Argentina:
The employee needs to apply for:
- a work identification number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral) (CUIL) which is similar to a social security number. The CUIL also serves as an individual tax identification number for employers and can be applied for by registering with ANSES, the National Social Security fund;
- a National Identity Card (Documento nacional de identidad) (DNI). Its function is similar to a social security number and it is needed for entering into contractual agreements such as renting/buying property and setting up a bank account. The DNI can be obtained by registering with the local Registry of People office within 90 days of arrival in Argentina.
Public Holidays in 2022
|1||New Year’s Day||January 1st|
|4||Truth and Justice Day||March 24th|
|5||Malvinas Day||April 2nd|
|6||Good Friday||April 15th|
|7||Labour day||May 1st|
|8||Revolution Day||May 25th|
|9||Flag Day||June 20th|
|10||Independence Day||July 9th|
|11||Death of San Martin||August 15th|
|12||Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity||October 10th|
|13||National Sovereignty Day||November 28th|
|14||Immaculate Conception||December 8th|
|15||Christmas Day||December 25th|