Hire in Peru
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Peru.
Key Country Facts
The sovereign country of Peru is a representative democratic republic in Latin America (LATAM) divided into 25 regions. It is one of the region’s most prosperous economies with an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.9%. The country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along LATAM’s Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global trade integration.
Peru is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia in the north, Brazil in the east, Bolivia in the southeast, Chile in the south and the Pacific Ocean in the south and west. The third largest country in South America, Peru covers 1.28 million square kilometers.
Peru is mostly a tropical country, with its northern tip nearly touching the Equator. However, Peru hosts a large diversity of climates thanks to the combination of tropical latitude, mountain ranges, topography variations and two ocean currents (Humboldt and El Niño).
Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and European traditions, with a large part of modern culture shaped by the Spanish colonial power that lasted from the mid-16th century until 1824. The country has also been influenced by various Asian and African ethnic groups.
Roman Catholicism has been the predominant faith in Peru for centuries and is the official religion, with 76% of the population identifying themselves as Catholic. Additionally, 14.1% identify as Evangelical, 4.8% as Protestant, Jewish, Latter-day Saints or Jehovah’s Witnesses, and 5.1% as non-religious.
Spanish is the official language of Peru and is spoken by approximately 84% of the population. A significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua languages, Aymara or other indigenous languages.
Peru HR at a Glance
Peruvian legislation encompasses employee protections and workers’ rights applicable to Peru’s workforce of 16.1 million people. These provisions are spelled out across the 1993 Constitution, the 2002 ratification of the labor code and a series of international labor statutes Peru is a signatory to.
Peru’s labor laws regulate different types of employment agreements:
1. Indeterminate-term employment agreement: According to article 4 of Supreme Decree No. 003-97-TR, it is assumed an employment relationship exists and is subject to an indefinite term when personal services are rendered in exchange for remuneration. In a subordinated relationship, the employer is considered the party receiving the services. It is not a requirement that such a relationship is established in writing. However, it is common practice for all parties to establish their roles and responsibilities in writing.
2. Fixed-term employment agreement: When an employment relationship is intended to last for a specified duration of time, it must be put into writing. This agreement can be for up to five years, as long as it does not exceed the maximum terms established for the different kinds of fixed-term agreements. This variation of labor agreement should be the exception rather than the norm. The agreement must also specify the following:
- term and objective
- reasons for hiring on fixed term, e.g. as replacement or emergency
- specifications of the work
- whether it is seasonal work
3. Part-time employment agreement: When an employee is engaged for less than four hours per day or 24 hours per week, the terms of the relationship must be put into a written agreement. If the labor agreement is not in writing, it is deemed to be an indeterminate-term and full-time employment agreement.
The following terms, as governed by the law, are implied in the employment relationship:
- Working hours
- Social benefits
- Trial period
- Health and safety at work obligations
- Data protection obligations
Employees may benefit from rights as detailed in collective agreements. It is possible for these rights to stem from a majority union (where the collective agreement applies to all employees) or a minority union (where the benefits apply only to union affiliates).
In general, employers are allowed to verify candidates’ education and prior employment history. Employers may also conduct the following reviews:
- financial checks for jobs that involve handling money
- for drug or alcohol usage (but only if the individual has a job where use of drugs could threaten the safety of others)
- for criminal records after the first interview
There are no mandatory pre-hire checks but for work that is considered high-risk (e.g. in the mining industry), employers must perform occupational medical exams on their candidates.
Probation Period / Trial Period
- Three months for regular staff, extendable for another three months.
- For employees in management positions, the probation period can be between six and 12 months.
The allowed maximum working days in a week is six days, with either eight of those hours worked per day or 48 hours worked per week. Employees have an entitlement to a minimum of 45 minutes’ lunch break.
An employer cannot compensate less than 25% of the total remuneration of the employee for the first two hours of overtime. Every extra hour after the first two hours will incur a surcharge of not less than 35% per hour.
The agreed amount to be paid for overtime can be negotiated between the employer and the employee, as long as it is not less than stated above.
Any company with more than 20 employees must share their yearly pre-tax profits with the employees. The following provisions apply:
- Companies in telecommunications, manufacturing and mining must share 10% of their pre-tax profits
- Wholesale entities, retail businesses, restaurants and mining companies share 8% of their pre-tax profits
- All other companies share 5% of their profits
Profits shared to employees are a deductible tax expense.
Employees have entitlement to two bonuses every year, with one being administered for Independence Day of Peru in July and the other administered at Christmas.
Employees are not required to be consulted on redundancies but they must be consulted prior to business transfers.
Employees cannot be terminated without due cause or through a scenario deemed an arbitrary dismissal. Once the probation period ends, an employee can only be terminated for fair reasons and on objective grounds, including a criminal conviction for fraud or other serious offenses. Other examples include:
- completion of the task or service
- upon mutual agreement
- a worker’s permanent total disability
- unforeseen event, such as a natural disaster or the employer declaring bankruptcy
The employer must provide to the employee, in writing, the reasons for their dismissal. Plus, they must give at least six calendar days’ notice for the employee to present them with a response. This notice period can also be extended, except in cases where serious offenses have occurred. During this notice period, the employer may release the employee of their work obligations by written notice but must still compensate them for the corresponding remuneration and labor benefits.
It is illegal to dismiss employees on the following grounds:
- due to union membership
- for submitting a complaint against the employer
- within 90 days of childbirth
For non-compliance with safety regulations and non-payment of wages, employees have the right to take action for constructive discharge.
The notice periods for dismissals based on fair reasons are as follows:
- Dismissal resulting from lack of capabilities: 30 calendar days
- Dismissal reasons related to major faults or misconduct: six calendar days
Redundancy / Severance Pay
For terminations that occur as a result of an employee’s personal conduct or capacity, there is no requirement for the employer to pay severance.
When an employee is terminated without cause, the severance payment amount is the average monthly compensation for each year of the employee’s service up to a maximum of 12 months.
Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants
During the terms of an employment contract, an employee is forbidden to compete with the employer in its line of business.
After the employment contract has been terminated, there is no regulation that prohibits the employee from competing. However, a post-contractual non-compete clause can be included, which must be fixed in duration. Compensation must also be given to the employee.
Fixed Term Contracts
Fixed-term contracts must be detailed in a written document and may only be used for a period of up to five years in total.
Employers are required to register fixed-term contracts with Peru’s Labor Ministry.
There are various types and subcategories of fixed-term contracts, including temporary projects, evolving market needs and entrepreneurial reorganization agreements.
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
Peru’s tax year follows the calendar year and income taxes must be declared within three months of the end of the tax year. Income tax in Peru is collected by the SUNAT (‘Superintendencia Nacional de Administración Tributaria’).
For 2022, a Tax Unit (UIT: Unidad Impositiva Tributaria – a reference unit for the computation of tax and penalties) is equivalent to 4,600 Peruvian soles (PEN). The first seven tax units are exempt from taxes.
|Tax Units||Tax Rate %|
|Up to 5||8.0|
|5 to 20||14.0|
|20 to 35||17.0|
|35 to 45||20.0|
Peru’s employment laws give every employee the right to be covered by the National Pension Scheme or the Private Pension System. The applicable rate to be part of both systems is 13%, with this amount usually paid by the employer and deducted directly from the employee’s paycheck to be deposited into the scheme.
- 13%: National Pension Fund
- There are also options for employees to choose a private pension fund.
- Health Insurance (public or private): 9%
- Unemployment insurance or CTS (‘compensación por tiempo de servicio’): This social benefit gives employees access to income if their employment has been terminated. The CTS is deposited biannually by employer, with 50% deposited in May for the period worked from November through April and 50% in November for the period worked from May through October. The CTS accrues from the first month of the start of the employee-employer relationship. Employees who work a minimum of four hours a day are entitled to receive CTS. The entitlement amount per year is one month of average wages.
- Disability insurance
- Life insurance
An employee may elect to join the National Pension System (SNP) or the Private Pension System (SPP). The applicable rate of the SNP & SPP is approximately 13% and will be paid by the employer, deducted from the employee’s salary and then paid directly to the administrator of the pension.
Peru’s decentralized healthcare system is administered by five entities:
- the Ministry of Health (MINSA), which provides health services for 60% of Peru’s population
- EsSalud, which provides healthcare to 30% of the population
- Armed Forces (FFAA)
- National Police (PNP)
- The private sector, which collectively provides healthcare services to the remaining 10% of Peru’s population
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. The actual rates charged by GoGlobal will vary.
Salary payments must be distributed monthly via cash or bank transfer.
Payslips must document the remuneration and any deductions for pension and social security contributions. They must be delivered to employees no later than three business days after the payment date.
Every employee is entitled to 30 calendar days of paid vacation leave each year.
At least 15 days off must be granted each year and a payment can be offered in lieu of any unused vacation time.
Employees are entitled to 20 days of paid sick leave, compensated by the employer at a rate equivalent to the employee’s full wages.
Starting the 21st day, ailing employees can draw sick benefits from ESSALUD (‘Seguro Social de Salud del Peru’), the Peruvian social security agency, for the next 11 months. This applies for each instance of illness.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
For the public sector, five days of paid leave are granted for the death of an immediate family member, which can be extended for an additional three days if the death occurs outside of the city in which the employee works.
Maternity & Parental Leave
- The total length for maternity leave is 98 days, which includes 49 days for prenatal and postnatal leave. The employer may give the employees an exception when the new child has a disability or if an additional child is born during that time. In either of these cases, the postnatal leave can be extended by the employee up to 30 calendar days.
- Maternity benefits, which amount to the mother’s full wages, are distributed by the social security fund.
- Lactation period begins once the official 98 days are over and until the baby reaches one year old. The mother is entitled to one hour each day to step away from the work environment and breastfeed the child.
- Fathers are entitled to 10 consecutive days of paid paternity leave for natural births by their partners and up to 30 days in case of multiple births, delivery complications, illness or disability of the mother.
Nursing Care/Breastfeeding Leave
- The working mother, at the end of the postnatal period, is entitled to one hour a day of breastfeeding leave, until her child reaches one year in age.
- In the case of multiple births, the breastfeeding leave will be increased by an additional one hour each day.
For each child adopted below the age of 12, adoptive parents are eligible to receive 30 days of paid leave.
Employees can take up to seven days off to cater to ailing or injured first-degree relatives.
Civil duty Leave
Firefighters and military personnel can take paid leave from work if they’re called for service.
Employees are entitled to 12 paid public holidays in each calendar year.
Benefits to the Employee in Peru
As per Peru’s employment laws, employees and their family members are entitled to receive benefits through the public health service ESSALUD. Family members are considered statutory affiliates.
For health insurance, every employer contributes 9% of the employee’s monthly wage to the public healthcare system.
13th salary payment
Peru has a 13th month salary payment which is paid in two installments: the first is distributed in the first fortnight of July (for Independence Day) and in December (for Christmas). In total, this payment is equivalent to a monthly remuneration.
This payment is only required for employees who are working in the month of receiving the benefit, or if they are on vacation or other leave with pay.
Employees who have less than six months of services receive this entitlement prorated as per the months worked.
Employees who are responsible for one or more children under 18 years of age (or of legal age attending higher education) are entitled to receive an allowance of 10% of the current minimum wage.
Compensation for time of services (CTS)
The CTS payment is equivalent to an ordinary remuneration, which will be deposited by the employer in the financial institution chosen by the employee within the first fifteen calendar days of the months of May (50%) and November (50%) each year. CTS is more commonly known as a “settlement payment” or “retirement payment” in other jurisdictions.
Visas and Foreign Workers
No more than 20% of an employer’s local workforce may consist of foreign employees and the amount of salary an employer may pay to foreign employees is not allowed to surpass 30% of the total amount of the compensation paid to all employees. There are some exceptions to this provision, such as salaries paid to certain technical employees.
Contracts for foreign employees must be in writing and are issued for a period of three years. These contracts can be extended for an additional three years. It is legally required that the Ministry of Labor approves the extension.
If the employment agreement is approved by the Ministry of Labor, the employee’s immigration status can be changed from a tourist or business visa to a work visa. With the work visa, a Foreign Card can then be issued.
The most common work visas are:
- Work visas for employees of a local company (resident/temporary employees)
- Work visas for employees of a foreign company who do not live permanently in Peru but are assigned to render services for a specific timeframe.
Foreign individuals are deemed to be domiciled in Peru for tax purposes if they have resided or been in Peru for more than 183 calendar days within a 12-month period.
Public Holidays in 2022
|1.||New Year’s Day||January 1st|
|2.||Holy Thursday||April 14th|
|3.||Good Friday||April 15th|
|4.||Labor Day||May 1st|
|5.||St. Peter & Paul||June 29th|
|6.||Peru’s Independence Day||July 28th|
|7.||Peru’s Independence Day||July 29th|
|8.||Saint Rose of Lima||August 30th|
|9.||Battle of Angamos||October 8th|
|10.||All Saints Day||November 1st|
|11.||Immaculate Conception||December 8th|
|12.||Christmas Day||December 25th|