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Labor guide to Doing Business in Argentina: salaries and working conditions in Argentina

by | Jun 14, 2020

Salaries and working conditions in Argentina may be governed by the Contract of Employment Law No. 20,744 (the CEL), additional laws, collective bargaining agreements, and company or individual agreements.

(i) Salaries and other benefits

Argentina has in place a mandatory minimum salary, set from time to time for the federal government, and effective in all the country. All employees, irrespective of the activity and work location, must earn at least the minimum salary.

However, by collective bargaining, salaries are in practice higher than the minimum salary. Additional benefits are usually granted by collective bargaining agreements (such as attendance or production bonuses), company agreements, or individual agreements (e.g. cars, mobile phones, bonuses, and stock options). Employers must also pay an annual extra salary (aguinaldo or sueldo anual complementario), in two installments (June 30th, December 18th).

Employees are further entitled to healthcare and pension schemes, funded through mandatory social security contributions paid by both employers and employees. Special health and retirement benefits covered by the companies to attract and retain workers are also usual.

Those workers included within the scope of the Collective Bargaining Agreement No. 130/75 (commerce activities) are entitled to additional retirement insurance.

(ii) Social security contributions and withholdings

Employers and employees are obliged to make payments to the social security system for family allowances, healthcare protection, and pension and unemployment benefits. Besides, collective bargaining agreements usually include contributions for unions.

The mandatory social security payments withheld from the employees´ salaries and contributed by the employers are calculated as a percentage of the employee’s salaries, with a certain cap in the case of withholdings from the salaries.

Foreign employees working in Argentina may be exempt from making pension contributions if an international social security agreement applies.

(iii) Working shifts

The normal daylight working hours for employees are limited to 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. The daily working time may be extended up to a maximum of 9 hours per day without paying extra hours.

(vi) Changes in working conditions

Working conditions may not be unilaterally modified by the employer if the change morally or materially harms the employee in any way (e.g. when the employer changes the place of work to a different location far from the current location, causing the employee to incur in greater expenses and time devoted to commuting).

Mario E. Castro Sammartino

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Our publications exclusively express the author´s opinion and do not purport to be legal counsel on any case. Should you need it, you must consult with your trusted lawyer.



[1] 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. More than 20 years of service: 35 calendar days.

[2] Some companies regularly grant extended paternity leaves to male employees.

[3] Employees with seniority of up to 5 years and no dependent family: 3 months; with a dependent family: 6 months. Employees with a seniority of more than 5 years and no dependent family: 6 months; with a dependent family: 12 months.

[4] If the employer cannot grant different work duties, the employment agreement may be terminated by the employer paying only 50% of the severance compensation for is obliged to give him/her work compatible with his disability. If the employer can prove that he is not able to provide the employee with work in accordance with the employee’s disability, the employer can terminate the employment by paying 50% of the severance compensation provided for in dismissals without just cause.

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