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Employment Agreement Essentials

Understand the key elements of employment contracts in Argentina

Types of employment agreements

In Argentina, the primary law governing employment is the Ley de Contrato de Trabajo (LCT), or Labor Contract Law No. 20,744. This law outlines several types of employment contracts, each with its unique characteristics and regulations.

Indefinite Term Contracts

Indefinite term contracts are the most common type of employment contract in Argentina. These contracts do not have a specified end date and assume ongoing employment unless terminated with cause or by resignation, as per LCT, Article 90.

Fixed-Term Contracts

Fixed-term contracts are agreements with a specific end date. They are typically used for project-based or temporary work, as outlined in LCT, Article 93. These contracts have a maximum duration of 5 years, including renewals. Employers must justify the need for a fixed-term contract, and continued use past a reasonable justification leads to the presumption of an indefinite contract.

Seasonal Contracts

Seasonal contracts are specific to activities with recurring periods of high demand, as per LCT, Article 96. Workers under these contracts retain the right to be recalled for subsequent seasons.

Part-Time Contracts

Part-time contracts are for employees whose working hours are less than two-thirds of the normal workweek, as per LCT, Article 99. Part-time employees enjoy proportional rights and benefits as full-time workers.

Apprenticeship Contracts

Apprenticeship contracts combine work with training or education. These contracts are primarily for young workers, as outlined in LCT, Article 80.

Other Specific Contract Types

Argentina's labor law also recognizes other contract modalities addressing specific work situations. These include group or team contracts for a team performing a single task, and eventual contracts for meeting temporary or extraordinary needs.

Important Considerations

While employment contracts can be verbal, fixed-term contracts must be in writing to be valid, as per LCT, Article 95. Employers must register employment contracts with Argentina's tax and social security authority (AFIP). Additionally, sector-specific Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) can take precedence and provide terms more favorable than the Labor Contact Law.

Essential clauses

Identification of Parties

The agreement should include the full names and domiciles of the employer and employee, along with relevant identification numbers.

Start Date and Place of Work

The agreement should clearly mark when the employment relationship begins and indicate the primary workplace.

Job Description and Category

The agreement should outline the main tasks and responsibilities of the employee and define the employee's category within the company or relevant collective bargaining agreement.


The agreement should specify the base salary, along with any additional bonuses, commissions, or benefits in kind. It should also outline the frequency of payment and acknowledge the 13th-month salary bonus required by Argentine labor law.

Working Hours and Rest Periods

The agreement should define regular working hours, including specific shifts if applicable. It should also state any overtime regulations and compensation rates, in accordance with the law, and acknowledge compliance with daily and weekly rest periods, as well as public holidays.

Vacation and Leave

The agreement should specify the number of annual paid vacation days, accruing progressively. It should also outline entitlements for special leaves, in accordance with applicable laws and collective bargaining agreements.


The agreement should set the required notice period for both employer-initiated termination and employee resignation. It should also define the basis for severance pay calculation in case of termination without just cause.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

The agreement should specify any applicable collective bargaining agreement and confirm that Argentinian law governs the contract. It should also indicate the designated jurisdiction or dispute resolution mechanism.

Probationary period

In Argentina, the Labor Contract Law (Ley de Contrato de Trabajo, No.20,744) acknowledges the concept of a probationary or trial period within employment agreements.


The probationary period serves as a time for both the employer and employee to evaluate their compatibility for the role and working relationship.


According to Article 92 bis of the Labor Contract Law, the probationary period can last up to a maximum of 3 months.

Rights During Probation

Employees on probation are entitled to the same rights as regular employees, such as salary and social security benefits. However, during the trial period, both the employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship without needing to provide just cause or severance pay.

Termination During Probation

Termination within the probationary period does not require prior notice. Additionally, employers are not required to provide a reason for termination during this period.

Key Considerations

For fixed-term contracts, the probationary period cannot exceed the duration of the contract. Although employment agreements in Argentina can generally be verbal, it is advisable to include the probationary period in a written contract for clarity and enforceability. Some Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) may have specific regulations regarding trial periods.

Important Note

If employment continues beyond the designated trial period, it automatically converts into a regular, indefinite-term employment contract.

Confidentiality and non compete clauses

Argentinian labor law acknowledges the significance of safeguarding confidential business data and the potential application of non-compete clauses.


The legal basis for the protection of confidential business information, such as trade secrets and customer data, is rooted in civil law and commercial legislation. Article 82 of the Labor Contracts Law (LCT) also establishes the employee's duty of loyalty and prohibits the use of trade secrets for personal gain or to the detriment of the employer.

Confidentiality clauses are commonly included in employment contracts. These clauses typically define confidential information, outline the employee's obligation to protect it during and after employment, and specify potential penalties for violation. However, to be considered valid, confidentiality obligations must be reasonable in scope and duration.

Non-Compete Clauses

The approach to non-compete clauses in Argentina is generally restrictive, guided by principles of freedom to work and protecting employee mobility. Non-compete clauses after employment termination are valid only if they meet certain criteria established by case law:

  • Time Limitation: Generally, cannot exceed two years.
  • Geographical Scope: Must be limited to a reasonable area where the employee poses a competitive threat.
  • Compensation: The employer must provide financial compensation to the employee during the non-compete period, typically at least 50% of their salary.

Courts in Argentina are likely to strike down non-compete clauses that exceed the above boundaries or lack fair compensation.

Important Considerations

Non-compete clauses should be narrowly tailored to specific activities or a limited geographic area. Overly broad restrictions risk unenforceability. Additionally, some sector-specific Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) may further regulate non-compete clauses.

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