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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Brazil

Holiday leave

In Brazil, employees who have been with the same employer for a minimum of 12 months are eligible for 30 calendar days of paid vacation leave annually. The scheduling of this leave should be a balance between the employee's needs and the operational requirements of the company. It is mandatory that at least one vacation period is a minimum of 14 consecutive days, while the remaining leave can be split into two periods, each lasting at least 5 consecutive days.

Vacation Bonus

Employees are entitled to a vacation bonus in addition to their regular salary during their time off. This bonus is equivalent to one-third of their gross monthly salary and must be paid at least two days before the vacation begins.

Selling Vacation Days

Employees have the option to "sell" a maximum of 10 days of their annual vacation entitlement. This is in exchange for an additional payment.

Justified vs. Unjustified Absences

Employees are required to communicate any planned absences in advance. With the right documentation, certain absences may be deemed justified, such as illness or family emergencies. The employer has the discretion to decide if the reason presented qualifies as justified.

Unjustified Absences

Excessive unjustified absences can result in a reduction in vacation entitlement as per the Brazilian Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT):

  • 6 to 14 days of unjustified absence: 24 days of paid vacation
  • 15 to 23 days of unjustified absence: 18 days of paid vacation
  • 24 to 32 days of unjustified absence: 12 days of paid vacation
  • More than 32 days of unjustified absence: 0 days of paid vacation

Public holidays

In Brazil, there are several official public holidays observed nationwide. These include:

  • New Year's Day (Confraternização Universal): Celebrated on January 1st.
  • Tiradentes: Commemorated on April 21st, this day honors Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, a national hero involved in the fight for independence.
  • Labor Day: Observed on May 1st.
  • Independence Day: Celebrated on September 7th.
  • Our Lady of Aparecida: Celebrated on October 12th, this day honors the patron saint of Brazil.
  • All Souls Day: Observed on November 2nd.
  • Proclamation of the Republic: Celebrated on November 15th.
  • Christmas Day (Natal): Celebrated on December 25th.

Regional and Municipal Holidays

Apart from national holidays, many cities and states in Brazil observe their own local holidays. These are often related to religious celebrations or historical events. Some examples include:

  • Carnival (Carnaval): This is a multi-day celebration preceding Lent. While not a fixed public holiday, many businesses and government offices close or operate on reduced hours during this period.
  • Corpus Christi: This religious holiday is celebrated on the Thursday, 60 days after Easter Sunday.
  • Foundation anniversaries of cities: Many cities have public holidays to celebrate their founding date.

Important Notes

If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is usually observed as the holiday. Regional and municipal holidays may vary, so it's recommended to check local calendars for specific dates and observances.

Types of leave

Employees are entitled to 30 calendar days of paid vacation per year after 12 months of employment with the same employer. The scheduling of the vacation must be balanced between the employee and employer's needs. At least 14 consecutive days and remaining days split into periods of at least 5 days are typically mandated. Employees also receive an additional payment equal to one-third of their gross monthly salary.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to the first 15 days of sick leave paid by the employer. After that, the National Institute for Social Security (INSS) takes over payments. Employees must provide a medical certificate to justify their absence.

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 120 days of paid maternity leave. Employers have the option to extend maternity leave to 180 days under the Citizen Company Program.

Paternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 5 days of paid paternity leave. Employers under the Citizen Company Program may extend paternity leave to 20 days.

Other Types of Leave

Employees are entitled to 3 consecutive days of paid leave for their wedding. They are also entitled to typically 2 days of paid leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member (may vary based on collective bargaining agreements). Employees are entitled to paid time off for medical appointments for themselves or their dependent children under the age of six. Employees are also entitled to one day of paid leave per year for blood donation.

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