Rivermate | Colombia flag


Salary and Compensation Insights

Explore salary structures and compensation details in Colombia

Market competitive salaries

Understanding market competitive salaries in Colombia is crucial for both employers seeking to attract top talent and employees negotiating their compensation. This guide explores key factors influencing salaries.

Factors Affecting Market Competitive Salaries

  • Industry: Salaries vary significantly between industries. Finance, oil & gas, and technology typically offer higher salaries than hospitality or retail.
  • Experience and Skills: Employees with greater experience and specialized skills tend to command higher salaries.
  • Education: Educational attainment can significantly impact salary potential. For instance, professionals with advanced degrees often earn more than those with bachelor's degrees.
  • Location: Cost of living varies across Colombia. Salaries in major cities like Bogota are generally higher than in smaller towns.
  • Company Size: Multinational corporations or larger domestic companies may offer more competitive salaries compared to smaller firms.

Researching Competitive Salaries in Colombia

  • Salary Surveys: Reputable organizations conduct salary surveys that provide benchmarks for various positions across industries and locations.
  • Job Boards: Leading job boards often list salary ranges alongside job postings, offering valuable insights into market rates.
  • Government Resources: The Colombian Ministry of Labor publishes information that can serve as a reference point for understanding salary structures.

Additional Considerations

  • Benefits: Competitive compensation packages often include benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans. The value of these benefits should be factored into total compensation.
  • Negotiation: Understanding market rates empowers employees to negotiate their salaries effectively.

Minimum wage

Colombia sets a national minimum wage that is adjusted annually to account for inflation and economic factors. This is crucial for employers to understand in order to comply with labor laws and ensure fair compensation for their employees.

Current Minimum Wage

As of January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Colombia is COP 1,300,000 per month (approximately USD 361). This figure applies to all employees regardless of their profession, as established in Decree 2292 of 2023.

Transportation Subsidy

In addition to the minimum wage, some Colombian employees are entitled to a mandatory transportation subsidy. This benefit is designed to offset commuting costs and applies to workers earning up to two minimum wages per month. The current transportation subsidy is COP 162,000 per month, as established in Decree 2293 of 2023.

Minimum Integral Wage

Colombia also has a concept of a minimum integral wage, which applies to certain contracts like fixed-term employment. This wage includes the minimum monthly salary plus the transportation subsidy. The minimum integral wage for 2024 is COP 1,462,000 (COP 1,300,000 minimum wage + COP 162,000 transportation subsidy).

Note: It's important for employers to stay updated on minimum wage regulations, as they are subject to change annually.

Bonuses and allowances

In Colombia, beyond the base salary, companies often provide additional benefits to attract and retain talent. This includes mandatory bonuses and common allowances, as well as additional bonuses and allowances offered by some companies.

Mandatory Bonuses

  • Prima de Servicios (Thirteenth Salary): This is a mandatory year-end bonus equivalent to one month's salary. It is paid in two installments, typically in June and December.

  • Legislative Reference: This bonus is mandated by the Código Sustantivo del Trabajo, Article 361.

Common Allowances

  • Transportation Allowance: This allowance partially offsets commuting costs for employees earning up to twice the minimum wage. The current monthly amount is COP 162,000 (as of January 1, 2024).

  • Meal Allowance: This allowance helps cover meal expenses during work hours. The specific amount varies depending on the company and industry.

Additional Bonuses and Allowances

  • Performance-Based Bonuses: These bonuses reward employees for exceeding targets or achieving specific goals.

  • Overtime Compensation: Employees receive additional pay for working beyond the standard workday or workweek.

  • Cafeteria or Food Vouchers: These provide employees with subsidized meals or vouchers for restaurants.

  • Health Insurance: Many companies offer health insurance plans beyond basic government-provided healthcare.

The availability and extent of these additional benefits can vary depending on the company, industry, position, and employee negotiation.

Payroll cycle

In Colombia, specific regulations are adhered to regarding payroll cycles, ensuring timely compensation for employees. The typical payroll cycle in Colombia is either monthly or bi-weekly. In the monthly cycle, employees receive their salary on the last working day of the month. In the bi-weekly format, payments are made on the 15th and the last day of the month.

Legislative Considerations

While there's no law mandating a specific frequency, Colombian labor law emphasizes timely payment of salaries. Article 136 of the Código Sustantivo del Trabajo (Colombian Substantive Labor Code) states that salaries must be paid "periodically" at the agreed-upon interval. This emphasizes the importance of a consistent and predetermined payment schedule.

Additional Considerations

Employers must calculate gross earnings, taxes, withholdings, and deductions before disbursing net pay. This process considers mandatory contributions to social security, healthcare, and severance funds. Salary payments must be made in Colombian Pesos (COP) via cash, check, or direct deposit. Colombian regulations discourage foreign currency transactions for domestic employees. Employers are obligated to provide payslips with detailed information about earnings and deductions to employees. These can be issued electronically or in paper form, and must comply with Colombian electronic payroll reporting requirements.

Importance of Compliance

Following proper payroll practices is crucial for Colombian employers. Failure to comply can result in penalties and legal ramifications. Additionally, maintaining a consistent and timely payroll cycle fosters trust and improves employee morale. Understanding Colombia's payroll cycle practices is essential for both employers and employees. Employers can ensure legal compliance, timely payments, and accurate record-keeping. Employees can expect predictable compensation schedules and transparency in their earnings.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.