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Discover everything you need to know about Peru

Hire in Peru at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Peru

Peruvian Nuevo Sol
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
48 hours/week

Overview in Peru

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Peru is a geographically diverse country with three main regions: the coastal desert (Costa), the highlands (Sierra), and the Amazon jungle (Selva), each contributing to its varied climates and ecosystems. Historically, Peru was home to ancient civilizations like the Norte Chico and the Incas before the Spanish conquest in 1532 led by Francisco Pizarro. After gaining independence in 1821, Peru faced periods of conflict and instability but has seen political stability and economic growth since the early 2000s.

The country's socio-economic landscape is influenced by its rich mix of Indigenous, European, African, and Asian heritages. Despite significant economic progress, challenges like rural poverty, environmental degradation, and social inequalities persist. The workforce is young and primarily urban, with a significant informal sector. Education and skill development, particularly in technical and vocational areas, are ongoing needs.

Peru's economy is supported by several key industries:

  • Mining: A major contributor to export earnings, especially in metals like copper and gold.
  • Agriculture: Employs a significant portion of the workforce, with products like coffee and asparagus.
  • Fishing: Critical for its fishmeal production.
  • Manufacturing: Focuses on textiles, food processing, and light industries.

Emerging sectors include technology and innovation, renewable energy, and aquaculture, which are poised for growth. The service sector, including tourism and retail, is the largest employer and a significant part of the GDP. Cultural norms in the workplace emphasize indirect communication, respect for hierarchy, and the importance of personal relationships.

Taxes in Peru

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In Peru, employers are mandated to fulfill various tax obligations to support social security, pensions, and healthcare systems. Key contributions include:

  • Social Security Contributions (ESSALUD): Employers contribute 9% of an employee's gross salary to ESSALUD, which provides medical coverage. A 25% offset is available if private health insurance is provided.

  • Pension Contributions: Employers choose between the National Pension System (ONP) at a 13% rate or the Private Pension System (AFP) at around 12.4%, both based on the employee's gross salary.

  • Compensation for Time of Service (CTS): This severance-like provision requires employers to pay an equivalent of one month's salary per year of service, with payments due in May and November.

  • Additional Insurance: High-risk sectors may need extra insurance for workplace accidents.

  • Income Tax Withholding: Employers must withhold and remit income tax, ranging from 8% to 30%.

  • Deductions: These include mandatory contributions to ESSALUD and income tax, optional contributions to private pension funds and private health insurance, and additional deductions for specific expenses like rent and professional services.

  • VAT and Exemptions: The standard VAT rate is 18%, with exemptions for services like education and public transportation. Some services are subject to VAT withholding (SPOT) at rates of 4%, 10%, or 12%.

  • Filing Procedures: VAT-registered businesses must file monthly returns electronically.

  • Tax Benefits: Until 2030, certain agricultural activities benefit from a reduced corporate tax rate of 15% and a tax credit for reinvested profits.

Tax laws in Peru are subject to change, and it is advisable to consult the official Peruvian Tax Authority (SUNAT) for current regulations.

Leave in Peru

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In Peru, Labor Law Decree No. 713 mandates that employees receive 30 calendar days of paid vacation after a year of continuous service. Vacation scheduling requires mutual agreement, with at least 15 consecutive days. Employees can sell back up to 15 unused vacation days. If employment ends before a year, employees get a prorated vacation payout.

Peru observes several national holidays, including New Year's Day, Labor Day, and Christmas, among others. Regional holidays may vary. The Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion provides an updated holiday calendar.

Employees also have entitlements to other leaves such as sick leave, maternity leave (98 days), paternity leave (10 days), and additional leaves for specific circumstances like marriage or bereavement. These provisions can be enhanced by collective bargaining agreements or specific sector regulations.

Benefits in Peru

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In Peru, labor laws ensure a robust benefits package for employees, which includes social security contributions, healthcare, paid leave, and bonuses. Employers must enroll employees in the National Health Insurance System (Essalud), contributing 9% of monthly salaries to cover medical services. Additionally, contributions are made to the National Pension System (ONP) or a voluntary Private Pension System (SPP), with the latter allowing employees to manage their retirement funds with potential for higher returns.

Employees enjoy 30 days of paid vacation annually, paid public holidays, and up to 365 days of sick leave, with the initial 20 days paid by the employer. Maternity leave is granted for 98 days, and paternity leave terms vary. Peruvian law also requires two annual bonuses equivalent to a month's salary each, and contributions to a severance benefit account (CTS).

Beyond mandatory benefits, many companies offer private health insurance, life insurance, wellness programs, profit sharing, and support for work-life balance through flexible work arrangements and childcare assistance. Additional perks may include meal vouchers, transportation allowances, and educational assistance, enhancing the overall employment package and helping attract and retain talent.

Workers Rights in Peru

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In Peru, employment termination is regulated by the Constitution, the Productivity and Competitiveness Labor Law (LPCL), and Supreme Decrees. Employers can dismiss employees due to conduct-related issues (like tardiness or misconduct), capacity-related issues (such as performance decline), or objective reasons (like economic restructuring). Written notices are required for dismissals based on conduct and capacity, with a 30-day improvement period for the latter.

Severance pay is mandated for dismissals without cause or due to force majeure, calculated at one and a half month's pay per year of service, capped at twelve months' pay. Unfair dismissals may lead to reinstatement or additional compensation.

Discrimination in employment based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, disability, and other characteristics is prohibited, with various legal mechanisms available for redress, including criminal charges and civil claims. Employers must prevent discrimination and ensure a safe, healthy work environment, adhering to regulations on work hours, rest periods, and ergonomic requirements. They are also responsible for risk prevention, providing safety training, and supplying personal protective equipment.

The Ministry of Labor enforces these regulations, with increased penalties for safety violations as per recent decrees. Employees have rights to a safe workplace and can refuse unsafe work, participating in safety committees to promote preventive culture.

Agreements in Peru

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Peru's labor law accommodates various employment agreements to meet different work needs, including Indefinite-Term, Fixed-Term, and Part-Time Contracts.

  • Indefinite-Term Employment Contract: This is the standard contract with no set end date, offering significant job security. It can be verbal or written, though written is preferred for clarity.

  • Fixed-Term Contract: This contract has a defined start and end date, with a maximum duration of five years. It must be in writing and registered with the Peruvian Ministry of Labor. Subcategories include contracts for specific projects, fluctuating company needs, and entrepreneurial reorganization.

  • Part-Time Contract: Allows for a reduced work schedule with pro-rated benefits similar to those of full-time employees.

Key clauses in an employment agreement should include identification of parties, job details, work schedule and location, compensation and benefits, termination clauses, confidentiality and intellectual property, and dispute resolution.

The legal framework also outlines a probationary period, typically three months, extendable up to one year for managerial roles. During this period, employers have more flexibility in terminating employment without specific justification but must observe notice requirements.

Confidentiality clauses are enforceable, protecting sensitive employer information. Non-compete clauses are less favored by Peruvian law, requiring reasonable scope and compensation for enforceability.

Remote Work in Peru

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Peru's Law No. 31572, or the Law of Telework, effective from April 28, 2023, governs remote work, defining it as work performed outside the traditional office using ICT, with teleworkers enjoying the same rights as office-based employees. This includes benefits, social security, career opportunities, and the right to disconnect outside work hours. A written agreement is required to specify the terms of remote work.

Employers must provide or help with the costs of necessary technology and cybersecurity to facilitate effective remote work. They are also tasked with setting work schedules, providing training on remote tools and cybersecurity, and ensuring ergonomic and safe home workspaces. Performance evaluations are required to monitor remote employees' productivity.

Part-time and flexitime work are regulated under different decrees, allowing flexible or reduced hours without specific provisions for expense reimbursements, which are generally subject to negotiation. Job sharing is not explicitly covered by law but follows similar principles.

Data protection is crucial, with the Personal Data Protection Law (Law No. 29733) mandating employers to protect employee data, obtain consent for its use, and inform employees about data use. Employers must implement strong data security measures, such as encryption and training for employees on best practices. Employees have rights to access, control, and request correction or deletion of their personal data.

Working Hours in Peru

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Peru's labor law establishes a maximum workday of eight hours and a 48-hour workweek. For minors aged 12 to 14, the limit is four hours per day and 20 hours per week. Overtime is required to be compensated if these limits are exceeded. Workers are entitled to daily breaks, including a minimum 45-minute lunch break for continuous schedules, and a weekly rest period of 24 consecutive hours, ideally on Sunday. Night shift workers receive a 35% wage surcharge and must earn at least the minimum wage. Weekend work on a rest day is considered overtime and must be compensated. These regulations aim to protect worker rights and health.

Salary in Peru

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Understanding competitive salaries in Peru is essential for attracting and retaining skilled employees and ensuring fair compensation. Factors influencing salaries include job title, industry, experience, education, location, and company size. Resources like salary surveys, job boards, and government data help determine competitive wages. The minimum wage is set through a collaborative process involving government, worker unions, and employer organizations, and applies to all private-sector employees. Peruvian law mandates bonuses and allowances such as twice-yearly gratifications and compensation for length of service. Optional allowances may include family, transportation, meal, and shift differentials. Payroll cycles are typically monthly, with legal requirements for timely payments, payslips, and contributions to social security and pensions.

Termination in Peru

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In Peru, employment termination notice periods and severance pay are regulated based on the initiator and reason for termination. Employees resigning must provide a 30-day written notice, with the possibility of an exemption if the employer agrees. Employer-initiated terminations require a 30-day notice for capability issues and a 6-day notice for serious misconduct. Unjustified dismissals entitle employees to severance pay, calculated differently for indefinite and fixed-term contracts. Additionally, all employees are entitled to Compensación por Tiempo de Servicios (CTS), paid semi-annually. The termination process, whether initiated by the employee or employer, must adhere to specific legal protocols outlined in the Ley de Productividad y Competitividad Laboral (LPCL).

Freelancing in Peru

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In Peru, distinguishing between employees and independent contractors is crucial due to legal and financial implications. Employees are under employer control, integrated into the company, and receive regular benefits, whereas independent contractors have more autonomy, are not integral to the company's structure, and handle their own taxes and social security.

Key aspects for independent contractors include:

  • Control vs. Autonomy: Contractors control their work methods and schedules.
  • Integration vs. Independence: They are not part of the company's routine structure.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Contractors negotiate their own fees and manage their benefits.

Contracts are vital for clarity and protection in independent contracting, with common types being fixed-fee, hourly rate, and performance-based contracts. Effective negotiation of contract terms is essential, and contractors should be aware of industry standards and payment terms.

Industries such as IT, creative sectors, consulting, and professional services frequently use independent contractors. Contractors must manage their own taxes and may need specific insurance coverage, such as public liability or professional indemnity insurance.

Intellectual property (IP) rights, covering copyrights, trademarks, and patents, are also significant. Ownership usually defaults to the client unless otherwise stated in a contract. Contractors should take steps to protect their IP and may need legal advice for complex issues.

Health & Safety in Peru

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Peru's health and safety regulations are outlined in the Law on Occupational Health and Safety (Law No. 29783), supplemented by Supreme Decree No. 005-2012-TR, and various sector-specific regulations. Employers are required to implement comprehensive health and safety policies, provide training, and ensure the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Workers have rights to a safe workplace, compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses, and participation in safety committees.

The Superintendence of National Labor Inspection (SUNAFIL) enforces these laws through inspections, with the authority to issue fines and enforce compliance. Key areas of focus include hazard identification, risk assessment, control measures, health surveillance, incident reporting, and emergency preparedness. Continuous improvement and active worker involvement are emphasized to enhance safety standards.

Workplace inspections are crucial for verifying compliance, identifying hazards, and raising safety awareness. These inspections follow a risk-based approach and include steps like notification, walkthroughs, interviews, and a formal reporting process. Employers are responsible for reporting workplace accidents and conducting investigations to prevent future incidents. Workers injured due to workplace conditions are entitled to compensation through mechanisms like Complementary Work Risk Insurance (SCTR) or civil liability claims.

Dispute Resolution in Peru

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Peru's labor court system is structured hierarchically with First Instance Labor Courts, Superior Labor Courts, and the Specialized Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court, handling disputes related to labor relationships such as salary claims, discrimination, and workplace safety. Arbitration serves as an alternative to litigation for significant labor disputes, involving a less formal hearing process and a binding decision by arbitrators.

Compliance audits and inspections in Peru are conducted by various regulatory bodies like SUNAT for tax, SUNAFIL for labor, and OEFA for environmental compliance, focusing on adherence to laws and regulations. These audits help prevent legal and financial repercussions, ensure workplace safety, and maintain environmental standards.

Whistleblower protections in Peru are robust, safeguarding against retaliation and ensuring confidentiality, with legal frameworks supporting those who report misconduct. Peru has also aligned its labor laws with international standards by ratifying several ILO conventions, addressing rights like freedom of association and non-discrimination, although challenges like informal employment and workplace discrimination persist.

Cultural Considerations in Peru

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  • Indirect Communication: In Peru, indirectness is preferred over blunt directness to maintain politeness and group harmony. Phrases like "tal vez" (maybe) or "lo voy a pensar" (I'll think about it) are commonly used instead of a direct "no."

  • Formality in the Workplace: Peruvian workplaces emphasize formality, especially in communication with superiors, where titles and respectful language are important. Written communications also tend to be formal.

  • Importance of Non-Verbal Cues: Non-verbal communication is crucial in Peru. Peruvians are sensitive to body language and facial expressions, which can convey respect, attentiveness, or even disagreement subtly.

  • Negotiation Practices: Building relationships and trust is central to negotiation in Peru, with a focus on patience and rapport over immediate gains. Negotiators often use strategies like "playing dumb" to gain concessions.

  • Hierarchical Business Structure: Peru features a hierarchical business environment where authority is respected, and decision-making is centralized. This can slow down processes but ensures thorough evaluation.

  • Leadership Styles: Directive leadership is common, with leaders expected to be decisive and act as mentors. However, there is a growing trend towards more participative leadership styles to foster innovation and engagement.

  • Understanding Cultural and Public Holidays: Awareness of national and regional holidays is important for planning and operations. Major holidays like Holy Week, Labor Day, and National Independence Day significantly affect business activities, with closures or reduced hours typical.

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