Argentina Vacation Laws and Paid Leave: A Guide for US Companies Hiring Abroad

US companies that want to expand their teams abroad, especially in engineering, should look to Argentina, where tech workers make up 32% of the population. Read our guide to learn about Argentinian vacation laws and paid leave benefits in preparation for hiring in Argentina.

Caitlin MacDougall
Caitlin MacDougall
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It's easy to see why many US companies decide to grow their business in Argentina. This South American country offers much in the ways of tech start up culture and entrepreneurial opportunity. The government in Buenos Aires even offers benefits to entrepreneurs to assist with building their startups and businesses. Government programs such as IncuBAte support startups in different industries such as design, social media, tech, and tourism, among other industries. Aside from drawing entrepreneurs to the country, Argentina attracts remote engineers and other tech workers. In the capital city of Buenos Aires, these workers make up 32% of the country's entire population.

Outside of work, the culture of Argentina is rich and vibrant. From fùtbol and wine-tasting to tango and sipping mate, there are many traditions that attract visitors and potential business owners alike. The holiday season in Argentina is also unique. In this article, we will outline some of Argentina's national holidays and the vacation benefits that Argentinian employees are entitled to, as well as other kinds of paid leave.

Photo of salt flats covered in water in Jujuy

Employment relationship versus independent contractor relationship 📑

Most countries have labor laws that distinguish workers who are employees versus independent contractors, and Argentina is no exception. So before we get into public holidays and paid leave, let's do a quick overview of what it means to be an employee in Argentina versus an independent contract worker, as it will determine which workers have holiday entitlement or paid time off.

Employees

  • In employment relationships in Argentina, the employer manages the employees's schedule and instructs them on their duties. Employees are given contracts and are entitled to a salary with employee benefits such as health care and vacation leave, and the business that employs them is responsible for handling their tax withholding, social security contributions, and severance pay. Employment contract law in Argentina has to adhere to the country’s labor laws, known primarily as Employment Contract Law, or Ley de Contrato de Trabajo (LCT) unless otherwise specified in industry-wide collective agreements.

Here are some common examples of employment contracts in Argentina:

  • Indefinite term employment contracts are verbal or written contracts where the worker is considered a permanent employee with no determined end to their tenure, unless a mutual agreement between the employer and employee states otherwise. Most employment contracts fall under this category.
  • Fixed term contracts are contracts that do not exceed five years. If a fixed term contract is renewed, it may be viewed as an indefinite term contract.
  • Contracts for the duration of the work or task are employment relationships that end once a service is complete
  • Special service contracts includes seasonal employment and group employment contracts through a manager or union representatives.

Independent contractors

  • Independent contractors have contracts that last only for the duration of the work or task. In this case, the employer does not manage the worker's schedule or provide them with the tools needed to complete the work or task. From the worker's perspective, they do not depend on the employer as a sole source of income, and they have not invested any of their own money into the employer's business. Independent contractors are not granted paid leave or holidays.

Why many companies choose to hire independent contractors

Hiring independent contractors in lieu of employees is an ideal option for a company that is uncertain about how much work they can offer or how long a project will take. It can also be a more cost-effective alternative for businesses, as they are typically not responsible for managing income taxes that their independent contractors may owe.

Before you hire an independent contractor, it's important that you distinguish that relationship from an employee relationship when you make the job offer. While there is no Argentinian law requiring a formal written contract for independent contractors, the employer should make an informal offer in a call or an email, and be clear what kind of contract they can offer.

Photo of pedestrians crossing a street in Buenos Aires

Calculating vacation pay for employees that have worked for the same employer, according to length of employment

Argentinian employees' holiday entitlement increases depending on the length of employment. Their annual vacation can increase up to a maximum of five weeks, or 35 days of paid annual vacation, depending on the length of continuous employment.

  • If an employee is employed for less than six months, their annual leave will be equal to one day off for every 20 days of work.
  • If an employee has worked for the same employer employer for up to six months, they are entitled to 14 days of paid vacation.
  • If an employee has completed five years of service by the same employer, but less than ten years, they are entitled to 21 days of paid leave.
  • If an employee is employed for more than 10 years by the same employer but less than 20, they must be allowed 28 days of leave.
  • If an employee is employed for 20 years or more, they are allowed 35 days of paid leave.

The employee is entitled to salary payment as well as other benefits and they must be paid their salary before their vacation period starts. The salary payment is calculated by dividing the employee's salary by 25 and then multiplying it by the number of holidays or days off to which the employee is entitled.

Scheduling annual leave for general holidays 📆

There are 12 public holidays in Argentina as determined by the National Executive Power. These paid public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day
  • Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice
  • Day of Veterans and Fallen of the Malvinas War
  • Good Friday
  • Labor Day
  • National Day (Anniversary of the 1810 Revolution)
  • National Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • San Mart
  • Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity
  • Immaculate Conception
  • Christmas Day

If a holiday falls on a Wednesday, the public holiday is scheduled for Monday of that week. If the holiday falls on a Thursday, the public holiday is scheduled for the following Monday.

Employees who practice religions other than Catholicism may be granted holiday leave. Additionally, there are some holidays that are are celebrated on Mondays or Fridays in an effort to encourage tourism among Argentinian nationals and stimulate economic growth.

Photo of train station in Funes, Santa Fe

Employees are entitled to paid maternity leave and parental leave 🤰

Female employees are allowed 45 days of maternity leave before childbirth as well as 45 days after childbirth. Male employees who are fathers are limited to two days of paternity leave. The female employee may also request additional unpaid leave for three to six months, and are entitled to cash benefits paid out of social security.

Employers contribute 4.57 percent of the employee's compensation for cash benefits that are known as a family allowance fund. An employee receives family allowances if they have children. Large companies must pay 5.48 percent in family allowances. Family allowances are paid directly to the social security system of Argentina, known as the National Social Security Administration (Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social). Employees do not contribute to this fund.

Employees are entitled to sick leave 🤒

Paid sick leave in Argentina is ample compared to many other countries. Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to three months per year if their continuous employment with an employer has lasted 5 years or less. They are entitled to a paid sick leave period for up to six months if their employment relationship has lasted for more than 5 years. If an employee is injured or becomes sick because of a work-related task, their rehabilitation for the injury and their sick pay is covered by compulsory employment risk insurance, or labor risk insurance, for up to one year.

COVID-19 regulations

In 2021, the ministries of Labor and Health jointly enacted Resolution No. 4/2021, which allows employers to request that their employees return to the workplace 14 days after being vaccinated with the first COVID-19 vaccine dose. This also applies to workers who are considered vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, except for employees who have an immunodeficiency, oncological disorders, or have undergone any kind of medical transplant.

Although the employer is responsible for mitigating risk of infection of COVID-19, they cannot enforce mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.

Other types of paid leave

There are other types of paid leave that an employer can grant to their employees under the following circumstances:

  • In the case of a marriage, employees are entitled to ten days of continuous leave
  • If a parent or spouse experiences the death of a child, parent or spouse, employees are entitled to three days of continuous leave.
  • In the case of the death of a sibling, an employee is entitled to one day's leave.
  • If an employee needs to complete a high school or university exam, they can receive two continuous days of leave for up to a maximum of ten days a year.

Rest periods and overtime hours

Employers are required to provide a weekly rest period of 35 continuous hours for employees, and employees are entitled to twelve hours of rest between two working days. In the case of a team working in rotating shifts, the normal working hours can exceed eight hours a day for each employee, so long as each employee works fewer hours on another day of the week. Employees' working hours cannot exceed 48 hours a week.

For night shifts, employees may work from 9pm to 6am, and payment for each hour of night work must also include eight minutes of overtime pay. Employees cannot work for more than seven hours a day or 35 hours a week.

If an employee does work overtime hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at 50% of their regular wages. If an employee works overtime hours on a holiday, they must receive 100% of their wages on top of their normal compensation. Overtime hours cannot exceed 30 hours a month unless a collective bargaining agreement states otherwise, or a labor representative representing a trade union has a different arrangement.

National minimum wage in Argentina

As of October 2021, government authorities raised the minimum wage to 31,938 Argentine pesos, with a plan to increase minimum wage again to 32,616 Argentine pesos in February 2022. The minimum wage plan, they hope, will offset the effects of inflation, which recently was recorded at 52.1% in 12 months and 41.8% in the first 10 months of the year.

Photo of lake in Villa La Angostura, Neuquén

Compliance and payroll services 💸

If your company is looking to expand its reach to other countries, it will be important to stay compliant with local laws. Depending on which country you decide to hire a remote team in, local labor laws will vary, not to mention public holidays that require vacation time. In South America, the employment laws in Argentina will differ slightly from Chile, say, or Brazil, and the local laws within each country will vary depending on the city in which you choose to hire.

And when it comes to annual leave specifically, the employment contract laws can be complex. There are public holidays to consider--not to mention paid leave such as maternity leave, severance pay, sick pay, and other types of paid leave. Furthermore, tax laws, as well as collective bargaining agreements and trade unions can influence an employment contract.

Failing to comply with local laws can result in fines or legal action. For many companies, the most prudent option for offsetting the risk of noncompliance is to hire legal and HR experts.

Pilot can help

Pilot is an HR and payroll platform that provides payroll, benefits, and compliance for remote teams. We can help your business navigate all the odds and ends of international compliance, including local labor laws, collective agreements, and tax laws. We support contractor payments in over 240 countries around the world, with no markup fees and no need for an e-wallet--which means that contractors love getting paid through Pilot. We also enable companies to hire and pay employees in over 160 countries, without having to set up a local entity.


Interested in learning more? We'd love to chat with you about your hiring needs. Schedule a demo with one of our experts.


⚖️ Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Cover photo from Buenos Aires by Rafael Leão on Unsplash

Photo of salt flats covered in water in Jujuy by Hector Ramon Perez on Unsplash

Photo of pedestrians crossing a street in Buenos Aires by Sasha Zvereva on Unsplash

Photo of train station in Funes, Santa Fe, by Hector Ramon Perez on Unsplash

Photo of lake in Villa La Angostura, Neuquén by Fermin Rodriguez Penelas on Unsplash

Caitlin MacDougall
Caitlin MacDougall
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