Labor laws relating to individual rights and obligations are governed by detailed legislation.
The working day is limited to 8 hours a day, totaling 44 hours a week in commercial activities and 48 hours a week in industrial activities. In business activities, each employer can adjust the opening and closing hours. The rules state that stores can also be opened on Saturday and Sunday.
Wages are fixed in each case with the employee or, in some cases, are negotiated within agreements with unions. It is not possible to reach an agreement to grant the workers a fee lower than the national minimum wage established by the Executive Branch.
Paid annual vacation
The workers are entitled to be paid an annual leave of twenty continuous days, which is increased by one day every four years.
Workers are entitled to receive, an additional payment named as vacation salary, for better enjoyment of the paid annual leave.
Thirteenth Mandatory Salary
The Thirteenth Mandatory Salary must be paid to all employees of the private sector. It consists on one twelfth of the total salary received by the employer in the previous twelve month. This extra salary is charged twice: the first in June an the other half in December.
Compensation for lay off
The employer has the power to fire the worker, and the payment of compensation is mandatory. In the case of a monthly employee, the compensation is the equivalent of
a monthly salary for each year worked for the company, with a maximum of six monthly salaries and their incidents.
In the case of a day employee, the calculation relationship is similar to that of a monthly one, but based mainly on the actual working hours.
Foreigners working in Uruguay for more than six months obtain a temporary (up to 2 years) or permanent residence, which is granted without further requirements than a
document proving no criminal records in the country of origin of the worker and some others certificates.
The only restricted activities for foreign workers are:
- Fishing: The captain and at least 50% of the crew must be Uruguayan
- Uruguayan airline, the crew must be Uruguayan and at least 75% of the employees must be Uruguayan citizens.
- Tax free zone: 75% of the employees must be Uruguayan citizens.
The social security system covers the risk of invalidity, old age retirement, sickness, accident, maternity, unemployment and death. Membership is compulsory, except for foreign people working in Free Zone. Also, some foreign workers may choose to be excluded from the social security system, under international treaties signed by Uruguay.
The government agency leading the security system “Banco de Prevision Social” is responsible for collecting all the contributions made by companies and employees and
to maintain the labor file of each worker.