Hire in Peru: The Employer's Handbook

Table Of Content

Peru's labor market is buzzing with potential, becoming a hotspot for talent, particularly in the tech industry. It's drawing worldwide attention, and for good reason. The tech sector is growing exponentially, reflecting the rich talent pool and the innovative, forward-thinking mindset that's becoming a signature of Peru's tech scene. Plus, Peru's collaborative environment is ideal for forging international partnerships.

But to successfully navigate this promising market, it's crucial to grasp the ins and outs of Peru's local labor laws and practices. Peru has unique hiring practices for employees and contractors, each with its own set of regulations. Plus, the specifics of employment contracts, termination procedures, and benefits are all key pieces of the puzzle.

In this document, we'll guide you through these aspects, helping you understand and navigate the Peruvian labor market.

Distinguishing Between Employees and Contractors

One of the key aspects to consider when you hire in Peru is the distinction between employees and independent contractors. Each category comes with its specific regulations and obligations under the Peruvian law, hence it's critical to understand these differences to avoid potential legal issues.

Employment Contracts

Peruvian employment contracts are a pivotal aspect when you're looking to hire employees. These can be indefinite-term contracts, which are the standard form and cover all benefits stipulated by Peruvian labor laws such as vacation leave, health insurance, and pension fund contributions. In specific business situations, fixed-term contracts can be employed. Regardless of the type, all employment contracts in Peru must be written and registered with the Labor Authority, ensuring a clear, legal framework for your payroll process.

Independent Contractors

On the other hand, when hiring independent contractors in Peru, it's important to remember that they must function as autonomous service providers. This independence is crucial to prevent misclassification as employees, which could inadvertently place additional obligations on your company under Peruvian law.

The benefits for independent contractors differ significantly from regular employees and are determined at the employer's discretion. These benefits might not include the standard package applicable to regular employees, which is an important consideration when managing your payroll in Peru.

Key factors to help differentiate between an independent contractor and an employee include the provision of personal services, remuneration, and the level of subordination. These factors are critical to ensure compliance with Peruvian labor laws when you hire in Peru.

Regulations for Hiring International Employees

When planning to hire international employees in Peru, it's crucial to understand certain regulations. Firstly, the employment contract must be submitted and appropriate immigration status should be confirmed. Importantly, companies must limit their foreign hires to a maximum of 20% of their total workforce. Additionally, the total compensation for foreign personnel should not exceed 30% of the total payouts to domestic workers. Peru has ratified international agreements that facilitate the process of hiring foreign employees, especially those originating from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Foreign employers are not necessarily obliged to operate via a local entity to recruit an employee in Peru. This is because Peruvian law allows the employment relationship to be governed by the regulations of the foreign employer. However, if the parties decide to adhere to Peruvian labor regulations, the engagement of a local entity becomes necessary.

Employee Benefits in Peru

When launching operations in Peru, understanding the country's local laws regarding employee benefits and contribution structures is crucial. This knowledge not only aids in ensuring compliance with Peruvian labor regulations, but it also plays a vital role in attracting and retaining high-quality talent, including skilled developers:

  • Working Days: In line with Peruvian labor laws, the maximum working days are set at 6 per week. This typically involves 8 hours per day or a total of 48 hours per week. Working beyond this limit leads to overtime pay. The first 2 hours of overtime warrant at least 25% of the Peruvian employee's total remuneration, with any extra hours paid at a minimum of 35% per hour. A minimum 45-minute lunch break is also a requirement for employers.

  • Annual Vacations: Paid leave is an essential part of employee rights in Peru, with employees entitled to 30 days of paid vacation each year.

  • 13th and 14th Month Salaries: As part of the local laws, Peruvian employees receive an additional month’s salary twice a year, typically at the end of July and the year's end.

  • Household Allowance: For those employees with one or more children under the age of 18, they're eligible for an additional "household allowance". This benefit equates to 10% of the monthly minimum wage.

  • Health Insurance: Employers in Peru contribute to their employees' health insurance, including coverage through the National Health System (EsSalud), or private health systems (Entidades Promotoras de Salud or EPS). The standard contribution rate for health insurance is 9%.

  • Pension Fund Contributions: Employers in Peru also deduct and contribute to their employees' pension fund—a crucial aspect of employee benefits. This contribution is 13% for employees affiliated with the National Pension System, or approximately 12.5% for those affiliated with the Private Pension System.

  • CTS: Peru's unique bonus system, known as the Compensation for Length of Service (CTS), is another key component of employee benefits. This bonus typically equals 1.16 times an employee’s monthly salary and is paid in two halves - one in May and the other in November.

  • Life Insurance: Life insurance coverage for all employees is a mandatory requirement for employers in Peru.

  • Maternity Leave: In terms of paid leave, pregnant employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid leave, typically divided into 7 weeks before and 7 weeks after birth. Spouses of pregnant employees receive 10 consecutive days of leave.

  • Profit Sharing: Private company employees in Peru are entitled to a share of the profits, usually between 5% and 10% of taxable profits, depending on the employer's activity.

  • Income Tax: Income tax for employees in Peru varies based on income levels, with rates ranging from 8% to 30% of the employee's income. Understanding these tax brackets is essential for both employers and employees.

Understanding Termination and Severance Payments

Regulations in Peru govern employment termination, including severance pay, with specific rules and considerations. Employees may be dismissed due to capability issues or serious misconduct, but during the probationary period, which lasts for the first three months, employees can be dismissed without a stated reason. However, it's essential to note that for pregnant women, termination during this period is deemed invalid unless a legally valid cause is established.

Severance pay in Peru is a critical aspect of the termination process. Employees dismissed without just cause are entitled to severance pay calculated based on 1.5 monthly salaries for each full year of service they've rendered, with a cap at 12 monthly wages.

Case studies show that unfair dismissal is strictly prohibited in Peru. Employees have the right to claim reinstatement if they are dismissed for certain specific reasons. Furthermore, if employers are planning a significant reduction in their workforce—specifically, discharging 10% or more—they are required to negotiate with the employees. This negotiation can be done through trade unions or representatives, and approval from the Ministry of Labour is mandatory.

Other objective grounds for termination exist as well, such as employee resignation with a 30-day notice, completion of a task or service, contract expiration, mutual agreement, the worker's permanent total disability, and termination due to unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or employer bankruptcy.

These regulations aim to ensure fair treatment and protect employees' rights during employment transitions. Read more about this topic in this Employment Law Overview Peru

Minimum Wage and Cost of Living

In Peru, both the minimum wage and cost of living play significant roles for businesses and individuals. The government establishes the minimum wage periodically, considering factors such as industry, job role, and geographical area. As of 2024, the minimum wage stands at $1,025 PEN (roughly $267 USD). Employers are required to offer their Peruvian employees a compensation package that exceeds this set minimum wage.

Living costs in Peru can significantly vary, with urban areas like Lima generally being more expensive than rural regions. These costs encompass housing, food, transportation, and health services. On average, for a comfortable lifestyle, one can expect to spend around $765 a month. Given that the average post-tax salary is $384, it would approximately cover expenses for half a month.

Public Holidays in Peru

In Peru, full-time employees are entitled to paid public holidays and overtime pay for working on these days. The country observes a mix of national and regional holidays, including New Year's Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, and Christmas Day, along with regional celebrations like the Festival of the Sun in Cusco or the Battle of Angamos in Callao.

Public Holidays in Peru for the Year 2024

Date Holiday Name
Monday, January 1st, 2024 New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)
Thursday, March 28th, 2024 Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo)
Friday, March 29th, 2024 Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 Labor Day (Día del Trabajador)
Monday, July 1st, 2024 Saint Peter and Saint Paul (San Pedro y san Pablo) 
Saturday, July 28th and July 29th, 2024 National Holiday
Wednesday, August 6th, 2024 Battle of Junin Day
Friday, August 23th, 2024 Santa Rosa de Lima
Tuesday, October 8th, 2024 Naval combat of Angamos
Friday, November 1st, 2024 All Saints' Day (Fiesta de Todos los Santos)
Sunday, December 8th, 2024 Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción)
Monday, December 9th, 2024 Battle of Ayacucho
Wednesday, December 25th, 2024 Christmas Day (Navidad)

In conclusion, the process of hiring employees in Peru involves various steps and considerations, including understanding the Labor Code, types of work contracts, key regulations and benefits, and the nuances of employment termination and severance payments.

Furthermore, it's essential to be aware of the specific practices for hiring employees and contractors in Peru. Distinguishing between these two can help maintain compliance with Peruvian labor laws.

Remember, BetterWay Devs aims to be your trusted partner in IT staffing and recruiting. Our professional and expert team is here to guide you to connect with talented professionals in Peru,  We offer flexible hiring solutions to ensure compliance and employee satisfaction.  Connect with us to learn more

Paula Tellez

BetterWay Devs Inbound Marketing Manager

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-tellez/

Suggested Readings

Peru Labor Laws

Practical Guide on Peruvian labour law

Employee Law Overview Peru

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