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Overview of Brazil

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and lies in South America. It makes up 47% of South America. It has a population of 210 million and the capital is Brasília. Brazil has been the largest exporter for coffee for the last 150 years. The Brazilian Sao Paulo has the largest economy by GDP of any city in the Southern Hemisphere. Brazil is home to the famous Amazon River and has 21 Unesco World Hertiage sites. It hosts the famous carnival every year. Portugese is the official language of Brazil.

Brazialians like to do business with people, not companies. Small talk is thus of uttermost importance to be able to build up a good relationship. Brazilians pride themselves of being in control of their emotions, so ensure one does not lose one’s temper or become frustrated around them. Business is hierachal, the highest person will make the last decision. This can lead to some delays and patience is neccessary. Punctuality is seen as flexible so do not be surprised if meetings start late and run long. Brazilians have a famous saying: “to our friends, everything; to others, the law”. Ensure you are on the right side!

Currency of Brazil

  • Brazilian Real

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Brazil

In Brazil, healthcare is a constitutional right. It is provided by the government and through private institutions. The healthcare system is funded by taxes and contributions from the state, municipal and federal governments. The delivery and administration of care are handled by the states or municipalities.

The Brazilian health system, known as SUS (Sistema Único de Saúde), provides free service of the following:

  • primary health care

  • preventive services inclusing immunizations

  • outpatient specialty care

  • hospital care

  • maternity care

  • mental health services

  • pharmaceuticals

  • physical therapy

  • dental care

  • optometry and other vision care

  • durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs

  • hearing aids

  • home care

  • organ transplant

  • oncology services

  • renal dialysis

  • blood therapy.

Private healthcare is voluntary and regulated by the National Agency of Supplementary Health. Many beneficiaries receive their private healthcare as an employment benefit.

Employer cost of Brazil

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Brazil is a plus of 19.00% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Brazil

Regular employees are monthly. They are required by law to receive their salary on the 5th of the following day.

Employees receive a 13th salary. Most employers pay the 13th salary in two instalments on the 30th of November and on the 20th of December.

Further commissions, incentives, and bonuses are variable and will be agreed upon directly with the employer.

Public Holidays in Brazil

  • January 1st – New Year’s Day
  • April 21st – Tiradentes
  • May 1st – Labour Day
  • September 7th – Independence Day
  • October 12th – Our Lady of Aparcida
  • November 2nd – Day of the Dead
  • November 15th – Republic Proclamation Day
  • December 25th – Christmas Day

Working Hours in Brazil

Office hours are from 8.30am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

A regular work week is 44 hours.

Overtime is limited to 2 hours per day and any hours worked over 8 hours per day are considered overtime. It is paid at a rate of 150% of regular pay.

Vacation in Brazil

Brazilians are entitled to 30 days of annual leave. The main condition is that the employee does not have more than 5 unjustified absences in the year.

Sick Leave in Brazil

When one falls sick in Brazil, one has to present a medical certificate stating how many days one will be absent from work. The first 15 days are paid by the employer, usually at 100% of the salary. From the 16th day onwards, the National Institute for Social Security (INSS) takes over and pays a fixed rate.

Termination/Severance in Brazil

In Brazil, employees can be dismissed with or without cause at any time. Notice periods and severance pay needs to be adhered to. The notice period is 30 days.

If an employee is terminated without cause, he has the right to his proportional payment for untaken holidays plus his proportional 13th month salary. He is also given access to the funds deposited in a severance fund called Brazilian Government Severance Indemnity Fund Law (FGTS). An employee deposits 8% of his wage into this fund monthly. For dismissal without cause, the employer pays an additional 40% on the balance in the account.

When an employee is dismissed with cause, he is only entitled to any unused holiday pay and a proportional 13th month salary.