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Overview of Uruguay

Uruguay lies in the south-eastern corner of South America. The countries name means river of the painted bird. It has a population of 3.44 million and the capital is Montevideo. The official language is Spanish. It was declared an independent country in 1825 but still bears the colonial charm from Spanish and Portuguese settlers. It is regarded as one of the least corrupt, most democratic and safest countries in South America. Uruguay has a literacy rate of 98.1%, one of the highest in the world. This is due to the compulsory, free education.

Meetings are very formal. One should arrive on time, even if the Uruguayan counterpart will probably not be. Who you are is important and so small talk will be important at the beginning of every meeting. Dress well when meeting with them. During meetings, decisions will not be reached. Meetings are there for discussions and an exchange of ideas.

Currency of Uruguay

  • Uruguayan peso

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Uruguay

The Uruguayan healthcare system has 2 options, the private Mutualista system or the public healthcare system

The public healthcare system is referred to as the Administración de Los Servicios de Salud del Estado (ASSE). In this system, medical care for the poor and low-income patients costs nothing. As long as one has a Uruguayan ID card, one can access the system.

The private Mutualista plans function like a membership to a private hospital. A person pays a monthly fee to have access to the services of a private hospital. It has neither deductibles nor a lifetime cap.

The Mutualista facilities are also accessible to ASSE patients by making a regular monthly payment.

Since the public healthcare system has fewer patients due to many being insured through the Mutualista system, it is not overcrowded and has good service.

Employer cost of Uruguay

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Uruguay is a plus of 12.63% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Uruguay

Regular employees are paid monthly.

A 13th monthly wage (known as Aguinaldo) is mandatory. It is paid in 2 installments, half by June 30th and half by the end of the year.

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

Public Holidays in Uruguay

  • January 1st – New Years Day
  • January 6th – Children’s Day
  • moveable – Carnival
  • moveable in late March or early April – Tourism week
  • April 19th – Landing of the 33 Patriots Day
  • May 1st – International Worker’s Day
  • May 18th – Battle of Las Piedras
  • June 19th – Birthday of José Gervasio Artigas and Never Again Day
  • July 18th – Constitution Day
  • August 25th – Independence Day
  • October 12th – Day of the race (Columbus Day)
  • November 2nd – Deceased Ones Day
  • December 25th – Day of the Family (Christmas)

Working Hours in Uruguay

Office hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

A regular work week is 44 hours.

Overtime is considered anything worked more than 44 hours and is compensated with 200% of the regular hourly wage.

Vacation in Uruguay

In Uruguay, employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days vacation a year. After having been with the company for 5 years, an extra leave day is added and then every four years, another day is added, up to a maximum of 25 days.

The annual leave may be divided into 2 periods, the shorter of which may not be less than 10 days.

Sick Leave in Uruguay

When an employee falls sick in Uruguay, the first 3 days are paid by the employer and from the fourth day onwards, the sick pay (up to 70% of the regular wage) is paid by the institute of social security (BPS).

Termination/Severance in Uruguay

In Uruguay, an employer can dismiss an employee with or without a reason as long as severance pay is paid. Severance pay is equal to one month wage for every year worked for the company, with a maximum of 6 months wages. No severance pay needs to be paid if the employee is dismissed for gross misconduct. The notice period is 10 days.