Legal Topics
General Notes about Labor Law in Guatemala

by Gabriel Muadi / Based on an automated translation

Relations between employees and employers in Guatemala, are regulated constitutionally so
that any benefit granted by law an agreement or by custom will be a minimum standard.

In Guatemala working relations are protective to the employee and settles down minimum
mandatory labor benefits

According to the legal framework in Guatemala, the labor relation starts from the moment in
which the worker is placed under direct orders of the employer or its representative, a written
contract is not required.

Among the benefits that every employer must fulfill are the following:


1. Ordinary wages and other advantages:

The ordinary wage must be paid in local currency, that is, in Quetzals.
Minimum wage for workers in the city  is Q.1,445.00 .Approximately US$187)
Additionally a monthly payment of Q.250.00 (Approximately US35)
Any advantage, commission, gift or other that are paid to the worker counts for calculations of
labor benefits.

Wages can be paid weekly, biweekly or monthly.

The worker must extend a receipt of payment by the wage that receives from the employer.


Other benefits:
Bono Catorce (Additional salary to be paid every July)

Christmas gift (An additional salary is to be paid in December)

2. Days of Work:

The labor legislation establishes three types of work regimes:

Day job: 8 hours daily 44 hours weekly.

Mixed : 7 hours daily and 42 hours weekly.

Night job: 6 hours daily of 36 hours weekly.


If a worker works more hours than the stated it constitutes extraordinary hours,  which must
be paid and are of higher value than ordinary hours.

3. Vacations:

All workers are entitles to 15 working days of vacations after one year of being employed,

Vacations cannot be compensated with money, there are some exceptions.

4. Termination

The law establishes specific cases for justified termination of employment relation by
employer; termination with just cause does not cause the liability to pay “indeminización”.

Voluntary resignation is another form to finish the labor relation, without responsibility for
employers.

If employers terminate labor relation without just cause, they will have to pay “indeminización”
which is a compensation for the worker that is equivalent to one month per every year of work.

The law establishes trial period of two in any beginning of a labor relation, during this time
employers may finish work relation without any liability or without cause.

5. Individual work contract:

In Guatemala, it is mandatory to have a work contract at the beginning of any labor relation,
employers are responsible for this obligation and the contract has to be registered in the
respective government agency.

For employers it is important to have a well drafted contract, because the law protects
workers and all declarations from employees are presumed to be truth unless the employer
can prove it otherwise.

It is also presumed that all labor relationships do not have a termination date.


6. Rights of  Pregnant Women:

The law protects pregnant workers from the moment in which they are pregnant, and
employers cannot fire them or terminate the contract during pregnancy or breast feeding
period, they also have to give them 30 working days of mandatory rest before birth and 54
working days afterwards. There are other advantages to facilitate that women breast feed
their babies for 10 months, working mothers have one hour less of work each day during this
period.


General recommendations:

1. Draft an employment contract.

2. Have all documents that prove payments paid to workers.

3. Accurate account books

4. The more documents employers have the more possibilities to prove issues in case of a
labor dispute and the better the possibilities of success for employers, because law gives the
employees the benefit of the doubt.
Muadi & Murga
Attorneys at Law

Gabriel Muadi

Servicios que ofrecemos

Tel.  502 23683000
Email:
gmuadi@servicios-legales.com