Colombia Labor Contracts

If you start a business in Colombia, you’ll quickly come to terms with the fact that you have to get to know (and accept, whether you love them or not) a new set of labor laws. The Ministry of Labor dictates that you, as an employer, must cover your employees’ pension, health and workers insurance, bonus payments (which are required by law, whether your employee has done a great job or not), vacation, and maybe even uniforms and transportation. Failure to do so can result in fines.

Even as an individual who has come to Colombia to enjoy the quality of life instead of to start a business will come face-to-face with Colombian labor laws if you hire domestic help. That’s right: even the maid who cleans your apartment and the gardener who cares for your mango trees are owed a liquidation payment if they quit or get fired. Again, this payment is required by law. The amount varies, depending on a variety of factors, but could run from 20-50% of the employee’s salary.

Contrato Laboral

Understanding the Colombian labor laws and having a well-written and signed labor contract is the first step in avoiding any problems should you one day have a dispute with an employee or former employee. You also want to make sure you’re using the right type of contract for the person you’re hiring. These Colombian labor contract types include:

Traditional Full-Time Employment

Project-Specific Employment

Temporary Replacement of an Employee (such as for someone on long-term sick leave)

Traditional Part-Time Employment

Temporary Seasonal Positions

Independent Contractors

Please be aware that some Colombian employees will seek to exploit a foreign employer who might not be familiar with Colombian labor laws, and it’s more likely that the Ministry of Labor will believe a Colombian’s complaint before they believe your justification. Pleading ignorance will never work. Understanding the laws and drafting proper contracts offers you the best protection against this kind of behavior from the people you hire.

Colombia Legal & Accounting can draft a solid Colombian labor contract between you and your employees, as well as help you with the following labor-related services:

  • Colombian Labor Court Disputes
  • Liquidation Negotiation and Payment
  • Human Resources
  • Worker’s Rights
  • Colombian Labor Cost Projections
  • Colombian Work Visas for Foreigners

Contact us today for more information or to get started on your Colombian labor contracts