Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country of northwestern South America. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Panama to the northwest. The economy of Colombia is the fourth largest in Latin America as measured by gross domestic product. The economy is mainly driven by exports of petroleum, emeralds, minerals, bananas, coffee, and cut flowers. 

 

*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Colombia.

Capital :
Bogotá
Currency :
Colombian Peso ($; COP)
Languages spoken :
Spanish
Population :
50.88 million (2020 est.)
Minimum wage 2022 :
1 million pesos
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (136 of 139)
Payroll Frequency :
Bi-weekly/Monthly
VAT - standard rate :
19%
GDP - real growth rate :
3.8 (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2022.

Date
Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Holiday
January 10
Three King’s Holiday
Movable - The second Monday of January
March 21
St. Joseph’s Day
Movable
April 14
Maundy Thursday
Movable - Thursday before Easter Sunday
April 15
Good Friday
Movable - Friday before Easter
May 1
Labor Day
May 17
Ascension Day
Movable
June 20
Corpus Christi
Movable
June 27
Sacred Heart
Movable
July 4
Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
July 20
Independence Day
Movable
August 7
Battle of Boyacá Day
August 15
Assumption of Mary
Movable
October 17
Columbus Day
November 7
All Saints’ Day
November 14
Independence of Cartagena
Movable
December 8
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 25
Christmas Day

Onboarding Time


When hiring new employees in Columbia through WorkMotion, the approximate onboarding time is only 10 business days. This time may be affected by events beyond our control at present.

 

Our team ensures compliance with local employment legislation, as well as a quick and efficient onboarding process. The minimum onboarding time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee. 

 

For more complex onboardings, this time may increase depending on the selected bouquet of contract inclusions and the right-to-work status of the employee.

What You Need To Know


  • Law 2121 was issued to regulate remote work.
  • Apart from the minimum wage, a mandatory transportation subsidy is also paid.
  • The employer must request the corresponding permission from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and inform the workers of their termination in writing when their employment contract ends.

Labor Conditions


Working Hours

The new provision on working time reduced ordinary working hours from 48 hours to 42 hours per week. These 42 hours may be distributed in five or six days a week by common agreement between the employer and worker, always guaranteeing the rest day. 

 

Overtime

If authorization is granted, the maximum number of overtime hours must not exceed 12 hours per week. Overtime is paid at a surcharge of 25% over average wages if the work is performed during the day hours (i.e. between 6 am and10 pm) or at a surcharge of 75% if the work is performed at night (between 9 pm and 6 am).

Probation Period

The trial period cannot exceed two months.

In fixed-term employment contracts whose duration is less than one year, the trial period may not exceed one-fifth of the term initially agreed for the respective contract, without exceeding two months.

 

Termination Notice Period

Colombian legislation only provides, in general, the need for a period of notice by the employer in the event to terminate a fixed-term contract by its expiration date. A 30 day notice period is only applicable to fixed-term contracts. It must be given before the contract’s date of expiration.

However, in cases related to the employee’s misconduct or low performance, a maximum of 15 days’ notice must be given. The employee is entitled to at least 24 hours to review the dismissal notification and respond.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

Workers who have provided their services for a year are entitled to 15 consecutive working days of paid vacation. The employer has to announce the dates for the annual paid vacation 15 days in advance.

Sick Leave

Sick leave is granted based on the certification from the EPS (Entidad Promotora de Salud) which is government-sponsored health insurance. The employer pays 100% of the insured’s earnings for the first two days of incapacity.

Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave

Parents may freely distribute among themselves the last six weeks of the mother’s leave, provided that they meet the conditions and requirements set forth in this article. This leave, in the case of the mother, is independent of the breastfeeding leave.  

 

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to at least 18 weeks of maternity leave, fully paid, including an adopted child (the paid leave can be higher in case of multiple or preterm birth). At least two weeks of the maternity leave must be taken before the child’s birth. This payment is entirely under the charge of the Healthcare subsystem, as a benefit in money for the mother.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave fully paid by the the social security system. Beneficiaries must have paid contributions for the entire duration of the pregnancy. 

Other Types of Paid Leave

Bereavement Leave

Five days of leave for the death of parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouse or permanent partner and in-laws, and foster grandparents and grandchildren are provided. The employer pays for this leave.

 

Voting Leave

Employees are entitled to half a day of personal leave to vote in local and national elections. Upon returning to their place of work, the employee must show their voting card to the employer to demonstrate they voted, and failure to do results in the time missed being docked from their salary.

Unpaid Leave

Military duty is considered a suspension of employment. The employer is obligated to accept the employee back in their job within 30 days of the completion of the military service. Generally, military service takes place for one to two years in Colombia.

Other unpaid leave may be granted on a case-to-case basis at the discretion of the employer or as per the employment agreement.

Statutory Benefits

The Colombian system is compounded by the subsystems of

  • Healthcare
  • Pension
  • Labor risks
  • Family allowance

Each employer has the obligation to enroll their employees in the social security entities that the employee voluntarily chooses.

BenefitEmployer Contribution
Health Insurance8.5%
Pension12%
Family Compensation Fund4%
Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF)3%
National Learning Service (SENA)2%
Professional risks0.522% to 6.96%

NOTE: The employer does not need to pay any health insurance contribution for employees with salaries below 10 minimum monthly wages.  

Health Insurance

Colombia provides a universal health insurance scheme in which all citizens, irrespective of their ability to pay, are entitled to a comprehensive health benefits package. Benefits include medical, surgical, hospital, pharmaceutical, maternity, and dental care, and related services. 

Employers contribute 8.5% of the worker’s salary towards health insurance.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

 

This insurance covers risks of labor-related illnesses or accidents, permanent disability, death, and incapacity also derived from the employee’s activity.

For professional risks (Aportes de Riesgos Profesionales), the employer must pay a contribution ranging from 0.522% to 6.96% of the monthly salary.

Unemployment Insurance

 

Unlike UI programs in other countries, Colombia’s Unemployment Subsidy (US) provides a one-time series of payments to workers displaced from either the formal or the informal sector. The standard benefit is 1.5  times the monthly minimum wage, paid out in six equal monthly installments. Payments are made in the form of vouchers to purchase health insurance, food, or education. Workers choose which type of voucher they wish to receive at the start of their (covered) unemployment. They are entitled to receive this benefit only once during their working lives. 

The employer contributes 4% of the monthly wage towards the Family Compensation Fund.

Public Pension

Pensions are recognized under three different circumstances:

  • Old age
  • Invalidity
  • Durvivorship

The labor risks subsystem only recognizes pensions in a circumstance wherein the origin of the said benefit is related to a work-related accident or disease.

The employer contributes 12% of the worker’s salary towards the old-age pension.

Other Statutory Benefits

National Learning Service (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje-SENA)

 

SENA is responsible for fulfilling the function that corresponds to the State, of investing in the social and technical development of the Colombian workers by offering and implementing comprehensive professional training for the incorporation and development of people in productive activities that contribute to the country’s social, economic, and technological development.

The employer contributes 4% of the monthly wage towards the Family Compensation Fund.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

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