What Are the Costa Rica Labor Code Rules for Salary and Minimum Wage
The Costa Rica Labor Code, National Coalition Agreement, 1998, and specific Constitutional Articles ensure that a rightful salary is paid to employees in the country. The regulations cover government servants, corporate employees, domestic staff, and contractual labor.
The Ministerio de Trabajo publishes the revised minimum wage scale for a comprehensive list of occupations every six months. Employers cannot get away by paying less than the stipulated minimum wages. The penalty for paying less salary than stipulated is strict.
What Is The National Salary Council's Role?
The National Salary Council includes Labor representatives, employers, and Costa Rica Government officials. The panel evaluates the labor scene, inflation rates, economic development, etc to decide a logical minimum salary for various professions and designations. The payment of salary can be based on amount of work or time period spent in employment depending upon the nature of the employment contract.
Employers are free to plan the time and method of payment of salary. Salary is disbursed weekly or fortnightly. Usually domestic works are paid on a monthly basis.
Features of the Minimum-Wage Rule
The Costa Rica Labor Code minimum-wage rule actually sets the minimum-wage limit much higher than the average wages in Europe and United States. The regulations also cover the labor force extensively in Costa Rica. The protector sector includes employees (asalariados) in private households and private sector firms. Naturally, the minimum-wages rule cannot cover the self-employed or unpaid family workers.
The minimum-wages rule does not formally cover the public sector; however, public sector wages cannot be less than the private sector wages. Minimum wages are the same across industries but vary according to skill levels and occupations. The average market rate of wages falls as the number of unskilled workers goes up in an industry.
Salary for Foreigners
Foreigners have to obtain a work permit to work in Costa Rica. The permit has to be renewed every year. Legal workers of foreign nationality would normally get similar wages as Costa Rica employees. However, their salaries might defer depending upon their employment contract.
What Is The Aguinaldo?
The Aguinaldo or Christmas bonus is an interesting aspect of salary payment in Costa Rica. The annual year runs from December 1 to November 30. A Christmas Bonus equal to a month's salary is to be paid to employees in December. Usually, the Christmas Bonus amounts to one month's salary for every year of employment. However, the Christmas Bonus has to be paid to an employee even if he has worked for less than a year. In this case, an average of the total salary paid to him for the time of employment is taken into consideration. Therefore, normally, Costa Rica employers have to pay 13 months' salary for every 12 months of work.
Employer-Employee Salary Disputes
Costa Rica Labor laws protect the interests of employees and they can sue the employer for violation of rights through the National Work Inspection or Inspección Nacional de Trabajo. Workers can sue employers for child labor, non-payment of salary, non-payment of bonus, injustice at the workplace, unjust termination of services, etc.