What is the Aguinaldo....Guatemala Labor Code

December is a special month for expats in Guatemala.

When you hire a person as your gardener, maid, choffer,, you name it.. you acquire obligations toward them. The  relations between workers and employers in Guatemala, are regulated both by the Constitution of the Republic, in article 102 which established the minimum employee benefits and  in the Labour Code, which develops more extensively constitutional precept.Always remember that in Guatemala the employer - employee relationship is protective, this means that the law protects workers against employer and sets minimum employment benefits for the worker, that the employer must meet mandatory.  .Among the benefits that every employer must comply you have: ordinary salary and bonuses and Aguinaldo.
And December is the month of the Aguinaldo. According Decree 76-78.
We are going to review the most important articles..
Article #1  All the employers are obligated to give to their workers annually in concept of Aguinaldo, the equivalent of 100% of their salary they perceive monthly for a year of continuous work o proportionally according what correspond.

Article # 2  . It can be paid half in december before the 15th and half in january in the second part of the month.

Article # 5 it can't be accumulated.

Article # 7 A written receipt has to be made

Article # 8  It has to be paid in currencies and can't be replaced by anything else.

Article # 15. The aguinaldo can be reduce of  the income tax, and it is not affected by the payment of the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security.

So because it is expected by your worker you have to make provision in your accounting for the payment of it.. Most of the worker like to have it paid in once on the 15th of December.
I prefer to pay it one week before..
- because there are less people at the bank
- because your worker is less subject to be robbed as on the 15 th of just after everybody has more money and very often a great time for thieves
- always remember to document the payment
- if you pay the Bono Incentivo the Aguinaldo doesn't include it as you pay only on the ordinary salary.
If your employee is not full time working for you but work 150 days a year he is entitle to it.
The aguinaldo is calculated from the 1st of january of the year to the 31st of December of the same year.

Now I always encourage the worker receiving this extra month to think very much how they will use it. Encouraging them to save part of it. To spend it wisely for their kids, education..

If you have any doubts or questions feel free to contact me..

Remember this information is product of my experience in property management and won't replace the legal advice of a lawyer.

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