Employing Workers in Costa Rica by Constance Monroe - SRS-CR: Summerland Relocation Services

April 11, 2017 No Comments

Employing Workers in Costa Rica by Constance Monroe


Posted by admin in Informational

Thinking of employing someone in Costa Rica? Do you need help with maintaining your property? Maybe you would like to have a housekeeper visit you several times a week. The bottom line is that if you are employing someone on a regular basis you should probably know a thing or two about the labor laws. Workers in Costa Rica are greatly protected and unless you are familiar with the basics, you might be in danger of breaking the law.

The first thing you should know is that the labor laws in Costa Rica are extremely friendly to the worker. That isn’t to say that you have no protection of your own as an employer, but more so that if a worker feels they are being treated unfairly all they need to do is prove this to the Ministry of Labor and they can usually get assistance.

With that in mind, the best thing you can do for yourself when hiring an individual to do work for you is to get yourself a contract. For most work you won’t need to have anything complicated from a lawyer’s office if you choose not to, but the point is to get a contract; one in which you and the worker are both in agreement and provide signatures to showing your mutual approval. From there, as long as both you and your worker are following the contract everyone is covered.

Who does this apply to?
If you have someone who you are providing a regular salary to, who is under your instruction and who physically works for you then this is the definition of you technically “employing” a person in Costa Rica. There are ways around employing someone. For example, if you have someone come and do your garden but they are not there on a regular basis then they might be more of an “irregular worker” which wouldn’t fall under the definition of being one of your employees. If you have hired a construction company to do work on your house then you have a contract with them and they are responsible for the people working on your house.

Of course there are other things to know such as what the minimum wage is for various job functions; which is something that you might not be familiar with since there isn’t one blanket ‘minimum wage’. Additionally the minimum wage in Costa Rica is revised every 6 months and can be paid hourly, monthly or every 15 days.

On perhaps a more familiar note you might want to get the details on hiring someone more like a freelancer. There is a sort of ‘professional services’ type of status that your worker can obtain which will stipulate that they will be responsible for submitting payments to the caja, (aka social security) as well as insurance that will cover them in instances of any worker’s comp issues that might arise.

Many x-pats shy away from learning all of the rules or getting into the details because they simply aren’t residents and think that it is too complicated when they only spend part of the year here. In fact, you don’t need to have residency for these rules to apply to you. You are far better off learning what you need to in case something happens to the person you employ so that you won’t be stuck with some type of legal issue and thereby taint your life that you’ve worked hard to build in this beautiful country.

Would you like to know more about hiring workers in Costa Rica such as new laws coming in July of 2017, termination of a worker or how social security works? Email us at info@srs-cr.com and we can either provide some additional insight or a good contact person if it is beyond our knowledge.

One of the great things about working with Summerland Relocation Services is that we can take all of the guess work out of it for you. Subscribe to our relocation services program and we will become an ongoing source of information for all of your needs! Fill out the subscription information sheet here and send it to: info@srs-cr.com or simply click SRS Subscription Link to see the information we need and send it to us!


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