Paid Time Off (PTO) and Leave Regulations in Brazil

Annual vacation, sick leave, parental entitlements, and more.

Updated on March 16th, 2023

What is the statutory minimum annual vacations in Brazil?

Individual Vacation

Employees are entitled to 30 days of paid annual vacations each year, after each 12-month period of service. An employee's annual vacations begin on their start date, with the full leave entitlement becoming available upon completion of their first 12 months of service.

Please note that vacation premium (or holiday pay) must be at least 1/3 higher than the employee’s normal pay. Employees may also request 50% of their 13th salary in advance when taking annual vacations. This request must be made in January each year.

The maximum term of a vacation schedule without penalty is 23 months (1 year and 11 months), and therefore, vacations can be carried over for up to 23 months from when it is earned. Employees are entitled to double their pay rate for unused vacation days carried past this threshold (including the vacation premium). This rate increase will lead to higher payouts with each year of service. For this reason, employees should be encouraged to use their vacation entitlement in the year it is accrued. 

Formal Vacation

In Brazil, employees can either use their entire vacation entitlement in one consecutive period or they may split it into no more than three periods according to the rule below:

  • One period must be at least 14 consecutive calendar days
  • The two additional periods are at least five consecutive calendar days

These consecutive periods can include weekend days; however, only the business days will be deducted from the vacation entitlement. For example, if an employee’s vacation includes ten business days and four weekend days, this will count as a 14-day consecutive period. However, only ten days can be deducted from the employee’s 30-day entitlement.

Any vacation taken outside this framework will not be deducted from the employee’s annual vacation entitlement and is thus considered informal.

Brazilian law also allows the employee to convert a third of the vacation time into cash payment (vacation bonus). This bonus is not subjected to tax or social security fees.

What are the parental leave entitlements in Brazil?

Maternity Leave

Female employees have the right, without prejudice to their jobs or salary, to 120 calendar days of maternity leave. Under certain circumstances given by law, these periods may be expanded.

When the employee discovers she is pregnant, she should advise her employer and submit a copy of her pregnancy-attested medical examination. The employer cannot legally dismiss the employee without cause until five months after delivery from when the employee becomes pregnant (i.e., from the baby's conception). Certain Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) may offer a longer term for tenure. Four weeks prior to the anticipated due date, the employee begins her maternity leave (this can be increased by two weeks pre or post-birth, depending on the health of the mother). The employee receives maternity pay (the same as her wage) from the employer throughout her maternity leave period. This is deducted from the state in the social security contributions paid on the payroll.

Paternity Leave

Male employees are entitled to paternity leave for five days without prejudice to their wages for jobs.

Child Adoption

An employee who adopts a child up to the age of 12 is entitled to maternity/paternity leave and allowance paid directly by the company and deducted from the state in the social security contributions paid on the payroll. The leave is the the same as the maternity leave (120 calendar days) and if the child is adopted by a couple, only one person is entitled to the leave.

Please see the Other Benefits in Brazil page for information on Day Care Allowance.

What is the sick leave entitlement in Brazil?

Sick pay is a benefit paid to an employee who cannot work for 15 consecutive days. The first 15 days of sick leave will be paid by the employer while social security will start paying from the 16th day. 

The employee must have at least 12 months of contributions to be eligible for sick pay. This eligibility will not be required in the event of any type of accident irrespective of whether it relates to work or work-related diseases. Similarly, in the event of pregnant or HIV-infected employees, no grace period will be needed.

The granting of sick leave depends on proof of incapacity as provided by a physician of the social security system. Under certain Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), the employer may be required to supplement the social security benefit.

It is important to note that after 15 days of sick leave, the government takes over the payment of the employee's salary. The employer, however, is still responsible for the employer burden, as well as any outstanding allowances, vacation provisions, and other benefits.

What other types of leave are there in Brazil?

The following leaves are granted in Brazil:

  • Up to 2 consecutive days if the employee's spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any economically dependent person dies as recorded in the Employment Booklet;
  • Up to 3 days for an employee’s marriage;
  • In the case of voluntary and proven blood donation, one day for every 12 months of work;
  • 2 days to apply for a voter's card;
  • The period required to comply with the requirements for military enrollment;
  • On days when the employee takes the university entrance examination (the employee must provide proof of the examination);
  • When the employee needs to appear in court;
  • The time needed for the employee to attend the formal session of any global body to which Brazil is a member as a representative union member;
  • During pregnancy, an employee may take up to 2 days to join his spouse or partner for medical examinations;
  • 1 day per year for employees to take their children to medical appointments;
  • Up to 3 days per year for preventive exams for cancer (the employee must provide proof of the exams); and
  • Non-criminal abortion (miscarriage): Once a medical report establishes that a miscarriage occurred, the female employee will have the right to a 2-week rest period and resume her job at her prior position. In addition, the female employee will be entitled to maternity pay equivalent to 2 weeks of work in the case of miscarriage, and this benefit is paid by social security.