It’s a shock for many expats to find that things that were simple tasks at home become real chores. Dinner – something you used to do in a few short minutes after work – becomes a longer affair. Likewise, open houses and dusty air mean that house cleaning has to be done every day. To make matters worse, traffic and longer work hours can sometimes diminish the time you you have to spend on household duties.
If you have found yourself falling farther and farther behind on the chores, you may be considering a housekeeper – also known as an ‘empleada’. Depending on your situation, you may also need to hire a nanny or a driver. If this is the case, you should be aware of the various laws that apply to employers of domestic help.
1) The current minimum wage in Peru is S./930 per month for full time work (defined as 48 hours per week, and as of writing June 2019). However, the salary of domestic employees is defined by parties by mutual agreement. Such amount could be less than the minimum wage. Wages are typically paid either monthly, every 15 days, or weekly.
2) Domestic employees are entitled to several paid holidays. If they agree to work on these holidays, they are entitled to time and a half of their regular salary:
- Jan 1
- Thursday and Friday before Easter
- May 1 (Labor Day)
- June 29 (The Feast Day of San Pedro and San Pablo)
- July 28 and 29 (Fiestas Patrias, or Independence Day)
- August 30 (Feast day of Santa Rosa de Lima)
- October 8 (Anniversary of the Battle of Angamos)
- November 1 (All Saints’ Day)
- December 8 (Day of the Immaculate Conception)
- December 25 (Christmas)
3) Domestic employees are also legally entitled to receive bonus pay for Independence Day and Christmas. This amount should be equal to 50% of their monthly salary and must be paid in the first half of July and December. Recently hired employees are paid in proportion to the length of time they’ve worked.
4) Employees earn two weeks of paid vacation each year. If an employee works for you for less than a year, they are entitled to paid vacation proportionate to the length of time they were employed by you.
5) Domestic employees are entitled to Compensation for Time of Service, or CTS. This is a type of unemployment protection, paid by the employer. The amount must be equal to 50% of a monthly salary for each year of employment. It may be paid at the end of each year, or it can be held in accumulation and paid in full when employment is terminated. Note this must be paid with 48 hours of termination of employment, and the amount must correspond to the current level of pay.
6) Employers must pay for the employee’s health insurance through the government social security system (if the employee works more than 4 hours per day). This amount is equal to 9% of the monthly salary.
These payments can be handled online on the SUNAT’s website. (Formulario Virtual 1676 – Pago de Trabajadores del Hogar)
7) 15 days’ notice must be given when terminating employment. Employers can choose instead to terminate immediately and pay an amount equal to 15 days salary.
*Note that “domestic employee” is just that. Once a household begins to employ this worker in a per-profit capacity, they cease to be considered under this regime.