Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2020-01-09

Minimum Wage

In accordance with the Labour Code Minimum wage is wage which is sufficient to satisfy the normal living needs of a worker such as food, living, clothes, transport, culture, recreation.

Labour Code and the Paraguayan Constitution provides every worker the right to earn a minimum wage that covers his/her normal needs of life relating to food, housing, clothing, transportation, security, culture and recreation. Minimum wage is adjusted periodically in a percentage from the preceding applicable rate. Factors that are considered while determining minimum wage include the cost of living according to time and place; the general level of wages in the country or region where the work is performed; the economic conditions of the relevant industry; the nature and performance of the work; the worker's age, as influencing their productivity; and other factors affecting the cost of living of the worker.

Minimum wage is determined by the Government in consultation with the proposal made by the National Minimum Wage Council. Minimum Wage Council is a tripartite body involved in setting of minimum wage and is composed of three members each from government, employer organizations and worker organizations. It is chaired by the Director of Labour. Wages can also be fixed by collective agreement provided that it cannot be lower than the minimum wage rate set by the government. The Minimum wage is determined at the sectoral and regional levels in Paraguay.  The minimum wage is paid to all the workers over eighteen years of age for work performed during legal working hours. Wages for apprentices and people with poor physical and mental ability can be fixed lower than that of legal minimum wage.

Minimum wage rate is fixed after every two years. In case there is a significant alteration in the conditions of a sector or industry due to economic-financial factors and there is a variation of at least 10 % of the cost of living, the wage rate can be fixed before completion of two years.

Compliance with Labour Code provisions including minimum wages is ensured by the competent administrative authority through inspection and monitoring. The competent authority is Ministry of Justice and Labour or its agencies with delegated powers. A worker who is paid less than the minimum wage is entitled to claim the due amount from the employer. Worker can also file a complaint with the Labour Inspector in case of violation of minimum wage regulation by the employer. A worker may also inform the trade union at the workplace about his issue. Trade unions are mandated to represent workers before the labour authorities at at workers’ request to ensure compliance with the provisions of Labour Code.

If an employer pays a worker below the minimum wage level, he is punished by a fine of 30 minimum daily wages. The fine is doubled in the case of repeat offence.

Source: §92 of the Constitution of Paraguay 1992; §249-260, 290, 291, 385, 390, 407, 408 of the Labour Code 1993

Regular Pay

Labour Code defines wage as the remuneration calculated in cash which is owed by an employer to a worker due to the rendering of services or execution of works that the worker had performed or must perform in accordance with the labour contract.

In accordance with the Labour Code, wages must be paid regularly in legal tender on working day at workplace to the worker or any authorised person and within two hours after the end of the day, except in presence of a different agreement in writing or in case of force majeure. Payment is made on weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Workers can also be paid on daily basis with the condition that their daily wage is not less than the amount obtained from dividing the national minimum wage by 26 days. Wages may also be paid per unit of work (part, task or piecework) and commissions on sales or receipts by the employer, every fortnight, for the work completed in this period. Payment of wages in vouchers, promissory notes, coupons, tokens or other representative signs that seek to replace the coin is strictly prohibited. In kind payment up to 30% is allowed, provided that those services are appropriate for the personal use of the worker and his family, beneficial for them and that the value attributed to them is fair and reasonable. 

Workers receive their salary along with payment slip signed by the employer, stating the basic pay on which the settlement is made; the number of days worked and paid, the parts or tasks done, when the wage is agreed piecework or a percentage; and the sums to which the worker is entitled in addition to base salary. It is signed by the worker and both parties keep the originals.

Generally, employer is not allowed to deduct wages unless mutually agreed upon in writing. Deduction is only allowed for payments made in excess or for any errors, losses, damages, buying goods produced by the same company or other liabilities is amortized payment periods, provided that the amount of deduction may not exceed 30% (thirty percent) of the computation of the monthly salary. 

Source: §231 & 232 of the Labour Code 1993

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Código del Trabajo de 1993 (Ley Nº 213) / Labour Code, 1993 (Law N° 213)

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