employment contracts in brazil: aqui na rio & learn todo mundo trabalha seguindo a clt

Hello y’all! Have you ever stopped to think about how it would be to work in Brazil? Today we are going to teach you all about the different types of employment contracts in Brazil! There are many types of formal jobs and other informal ones. Do you think it might be different from your own country? Let’s learn about this today!


Employment Agreements in Brazil


Employment Contracts Using the CLT

The formal employment agreements in Brazil follow what we call CLT (Consolidação das Leis de Trabalho), which is a set of laws that aim to formalize and protect the employee. The CLT was created in 1943, during the government of Getúlio Vargas, and guarantees certain rights to workers, such as: the right to paid leave (as in the case of pregnancy and illness), paid vacation, thirteenth salary, weekly time off, minimum wage and maximum number of daily working hours. In this case, the contract can be either for a fixed period or for an indefinite period. In the case of a fixed period, our labor laws only allow the contract to last for two years.

The document that registers a person’s employment relationships, and guarantees the labor rights provided for by the CLT, is the carteira de trabalho. It was created in conjunction with CLT, and is a booklet with employee data, their work history, and blank pages to record their future work. If the employee is promoted or fired, everything must be recorded in this booklet. Although all citizens who work formally have a physical work card, many places already use the online version to make things easier!

Let’s take a look at some typical formal employment contracts in Brazil:

  • Período Integral, or full-time, is any job in which the employee needs to work at least eight hours a day, depending on the workplace. Usually in hospitals, fire houses and police stations, the full time period can have twelve hours. Our teachers here at Rio & Learn all work full-time!
  • Meio Período, or part-time, is a type of contract in which the employee works from four to six hours a day. Very common among university students who study and work at the same time.


Employment Contracts for Students

Typically, this types of contract follows some protection laws to reinforce the employee’s rights, but are not covered by the CLT, which also explains why most of these positions don’t hold all the benefits a CLT job has.

  • Estágio, or internship, is a type of contract in which the employee is still learning the job. Brazilian universities ask their students to fulfil a required amount of internship hours according to the course they are studying.
  • Jovem Aprendiz, is a type of contract where the employee is between the ages of 14-24 and wants to learn a craft, but not necessarily going through college studies. This program is a combo between a school with certificate programs that provides the theory and a company that provides the practice.


Informal Employment

  • Temporário, or seasonal, is a job done only during some months of the year, in the summer for example, or in a season of big events like Carnival or the Olympic Games.
  • Horista, or hourly wage, is also known as a freelancer. It’s a type of job in which the employee earns a salary related to the worked hours. In this kind of job, the employee can work in different places at the same time.
  • Bico, or gig, is very similar to the hourly wage. In this type of job, the person receives a payment related to the job done. It’s a common job among electricians and plumbers, for example.
  • Voluntário, or volunteer, is a type of job in which the person doesn’t receive any payment.


The Small Business Person, or MEI

  • Autônomo, or autonomous, is a type of independent job where the person is self employed. This is when a person decides to work by oneself and has no connection to any company or any employment contract in Brazil. Recently, this type of job was formalized by a labor law called MEI (Micro Empreendedor Individual). The government formalized these people, and secured some benefits that are different from the CLT, but still give them some backing. Even though they don’t get paid vacations, if these people get sick and can’t work, they still are covered by the government paid insurance. They also have to pay taxes related to retirement, which gives them the right to retire formally.


Vocabulary for Employment Contracts in Portuguese

Contrato de trabalho Employment Contract
Carteira de trabalho Work permit
Trabalho Job
Trabalhar To Work
Local de trabalho Workplace
Empregado/Trabalhador Employee / Worker
Temporada Season
Receber To earn
Salário Salary
Empresa/Companhia Company
Pagamento Payment


Alright, people? What do you think about the different types of employment contracts in Brazil? Are they any different from the contracts in your country? During the Olympics in Rio many people had temporary jobs and volunteer work. What is the most common type of employment scheme in your country?

See you on our next Dica, friends!
A big hug from Rio de Janeiro!


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Professions in Portuguese
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