Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

The Constitution of Argentina provides for adjustable minimum living wage and fair remuneration for all workers. In accordance with the National Employment Act No. 24,013, Minimum wage is the lowest wage paid in cash that all workers over 18 years of age must receive no matter the category or activities carried out so that adequate food, respectable living conditions, education, clothing, sanitary assistance, transport, recreation, vacations and other provisions are assured.

The Employment Act considers it one of the primary objectives of the law to establish appropriate mechanisms for operation of minimum wage system. The National Council for Employment, Productivity and the Adjustable Minimum Living Wage (NCEPAMLW) is established under title VI of the Employment Act which determines the minimum wage periodically. Wage rates, even when set through collective bargaining, cannot be lower than minimum wage. Employment Contract Act sets a single national minimum wage for workers who are at least 18 years old. Factors considered while determining national minimum wage include needs of workers and their families; socio-economic situation of the country; goals pursued by the National Council and how they correspond with the socio-economic situation. Rate of payment for minimum wages can be set at the hourly, daily or monthly basis. However, subject to specific regulations, minimum wages are set differently for workers in the public sector, agriculture sector as well as the domestic workers.

National Council for Employment, Productivity and the Adjustable Minimum Living Wage (NCEPAMLW) is a tripartite body composed of 48 members (16 members each from government, worker and employer groups). The Chairman of the Council is appointed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The mandate of the Council lasts for 4 years. Resolutions of the Council are adopted by a majority of two-third. The Council works under a 2004 Decree (No. 1095). The responsibilities of the Minimum Wage Council include the following: periodically ascertain the minimum vital and adjustable wage; periodically reassess the minimum and maximum amount of unemployment compensation; approve the guidelines, methodology, standards and regulations to determine a market basket that becomes a benchmark so as to set the minimum vital and adjustable wage; set up sectoral tripartite technical committees to conduct studies about the sectoral situation; make recommendations in order to create policies and job programmes, and professional training; and propose measures aimed at increasing production and productivity.

The Federal Labour Pact provides for sanctions in the case of infraction. In the case of minor infractions, fine is 25% to 150% of the applicable statutory minimum wage for each worker affected. For serious infractions, the fine is 30% to 200% of the applicable statutory minimum wage for each worker affected. In the event of very serious infractions, the fine may rise to 50% to 2000% of minimum wage. In the event of a repeat offence, the administrative authority may add to the maximum fines an amount equal to a maximum of 10% of all the remuneration due the month prior to the offence being proven.

Compliance with labour legislation including statutory minimum wages is ensured by the Labour Inspectorate. Thus, Labour Inspector may notice themselves or workers may submit complaint regarding payment of wages below statutory level.

Sources: §14B of the Constitution of Argentina, 1994; §2 of National Employment Act, Act No. 24.013, 17 December 1991; §116-120 of the Employment Contracts Act; §28 of the Act No. 22.248 approving the National Regulation on Agricultural Work Act No. 22,248, 1980

For updated minimum wage rates, please refer to the section on minimum wages. 

Regular Pay

In accordance with the Employment Contract Act, wage is the compensation that a worker receives in exchange for his/her work. An employer is under the obligation to pay the worker his/her wages through cash or check. However, the workers can always choose that their remuneration be paid in cash.

Wages should be paid on working days in the workplace during working hours directly to the worker or the authorized person. Wage payment is prohibited in a place where goods or alcoholic beverages are sold, except in case when a person is employed at such place. Days and hours of payments are previously identified by the employer. If the payday falls on weekly rest day or holiday, the payment is made on the immediately following working day.

The workers hired on monthly basis are paid at the end of each calendar month while worker hired on daily or hourly basis are paid at the end of a week or fortnight. Law requires payment of wages at regular intervals within four (4) or three (3) days on the completion of wage period for which wages are payable (monthly, fortnightly or weekly basis respectively).

Payments to employees must be properly documented in pay slips indicating the purpose of the payment and it must be signed by the employer and the employee. Pay slips must indicate, among other items, the following information: name and address of the employer; name and position of the employee; tax identification numbers of both the employer and the employee; details of all and any remuneration collected and the gross total; if applicable, the number of hours worked or units completed; deductions taken from the employee's gross salary for legal withholdings; place and date of payment; and the employee's date of hire.

In kind payments are permitted as a part of the remuneration because wages should be paid in cash according to the legislation. It cannot be counted as part of the minimum wage or constitute more than the 20% of the total remuneration.

Deduction of wages is prohibited in discounts, retention or compensation for delivery of goods, provision of food, housing and accommodation, use or employment of tools, or any other benefit in money or in kind. Deductions can only be made in certain cases specified by the law, provided that the amount of deduction must not exceed 20% of the worker's salary.

Sources: §103, 124-133 of the Employment Contract Act No. 20.744 of 1976

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Ley de Empleo de 1965 / Employment Act, 1965
  • Constitución de Argentina, 1994 / Constitution of Argentina, 1994
  • Ley Nacional de Empleo, No. 24.013, 17 Diciembre 1991 / National Employment Act, Act No. 24.013, 17 December 1991
  • Ley de Contrato de Trabajo, No. 20.744, 1976 / Employment Contract Act, No. 20.744, 1976
  • Res. CNEPSMVYM N° 4/2013 / Res. CNEPSMVYM N° 4/2013
  • Reglamento Nacional sobre el Trabajo Agrícola No. 22,248, 1980 / National Regulation on Agricultural Work Act No. 22,248, 1980
  • Ley Núm. 11.544 en Horas de Trabajo, 1929 / Law No. 11.544 on Working Time, 1929

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