Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is the minimum remuneration that can be established by the parties to the employment relation, capable to cover the normal material, moral and cultural needs of the worker and enable that person to fulfill his duties as head of the household.

In accordance with the Labour Code, every worker has the right to earn a minimum wage that covers his/her material, moral and cultural needs. Other factors that are considered while determining minimum wage includes cost of living; economic development; levels of productivity; and the capacity of employers to pay different sectors.

The minimum wage is set by the National Wage Commission.  There is no national minimum wage, as it varies by sector. The Executive sets the minimum wage rate for private sector workers in an accord with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, based on the report of the National Wage Commission.

Different minimum wage rates are applicable to specific categories of workers (including trainees, domestic workers and piece-rate workers) and sectors (including agricultural sector, non-agricultural sector, export and textile sector).

Wage level is set by the worker and employer however, it cannot be less than the minimum wage.

Source: §103-115 of the Labour Code 2001

Regular Pay

Salary or wage is the compensation that an employer must pay to an employee by virtue of complying with the employment agreement or relationship in effect between them. Save for the legal exceptions, any service rendered by a worker to his or her respective employer must be remunerated by the employer.

The payment of the salary in made on the basis of time unit (monthly, fortnightly, weekly, daily, or hourly), or work unit (by piece, task, lump price, or by work piece); or by participation in the profits, sales or collections the employer may make, regardless of the risk of the profit or loss the employer might have.

In accordance with the Labour Code, wages must be fully paid regularly in legal tender, at workplace (unless agreed otherwise), during working hours or immediately after working hours to the worker or any authorized person. Payment of wages in recreation outlets or pubs is prohibited except in case of employees who work in that kind of establishment.

 Employers and employees may set a deadline/wage payment interval however this period may not be longer than a fortnight (15 days) for manual workers and one (01) month for intellectual (knowledge workers) and domestic service workers. Employers must also keep a wage book for a record of payments made to the workers.

In kind payment is allowed but it may not exceed 30% of the total wage that a worker receives. The agricultural workers or their families may receive up to 30% of their wages in food or other similar allowances intended for their direct personal consumption. However, totally or partially paying an employee’s salary in merchandise or coupons is prohibited

Source: §88 & 90-102 of the Labour Code 2001, § 102 (d) of the Constitution of Guatemala

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Código del trabajo, Decreto núm.1441 (modificado en 2001) / Labour Code, Decree No.1441 (amended in 2001)