Minimum Wage in Guatemala - Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wage in Guatemala?

There is no separate legislation on minimum wage in Guatemala. However, the Constitution of Republic of Guatemala, under article 102 (f) says that periodic revision of minimal wages is the minimal social right of a worker. Legal minimum wage in Guatemala is regulated by Labour Code (Decree no 1441), and chapter 2 of labour code explains provisions on minimum wage. As per article 103 of the Labour Code, every worker has the right to earn a minimum wage.

Does one or more minimum wage exist that is/are determined by law?

In Guatemala legal minimum wage is determined for different sectors - a) agricultural activities, b) non-agricultural activities, c) export activity and d) textile activities. [refer to Govt. agreement no 359-2012].

At what level are minimum wages determined at?

In Guatemala legal minimum wage is determined for different sectors - a) agricultural activities, b) non-agricultural activities, c) export activity and d) textile activities. [refer to Govt. agreement no 359-2012]. As per article 113 of the labour code, minimum wage should govern each activity, enterprise or economic area.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated?

In Guatemala, legal minimum wage is declared on daily and hourly basis. (refer to Decree no 359-2012). Plus a monthly Bonus (250 quetzals. Article 102 of the Labour Code).

In case of weekly/monthly minimum age, are they based on any fixed number of hours?

As per article 102 (g) of the Constitution of Republic of Guatemala, and article 116 of the Labour Code, the ordinary workday cannot exceed 8 hours of work a day or 44 hours a week, equivalent to 48 hrs a week for the purpose of payment of wages.

Are governmental bodies, employer and/or trade union representatives involved in minimum wage setting?

National Wage Commission & Joint Commission (in each department or economic area or sectoral jurisdiction) on minimum wage - As per article 105 of the Labour Code, these two bodies are responsible for advising the Ministry of Labour on minimum wage. Both the commissions namely Comité Coordinador de Asociaciones Agrícolas, Comerciales, Industriales y Financieras (CACIF). (Agriculture, commerce and maquila trade unions separately, not gathered in one main organization) are tripartite bodies.

How are upratings (adjustments) of minimum wage decided upon?

Joint committees on minimum wage recommends minimum wage for each jurisdiction to National Wage Commission who forwards their recommendations to the Ministry of Labour. These reports are also sent to the Monetary Board of Bank of Guatemala & Guatemalan Social Security Institute for their comments. The Executive finally declares the minimum wage. (Refer to article 110, 112 and 113 of the Labour Code).

Which are the components of minimum wage in Guatemala?

A daily basic amount plus a monthly bonus, which consist of 250 quetzals (Article 102 of the Labour Code).

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wage updated?

As per article 113 of the Labour Code, legal minimum wage should be determined annually.

What is/are the yardstick/s on which minimum wage upratings are based?

As per article 111 of the Labour Code, Joint Committees on minimum wage, while determining minimum wage, should take into account surveys on cost of living (raised by Department of Statistics) and all other data they can find relating to its jurisdiction on price of housing, clothing, foodstuffs consumed by workers and also about the facilities that employers provide workers with regard to room, land for cultivation, firewood and other benefits that reduces their cost of living.

What is National Poverty line?

Click here to know the national poverty line in context with Minimum Wage, living wages and actual wages. Select the currency (Euro or national currency) to know national poverty line.

What is the incidence of minimum wage(s) in the national labour force (wage earners only)?

The incidence of minimum wage is below 15% of the working force.

How is minimum wage compliance regulated?

As per article 274, 275 & 276 of the Labour Code, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and its dependencies (Directorate General of Labour, General Labour Inspectorate, National Wage Commission & other) is responsible for enforcement of all laws relating to work and social welfare. As per article 278 of the Labour Code, General Inspectorate of Labour must ensure that employers, workers and trade unions honour and respect the laws.

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

As per article 272 (c) of the labour Code, any violation of law or provisions of labour or social security such as wages, shall result in imposition of fine between 3 and 12 times of monthly minimum wage for non-agricultural activities. Also As per article 8 of Decree no 388-2010, Employers violating the provisions of this Agreement will be imposed a fine of between 3-12 times the minimum wage established for non-agricultural activities in accordance with Article 272 paragraph c) of Code of Work, without prejudice to the right of workers to recover sums due to them for that reason.

Are sanctions often being applied?

According to paragraph c Article 272 of the Labour Code, the penalties shall be without prejudice to the right of workers to recover sums due to them for that reason.

Are employer and/or trade union representatives involved in compliance procedures?

Article 278: Employers and employees must respect the laws and collective agreements that regulate labour conditions.

To whom/Where can individuals complain, if they think they are earning less than minimum wage?

As per article 374 of the Labour Code, employers and employees should attempt to resolve their differences through direct arrangement with the sole involvement of them or with any other conciliators. General Inspectorate of Labour (refer to article 278 & 280 & 282). As per article 283, conflicts involving Labour and social welfare are subject to exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Labour and Social Welfare.