Minimum Wage in Paraguay - Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wages in Paraguay?

There is no separate legislation on minimum wages in Paraguay. However the Constitution of Republic of Paraguay, under article 92, says that a worker s entitled to minimum living wage. It is the Labour Code (Law 213 of 1993) that regulates statutory minimum wages in the country. The main regulations concerning minimum wage are articles 249 to 260 of the Labour Code.

Do one or more minimum wages exist that is/are determined by law?

There exists only one statutory minimum wage rate, which applies at the national level.

At what level are minimum wages determined?

Minimum wages are determined at regional and sectoral level. As per article 251 of the Labour Code, 1993 general minimum wage should be set for rural and urban areas each. It also states that minimum wage can be set for one or more industries in both the areas.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated?

Minimum wages is calculated on monthly basis. The Ministry of Justice and labour of Paraguay legally declares a monthly minimum wage rate. (refer to decree no 4686 of 2010).

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

Article 232 of Labour Code, 1993 says that wage can be paid per unit of time (daily, monthly, weekly or fortnightly) or per unit of work, depending on the nature of job. And article 194 of Labour Code states that then normal working hours for a worker 8 hrs per day or 48 hrs per week (day time).

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

According to Labour Code, article 252, minimum wage rates are based on proposals from National Minimum Wage Council which is composed of 3 representatives each of State executives, employers and workers; and is chaired by Director of Labour. The Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Corriente Sindical y Clasista, CPT, CGT and CONAT are the organizations that represent workers at the National Minimum wage Council. The Unión Industrial Paraguay represents employers at the Council.

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

As per law, National Minimum Wage Council ( a tripartite body) is responsible for declaring as well as revising the minimum wage rate. So upratings of minimum wages are decided jointly by government, employer and trade union representatives.

Which are the components of minimum wages in Paraguay?

The statutory national minimum wage rate declared by Ministry of Justice and Labour of Paraguay is a fixed component.

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wages updated?

As per article 255 of the Labour Code, 1993 minimum wage once determined should remain in force for two years, unless labour authorities or other interested authorities request for modifications.

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

"As per article 256 of Labour Code, modifications in minimum wage rate should be based on a) profound alteration of the conditions of the area or industry, motivated by economic and financial factors, and b) change in living costs, estimated at 10% (ten percent) at least. However, according to article 249 of the Labour Code, 1993 the minimum wage should be sufficient to meet the normal requirements of the worker's life consisting of: food, shelter, clothing, transport, security, culture and recreation honest considering as head of household. And article 250 clearly states that, in order to increase the standard of living, minimum wage should take into account - a) the cost of living of working families, according to the time and place, b) the general level of wages in the country or region where the work is performed; c) the economic conditions of the respective industry; d) the nature and work performance; e) the worker's age, to the extent that influence their productivity, and f) any other circumstances that were consistent fixation.”

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.

How is minimum wages compliance regulated?

According to article 407 and 408 of Labour Code, compliance and enforcement of labour laws is supervised by administrative authorities i.e. Ministry of Justice and Labour, and its agencies with delegated powers.

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

As per article 390 of Labour Code, an employer who pays his employee wages below minimum wage shall be punished by a fine of 30 minimum daily wage, and this fine will double if the offence is repeated.

Are sanctions often being applied?

70% of the workers earn less than the Minimum wage. In a certain way, informal work is legitimized.

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

The Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Corriente Sindical y Clasista, CPT, CGT and CONAT along with the Unión Industrial de Paraguay are the organizations that should be involved in the compliance procedures.

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

Article 259 of Labour Code, says that a worker who is paid less than minimum wage is entitled to claim the due amount from the employer. Since compliance and enforcement of labour laws is the responsibility of ministry and its delegate, say labour Inspector. So an individual can also approach them in case of violation of minimum wages by their employer. According to the Labour Code, article no. 290 and 291, it is the function of trade unions to represent its members at their request to the labour authorities to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Code, to sponsor their members in labour disputes in the conciliation and arbitration, and also to submit the complaints of their members to authorities. So an individual can complaint to trade unions.