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Chile: Employee rights

Original and updating authors: Constanza Contreras and Andres Valdes, Baker & McKenzie

Summary

  • An employee's normal working time must not generally exceed 45 hours a week, distributed over five or six days, and 10 hours a day, although managers and some other groups of employees are not subject to these limits. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are generally entitled to a meal break of at least half an hour during the working day, and to a weekly rest period that includes Sunday and starts at the latest at 9pm on Saturday and ends at the earliest at 6am on Monday. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Employees must not generally work on Sundays, except in activities where Sunday working is specifically authorised by law. (See Sunday work)
  • After one year's service with their employer, employees are entitled to a minimum of three weeks of paid annual leave, with additional entitlement arising after 10 years of employment. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees are required to take 18 weeks of maternity leave (during which they receive a benefit equivalent to full pay) and have various other rights, as do new mothers. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Following the end of their maternity leave, female employees are entitled to take 12 weeks of full-time parental leave (during which they receive a benefit equivalent to full pay) or 18 weeks of part-time parental leave (during which they receive a combination of benefits and pay from the employer), and may transfer part of this entitlement to the father. (See Parental leave)
  • Male employees are required to take five working days of paid leave in the event of the birth of their child or the adoption of a child. (See Paternity leave)
  • Female employees are entitled to leave in various circumstances to care for sick children, and may choose to transfer the leave entitlement to the child's father. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to seven days of paid leave in the event of the death of a child, spouse or civil partner and three working days of paid leave in the event of the death of a parent or an unborn child. Employees are also entitled to leave in the event of their marriage and to attend certain medical examinations. (See Other leave)
  • Part-time employees (defined as those whose normal working time is 30 hours per week or lower) generally have the same employment rights as full-time employees. (See Part-time workers)
  • The maximum duration of a fixed-term contract, including one renewal, is two years in the case of managers and highly qualified professional or technical staff, and one year in the case of other employees. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency work is permitted but subject to various restrictions. Notably, agency workers may be used only for specified work of a "transient or occasional" nature. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • In the event of any change in the ownership of an enterprise, employees' rights and obligations automatically transfer unchanged to the new employer. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • In the event of an employer's insolvency or bankruptcy, employees' pay-related claims receive priority over the claims of other creditors. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • The "internal regulations" that employers with 10 or more employees are required to have in place must state the obligations and prohibitions that apply to employees, the disciplinary sanctions for breaching these obligations and prohibitions, and the disciplinary procedure that must be observed. (See Disciplinary and grievance procedures)
  • Employers with 10 or more employees are obliged to have in place "internal regulations" setting out the rules that apply to employees in specified areas, including discipline, attendance, conduct, sexual harassment, working time, payment of wages and health and safety. (See Internal regulations)
  • Legislation prohibits bullying, known as "workplace harassment", and employers must take concrete steps to prevent such harassment. (See Bullying)
  • An employer must keep confidential all personal information and data relating to employees to which it has access in the context of the employment relationship, and must observe general data protection rules. (See Data protection and privacy)