Employment

Refugees and asylum seekers in Brazil have the right to work in the country and are entitled to the same labor rights as Brazilians.


What do I need to legally work in Brazil?

Once you have your Provisional Protocol, you can request a Brazilian working permit (Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social – CTPS). This is the same document that Brazilians have, with the exception of its expiration date, that will be in accordance to your protocol. It means that every time your provisional protocol is renewed, your working permit will also be renewed. For those who already are recognized as refugees, the working permit will not have an expiration date. Please refer to the documentation section for more information.


What are my labor rights in Brazil?

Brazilian labor rights must be respected regardless the employee’s nationality. Note that these labor rights include, among others:

  • Limit of a twelve-hour workday and 44 hours per week
  • Signature of the Working Permit by the employer.
  • Mandatory Paid vacation days
  • A thirteenth salary beyond the twelve salaries you normally receive per year
  • Monthly minimum wage (R $ 954.00 if you work 44 hours per week) or proportional payment
  • A paid weekly rest day – preferably on Sundays

For more information on Labor Law in Brazil, go to: http://www.brasil.gov.br/trabalhista

Important: If you suspect your labor rights are being disrespected you can seek legal assistance.


No company is hiring me because I do not speak Portuguese. What can I do?

Most companies will require a basic level of Portuguese in order to hire you. For more information about Portuguese courses, please refer to the section on education.


How can I find a job?

Once you have obtained your working permit, you can start looking for a job. Brazil has specialized public agencies, which link potential employees to companies. You can look for job openings at the website “Mais Emprego” from the Ministry of Labor.

If your city is not listed and you are not finding this kind of service in your municipality, you can contact UNHCR or one of its partners for more information.


I think my labor rights are being disrespected. Where can I find legal assistance?

If you suspect your labor rights are being disrespected, you must seek legal assistance.


Labor rights of women in Brazil: I am a woman, am I entitled to the same labor rights as men?

Yes. In addition, women have certain specific rights such as:

  • Maternity leave of 120 days
  • A pregnant woman cannot be fired
  • A pregnant woman has the right to leave the job to go to the doctor
  • A woman cannot be fired without a just cause for five months after giving birth

Important: If you suspect your labor rights are being disrespected, you must seek legal assistance.


Child labor: Can children work in Brazil?

Children cannot work in Brazil if they are under 14 years old. In case they are 14 or older, they are only entitled to work under some special conditions:

  • Six Hours Working-day
  • The employer is obliged to grant time for them to go to school
  • The right to take his/her work vacation simultaneously with his/her school vacation
  • Children cannot work in dangerous situations
  • Children cannot work during night shifts

Important: If you suspect your labor rights are being disrespected, you must seek legal assistance.


What is the minimum wage in Brazil?

In Brazil, workers cannot receive a salary below the national minimum wage if they work 44 hours a week or more. The minimum value stipulated by the federal government is BRL 954,00, which can vary for more depending on the State.

Important: If you think your employer is not respecting the minimum wage, you must seek legal assistance.

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