When hiring employees in Argentina, it's important to do your due diligence as an employer—which is why background checks are a standard part of the process. Conducting an employment background check helps verify a new hire's identity and credentials and protects your company from potential liabilities and threats.
But conducting international background checks as a global company hiring employees in Argentina can be daunting—you need to know what's allowed under Argentine labor and employment laws, how you need to handle and store sensitive employee data, and more.
If you're looking for a guide to running comprehensive and legally compliant employee background checks in Argentina, you've come to the right place—read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Are you legally required to run background checks on Argentinian employees?
- Is it legal to run background checks on Argentinian contractors?
- What types of background checks do businesses commonly run on Argentinian employees and contractors?
- What types of background checks are illegal in Argentina?
- When should you conduct Argentinian employee background checks?
- The easiest way to run a background check on an Argentinian employee or contractor
- Background check mistakes to avoid in Argentina
- Frequently asked questions about background checks in Argentina
Are you legally required to run background checks on Argentinian employees?
Background checks are not legally required for Argentine employees, but they're still a somewhat standard part of the hiring process.
Employers are allowed to run background checks, but they're governed by strict rules around privacy and relevance. In general terms, background checks are allowed if the information included:
- Is not used to discriminate against potential employees
- Doesn't violate the candidate's right to privacy
- Is used reasonably
- Does not include any criminal records
Employers can look up any information about a candidate that's available in a publicly accessible database, without informing the candidate or getting their consent. But many records are kept private in Argentina, including motor vehicle/driving records and criminal histories, and can't be accessed by employers under any circumstances (more on this below).
Is it legal to run background checks on Argentinian contractors?
Employers can run background checks on independent contractors in Argentina, but they must follow the same rules about data privacy and access as they would for employees.
What types of background checks do businesses commonly run on Argentinian employees and contractors?
In Argentina, you can conduct different types of background screening, based on a new hire's role. Here are the most common types, and a few other background checks you can consider (more on each one below).
Common background checks
Less common background checks
Criminal record searches (depends on role)
Here’s each type of check in more detail:
- Employment verification. These standard background checks verify that a candidate is being honest about their employment history. Potential new employers can contact past employers for this information.
- Education checks. Education verification is allowed in Argentina and can be necessary if the candidate is seeking a position that requires specific training or education.
- Medical examinations. Employees in Argentina are required to submit to a medical examination (and may be denied employment if they refuse). These exams are organized by the employer's labor risk insurer and are meant as validation that the applicant can carry out the responsibilities of the job without risk to their health. Certain tests are not allowed during pre-employment medical screening, including HIV tests, tests for Chagas disease, and pregnancy tests.
- Reference checks. Employers can reach out to references provided by job candidates.
- Criminal records checks. Employers cannot access candidates' criminal records directly; they can only ask candidates to apply for and provide their own criminal records. This should only be done on a local level for roles where a criminal history may be relevant (for example, in the banking industry).
- Credit/financial checks. Employers can request public credit reports for job candidates, but should do so carefully and only when the role requires it; denying a job based on a candidate's financial status can be viewed as discrimination in Argentina.
- Social media. Employers may review public social media profiles for job candidates, but they cannot require that candidates give them access to private social media information.
What types of background checks are illegal in Argentina?
- Questions about race, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, or political or union activities. Argentina's labor laws protect employees from discrimination based on these.
- While medical examinations are required for many job applicants, they cannot include testing for HIV, Chagas disease, or pregnancy.
- Drug and alcohol testing can be considered discriminatory unless the employer gets the employee or applicant's consent ahead of time and the position justifies a test (for example, a bus driver).
When should you conduct Argentina background checks?
Argentinian employee background checks should be conducted as part of the pre-employment screening process, either during the recruitment process or after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
The easiest way to run a background check on an Argentinian employee or contractor
There are several different companies that can run background checks on employees in Argentina, including Rippling, TritonArgentina, HireRight, and BackCheck. The easiest by far is Rippling because background checks are directly integrated into the onboarding flow.
Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling will send the offer letter and new hire paperwork—and automatically run a legally compliant background check and e-verify the results. See Rippling today.
Background check mistakes to avoid in Argentina
- Assuming background checks in Argentina are the same as in the US. In the US, it's normal for employers to conduct thorough, comprehensive background checks on every employee that include credit histories, criminal records, driving records, social security number checks, and more. In Argentina, there are many more restrictions on what data employers can (and should) collect. A good rule of thumb is to stick to data that's closely relevant to the job candidate's position.
- Collecting restricted data. In Argentina, employers are prohibited from accessing things like driving records and criminal histories—only the job applicant themselves can access that information. Employers can ask a candidate to access and provide their own criminal history, but doing so runs the risk of discrimination claims.
- Skipping the background check. Because of all the different rules and requirements, doing background checks on global hires can seem overwhelming—and it may be tempting to skip it altogether. But background checks are an important part of employee onboarding, and help protect you and your company.
Rippling makes it easy to run background checks in Argentina.
Frequently asked questions about background checks in Argentina
Are background checks legal in Argentina?
Yes, background checks are legal in Argentina, provided they are conducted in compliance with Argentine privacy laws, human rights legislation, and other applicable regulations.
Employers are allowed to request information from job applicants that is relevant to the job position, including their employment and education histories. In certain, limited cases, employers can also ask candidates to provide their criminal, driving, or financial histories—but employers are not able to access this private data on their own.
How do privacy laws affect background checks in Argentina?
Data protection laws in Argentina create regulatory standards for how personal information is collected, used, and shared by organizations. This includes information obtained during background checks for employment purposes.
Employers must take measures to ensure the confidentiality and security of the personal information collected during background checks or an employment relationship. This includes implementing safeguards to prevent unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of the information.
Individuals have the right to access and correct their personal information held by employers, and they can file complaints if they believe their data privacy rights have been violated.
How do human rights laws affect background checks in Argentina?
When conducting background checks in Argentina, employers must be aware of human rights laws, which prohibit discrimination based on certain characteristics: race, religion, age, gender, disability, or political or union activities. Argentine job seekers also have a right to keep private information private, including their criminal histories, driving records, and some medical information.
Do different industries in Argentina require different background checks?
Different types of background checks are allowed for different industries. The general rule in Argentina is that an employer should only conduct background checks that are necessary to the new hire's role—for example, you should only conduct a driver's license check if the role requires driving.
How far back do criminal background checks go?
Criminal background checks in Argentina typically go back seven years.
What are the benefits of running background checks in Argentina?
Background checks come with many benefits for employers, including:
- Enhanced security. Background checks can help filter out job applicants who would pose a threat to the company or its employees.
- Protection against negligent hiring. Companies can be held responsible for hiring employees who later engage in public misconduct. Background checks reveal past misconduct, helping mitigate this risk.
- Better hiring quality. Background checks help filter out candidates with discrepancies or inconsistencies in their work or educational backgrounds. They verify that applicants are who they say they are, and that their stated qualifications are accurate.
- Protection from occupational fraud. Background checks protect your company's reputation by helping avoid dishonest and fraudulent job seekers.
Onboard new hires and run background checks with Rippling
With Rippling's Talent Management System, you can seamlessly onboard new hires and set them up for success. Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling does the rest—including running a legally compliant background check and e-verifying the results.
Ready to hit the ground running with every new hire? See Rippling today.
Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.