When you hire an employee in Brazil, the offer letter (or carta de oferta or carta de proposta de emprego) will be one of the first legal documents you create to start a professional relationship.
Offer letters must be compliant with labor laws in Brazil, because not only do they set the tone for the employee/employer relationship, but they also make conditions of employment clear to the new employee. Missing any crucial information could put you at risk of costly legal disputes and penalties.
Before you send your first offer letter, read through our checklist for everything you need for a legally compliant offer letter for a full-time employee in Brazil.
Brazil job offer letter checklist
- Position (job title), job description, start date, and probationary period. In the offer letter, explain that the employee's suitability for their job duties will be evaluated during their probationary period. In Brazil, it's standard for probationary periods to last 45 days. They can then be extended for an additional 45 days, up to 90 days in total.
- Working hours. Outline the expected working hours and any overtime policies that the employee will be subject to. Under Brazil's labor laws, employees can work a maximum of 40 hours in a five-day week or 44 hours in a six-day week. Employees may not work more than two hours of overtime per day.
- Compensation and benefits.
- Salary. Specify the employee's salary or hourly compensation in Brazilian Real, and include any other compensation they might receive, such as bonuses or commissions.
- Equity. If the employee will be receiving any equity compensation, specify their equity and any related conditions. In Brazil, the most common types of equity compensation are stock options and restricted stocks or units, with vesting periods typically between three and five years.
- Benefits. Benefits can be outlined in the offer letter, but only in general terms so that if they change in the future, an amendment to the offer letter isn't required. In Brazil, the following benefits are mandatory for full-time employees:
- National retirement programs, including retirement, survivors, and disability pension.
- Paid time off, including vacation time, vacation bonus, paid sick leave, bereavement leave, and marriage leave.
- Vacation. The offer letter should detail all the paid vacation time the employee will be entitled to, especially if your company has a vacation policy that offers more leave than the minimum required in Brazil.
- Termination terms. Clearly explain the terms of termination, including notice periods and conditions that may lead to termination. In Brazil, the minimum statutory notice period is 30 days, with an additional three days added for every year of employment, for any employee terminated without cause. An employment agreement may include longer notice, capped at 90 days.
- Working conditions. Job offer letters in Brazil should clearly outline any special conditions, like if the employee is required to work specific hours or at a certain location.
- Confidentiality and non-disclosure. In the job offer letter, include a clause outlining the employee's responsibilities regarding confidentiality and non-disclosure of company information. Non-disclosure agreements are typically legally enforceable in Brazil if:
- They clearly define what information is considered confidential and protected by the agreement.
- They outline the employee's obligations to protect confidential information.
- They outline any exclusions, a term for the duration of the agreement, and a process for resolving disputes that may arise under the agreement.
- Other key details. Finally, if there are other key details related to your company's policies and procedures, include those in the offer letter. These may include:
- Whether the employment offer is contingent on any conditions—like satisfactory results from a background check (which could include a criminal record check) or proof of eligibility to legally work in Brazil. List and define any contingencies.
- A request that the employee sign and return the offer letter by a certain date to indicate their acceptance of the job. Employment contracts aren't necessary in Brazil, and in many cases, an oral offer of employment is enough to grant someone with all the legal rights of an employee.
- Contact information, including full name, address, phone number, and tax ID number (CNPJ/CPF) of both the employer and employee.
- Non-compete and non-solicit agreements. Include provisions for the employee's non-compete and non-solicitation responsibilities after they leave your company, if applicable. Keep in mind that Brazilian courts tend to take a holistic approach when determining whether non-competes are enforceable, examining factors like:
- Is the non-compete limited to a specific geographic location and/or finite period of time?
- Does it have a narrowly tailored scope?
- Does it clearly define activities that would be considered competition?
- Is there any incentive for the employee to agree (like a bonus)?
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Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting 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.