Labor Law of Colombia


Labor laws are the core of working relationships between employees and employers in Colombia. They establish the foundations of the duties and rights of every employee and business owner operating in the country.

There are some key aspects and parameters of the legal framework that has been set by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Every Colombian labor and business owner is bound to adhere to the guidelines provided in the Labor Law of Colombia.

Overview of the Labor Code in Colombia

One of the most essential regulatory frameworks in the country is the Colombian labor code. The code defines several aspects of work relationships and responsibilities.

Working Hours

According to the law, the standard period of working is 48 hours per week. The hours have been divided into 6 days and 8 hours per day. Employees who work overtime are compensated based on the type of work and the shift timings.

Contract Termination

Every employee has the right to end their employment by handing in a written resignation letter. The employer also has the right to terminate the employment with or without cause. In case a contract is terminated without cause, the employer will have to pay severance pay along with accrued employment benefits. Conversely, if the contract is terminated with cause, the employer is bound to pay the accumulated labor benefits.

Probation Period

Employees may work on a trial basis for up to two months,where they can decide whether they want to continue with the employee. The employer has the right to terminate the contract without compensation during the probation period.

Internal Work Regulations

The internal work regulations are a set of rules that every employee must strictly follow. Non-compliance to any of the rules can result in fines, penalties, and in severe cases, termination.

Types of Labor Contracts in Colombia

Service Contract

The services are provided independently since there is no employment relationship between the two parties. The service provider gets compensated in terms of fees instead of a salary.

Fixed-Term Contract

This type of contract has a specified term that is known to both parties. For instance, it can be three months, three years, etc.

Indefinite Term Contract

There is no specified term in an indefinite term contract. The employee has the right to resign at any time.

Social Security

  •  Professional Risk Coverage provides financial protection in case of any work-related accidents. An amount of 0.5% of the salary is contributed by the employer.
  •  Sometimes employers are required to enroll certain employees for health coverage and pay 8.5% of their salary along with 4% (which must be borne by the employee).
  • Pension coverage provides financial benefits to employees in case of death, disability, or retirement. 12% of the salary contribution is made by the employer,whereas the employee contributes the remaining 4%.

Other Benefits

  • Employees are entitled to avail 15 days of paid vacation each year under an indefinite contract.
  • Female employees are entitled to avail 18 weeks of paid maternity leaves (1 week before childbirth and 17 weeks after).
  • A male employee can avail 8 business days of paid maternity leave.

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