This page outlines country-level details about the onboarding process when hiring employees, and touches upon the applicable rules when terminating employment contracts.
According to the law, any natural person or legal entity can be an employer. In this sense, any em-ployer in Venezuela must comply with the following:
It is understood that the probation period in Venezuela has a maximum term of 30 days counted from the beginning of the employment relationship. During the “probation period” the employee can be dis-missed without a justified cause and the employer cannot be compelled to pay the compensation for dismissal.
There is a legal requirement to perform medical checks upon hiring. However, pregnancy or HIV test-ing are prohibited. The medical checks seek to assign the liabilities for feasible occupational diseases or accidents.
Criminal background check
The employer is not allowed to request the submission of a criminal record as a condition for employ-ment.
Reference and education checks
The reference and education checks can be performed by the future employer.
The law requires that at least 90% of the payroll be Venezuelans (this requirement is for employers that have 10 workers or more). The compensations of foreign workers shall not exceed 20% of those paid to Venezuelan employees.
Employers are also required to maintain a number of employees with disabilities, 5% of their total pay-roll, in jobs that are adequate for their skills and abilities.
The Venezuelan labour legislation demands that for equal work, carried out in the same position, working hours and efficiency conditions and equal salary must correspond.
According to Venezuelan law, executives constitute another type of worker. Management employees are those involved in the decision-making process and those who are representatives of the employer before other workers and third parties and may replace them in their functions. The management em-ployees can be dismissed without needing a just cause.
According to the Venezuelan Labour legislation, all provisions communicated to the employees (or-ders, instructions, training manuals, contracts) must be in Spanish or an indigenous language if the employee belongs to an indigenous people. If for technical reasons it is necessary to use another lan-guage, the equivalent to Spanish must be included.
There is a general disposition related to equal pay for equal work. However, there is no disposition related to equal pay based on gender or sanctions.
There is no specific legislation for remote work. Bills have been submitted to the legislative body, but the process to convert them into law has not been initiated.
Normally, dismissal may be for just cause or retirement of the employee for just cause, and it doesn’t depend on the type of contract.
The employment relationship may be terminated by dismissal, resignation, the voluntary agreement of the parties, or for reasons beyond the control of the parties.
According to the law, there are 11 just causes of dismissal:
i. Immoral conduct at work
ii. Assault, except in self-defence.
iii. Injury to the employer, his representatives, or family living with the employer.
iv. Gross negligence affecting occupational health and safety.
v. Imprudence seriously affects occupational safety or hygiene.
vi. Unexcused absence for 3 working days in a month.
vii. Material damage caused intentionally or with gross negligence to tools, materials, or work products.
viii. Disclosure of manufacturing, fabrication, or process secrets.
ix. Serious failure to comply with work obligations.
x. Harassment at work or sexual harassment.
xi. Abandonment of work:
a. The untimely and unjustified departure of the employee from the work site during working hours, without the employer's permission.
b. Refusal to work on the tasks to which he/she has been assigned, provided they are following the employment contract or the Law. It will not be considered abandonment if the work is an imminent and serious danger to health or life.
c. Unjustified lack of attendance to work by the worker in charge of a task or machine, when such lack means a disturbance in the progress of the production process, the rendering of the service, or the execution of the work.
The employer can only dismiss the employee following one of the aforementioned dismissal causes, if not, the dismissal will be considered performed without just cause. Likewise, the employee can stand before the Judge when he does not agree with the dismissal, to make the Judge decide if the dismis-sal was justified or not. If he decides the dismissal was not justified, he can order the rehiring of the employee and payment of the pending wages.
Currently the National Executive has decreed the general labour immobility of the employees where none employee can be dismissed without a justify cause previously validated by the Labour Admin-istration.
The law only established a notice period in case of resignment of the worker without just cause. The employer must pay the employee the corresponding benefits up to the date on which he/she rendered services.
Duration of uninterrupted work Advance notice
1 month 1 week
6 months 15 days
1 year 1 month
In case of dismissal without just cause there are two consequences:
According to the law, the employer must notify the Labour Court about the dismissal, indicating the causes that justify the dismissal, in the 5 working days following the dismissal. If the employer doesn’t comply with this, it would be recognized that the dismissal was done without a just cause, and the employee can ask for re-hiring.
However, there is a labor immovability decree in force, which requires that the dismissal be previously qualified by the Labour Administration. .
Currently, dismissal without just cause previously qualified by the labor inspector is prohibited. This prohibition is valid until December 28, 2022, but is likely to be extended to next year (this regulation has been in force for 20 years). This disposition applies to the workers in an open-ended contract (after the first month), the workers in a fixed-term contract as long as the term of the contract has not expired and the workers in a project-based contract as long as the worker's part of the project has not been completed. Normally this kind of protection is reserved for certain types of situations (e.g. preg-nancy, adoption, worker’s children with disabilities), but it was extended to almost all types of workers, as mentioned above.
If the employee is dismissed without a just cause, he/she can go to the Labour Administration, in order to require for re-hiring and payment of lost wages, within 30 working days following his dismissal.
These employees are not protected by such regulation, and can be dismissed without a just cause.
Collective dismissal will be considered when it affects 10% or more of the workers (in case there are more than 100 workers), 20% (50 workers), or 10 (less than 50 workers), in a period of 3 months or longer if the circumstances make it critical. In this case, the Ministry of Labor may suspend it for rea-sons of social interest, by means of a special resolution.