Jobs and salaries
There are many English-speaking job opportunities in Argentina, but usually a second language (Spanish, Italian, French or German) is required for the better-paid positions. Expats in international companies have an average salary of $1,000 a month. This is enough to rent a good apartment, cover all the common expenses, and even save a little. Living costs as a single person in Argentina are around $500 a month including rent. It is very important to receive wages in a stable currency (most commonly USD), as the local argentinian pesos (ARS) are quite volatile due to inflation.
The maximum legal workday is 8 hours and 48 hours for a working week. In general, office hours interrupt anytime between 12 pm and 2 pm for an hour or a 90-minute lunch break. Typical working days in Argentina’s big cities span from 8:30 am to 12 or 12:30 pm, and then from 2 pm to 6 pm. Outside the big cities, lunch breaks tend to be longer, and many employees return home to have lunch and rest.
Work isn’t normally permitted on Saturday afternoons or Sundays, although the authorities do make exceptions regarding certain occupations. Furthermore, while working overtime isn’t common in Argentina, it is paid time and a half on weekdays and double time on weekends and public holidays. An employee can only work up to 200 overtime hours a year.
Argentinian employees are entitled to a bonus (aguinaldo) equalling one month’s pay each year; half of which they receive in June and the other half in December.
Vacation and leaves
Continuous employment (having worked for a long period of time without interruption) can generate benefits for workers in Argentina. This means that if you have been working in the same company for a while you may be entitled to increased leave time, increased holiday allowance and, in some cases, an increased salary.
All workers in Argentina receive between 14 to 35 days vacation days a year, depending on the company and their experience. Paid vacations are awarded to employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 6 months of a 12-month period. The length of this leave is determined by the workers seniority in the company as follows:
- 14 days for employees who have been working there for less than 5 years.
- 21 days for 5 to 10 years.
- 28 days for 10 to 20 years.
- 35 days for over 20 years.
In Argentina, all female workers have a legal and obligatory maternity leave starting 45 days before and ending 45 days after they give birth. During this period, those with signed employment contracts receive Social Security funds. Furthermore, for the year after returning to work postpartum, new mothers are entitled to two daily breaks to breastfeed their child.
All workers are entitled to paid sick leave of three months and up to a year depending on seniority and family circumstances. Aside from this, workers can also receive paid leave under certain special circumstances such as childbirth (2 days), marriage (10 days), death of a relative (3 days) and examinations at secondary or higher education (2 days for each exam).
As in most Latin American countries, the working culture in Argentina values socialization. Small talk and physical contact are more common than in most European countries, which can be perceived as a very relaxed atmosphere for expats coming from countries such as Canada, the US or Japan. Argentinians tend to have rather long meetings and negotiations where they can establish trust and express their points. Punctuality is important and well-regarded, but it is not uncommon to wait for everyone in a meeting to arrive for five to ten minutes.
In Argentina, business structures follow a rather hierarchical structure. Therefore, it is highly advisable to be observant and understand how the web of relationships works in a company. For example, it would be less likely for a manager to ask subordinates to get involved in decision making processes, and negotiations are normally carried out between members of the same rank or position.