Hire in Bolivia

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Bolivian Currency

Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)

The Capital of Bolivia


Time Zone in Bolivia


Important Facts About the Country of Bolivia

Introduction to Bolivia

Bolivia, officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in the western-central region of South America. La Paz serves as the administrative and executive capital, while Sucre holds the constitutional capital status. The largest city and main industrial hub is Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Bolivia has an estimated population of twelve million people and is considered a developing nation. The country’s primary economic sectors include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and textile production. Bolivia boasts rich mineral resources, especially tin and silver.

What to Know about Bolivia's Geography

Bolivia shares its borders with Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest and Peru to the west. Covering an expansive area of about 1,098,000 square kilometers, Bolivia ranks as the fifth largest country in South America.

Climate in Bolivia

Bolivia’s climate is greatly influenced by dramatic variations in altitude and precipitation, leading to a diverse range of climatic conditions across the country. June marks the coldest and driest month of the year, while October stands out as the warmest period in Bolivia.

The Culture of Bolivia

The culture of Bolivia has been deeply shaped by the Spanish, Aymara, Quechua and the broader popular cultures found throughout Latin America. Bolivia has a rich folklore tradition and its regional folk music is known for its diversity and distinctiveness.

Religions Observed in Bolivia

Approximately 90% of Bolivia’s population identifies as Christian, with the majority being Roman Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox. Indigenous religions are followed by roughly 3% of Bolivians.

Languages Spoken in Bolivia

Spanish serves as the predominant official language in Bolivia, with approximately two-thirds of the population speaking it. In addition to Spanish, Bolivia’s Constitution recognizes 36 other official languages, such as Aymara, Quechua, Chiquitano and Guaraní.

Bolivian Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Bolivia

The General Labor Act serves as the primary legal framework governing employment relationships in Bolivia. Additionally, there are other important rules and regulations that play a significant role, including:

  • Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
  • General Law on Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare
  • Ministerial Resolution on Labour Inspection
  • Social Security Code
  • Law on Pensions

Employment Contracts in Bolivia

Employment contracts in Bolivia can be established verbally or in writing. Typically, employment contracts are expected to be of indefinite duration and require a signed agreement. There are situations where fixed-term contracts are permissible, but they must be documented in writing. Verbal contracts are assumed to be of indefinite duration by default.

For a written employment contract to hold legal validity, it must receive authorization from a Labor Inspector or a higher administrative authority.

Fixed Term Contacts for Bolivian Employees

A written fixed-term employment contract or a contract for specific work or services in Bolivia must receive approval from the relevant Ministry of Labor official. Failure to obtain approval can affect the validity of the agreement, potentially resulting in it being considered an indefinite contract with all its associated consequences.

Fixed-term contracts are permitted under exceptional circumstances, including:

  • Temporary replacement of workers (e.g., during pregnancy or vacations)
  • Situations where the employer needs to increase the workforce to meet specific product or production demands
  • Completion of projects with predetermined delivery dates

Fixed-term contracts can be established for a maximum duration of one year and may be renewed once for the same period. However, if the contract is renewed for a second time, regardless of the duration, the employment relationship will transition into a permanent one.

Pre-Employment Checks

There are no explicit limitations that prevent employers from inquiring about an applicant’s previous history, health condition or criminal record.

Bolivia's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

A probation period for employees has a maximum duration of three months. It is possible to extend or renew the probation period, as there are no specific limitations outlined in the law. However, it’s important to note fixed-term contracts do not typically include a probation period.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Bolivia

The standard working schedule for employees is eight hours per day and 48 hours per week, not including breaks. However, for women, the normal weekly working schedule is reduced to 40 hours in a week.

According to labor regulations, employees have the right to a rest break after every five hours of work. The maximum duration of these rest breaks is two hours per day.

Bolivian Laws Regarding Overtime

Overtime work must be remunerated with an additional salary of 100% and it should not exceed two hours per day. This 100% extra pay also applies to work carried out on holidays. In the case of work on Sundays, employees are entitled to compensation of three times their daily wage. Alternatively, they may receive paid leave on a different working day, as determined by the management.

Bolivian Timesheets & Record Keeping

Employers are required to maintain a record of the Christmas bonuses paid to employees.

Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Bolivia

Employees in Bolivia have a right to the following bonuses:

Profit bonus: It is required that all employees receive an additional monthly salary when a company generates annual profits. However, there is a cap of 25% of the company’s profits for this additional payment. If the allocated amount is not sufficient to cover all employees, the employee will receive a proportionate payment based on their individual entitlement.

Christmas bonus: At the conclusion of each year, employees are eligible for an extra monthly salary or a prorated payment if their tenure is less than a year. The Christmas bonus is exempt from taxation and social security contributions. Employers must prepare and submit a dedicated payroll to document Christmas bonus payments. Additionally, the Bolivian Government has sanctioned a second Christmas bonus, which is disbursed annually if the country’s GDP exceeds 4.5% as determined in October of each year.

Seniority bonus: Employees who have maintained continuous service for two years or longer are eligible for a seniority bonus. The bonus is calculated based on three times the national minimum wage and the calculation follows the guidelines below:

  • two to four years of continuous service: 5%
  • five to seven years of continuous service: 11%
  • eight to ten years of continuous service: 18%
  • 11 to 14 years of continuous service: 26%
  • 15 to 19 years of continuous service: 34%
  • 20 to 24 years of continuous service: 42%
  • 25 or more years of continuous service: 50%


An employer has the right to terminate an employee based on any of the valid grounds specified in labor laws, without being obligated to make any payments. Additionally, internal rules and disciplinary procedures outlined in the employer’s internal regulations, which employees are required to accept, can also be utilized as justifications for dismissing an employer has the right to unilaterally terminate an employment relationship at any time, even for reasons that are not specified in labor law. In such cases, the employee has the following options to consider:

  1. Accept dismissal and receive severance compensation if they are entitled to it.
  2. Insist that he or she be reinstated and continue to work in the same job and pay grade.
  • In this scenario, the employee must initiate the administrative procedure with the Ministry of Labor.
  • In order to uphold the dismissal, the employer is required to prove the employee is not entitled to reinstatement.

Upon termination, the employer in Bolivia is required to provide the Ministry of Labor with a document certifying their compliance with social security obligations and the absence of any outstanding debts.

In Bolivia, female employees and their spouses or partners are safeguarded against termination for a period of one year following the birth of a child. Additionally, union leaders and disabled employees are granted specific protections from termination.

Bolivia's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

There is no prescribed mandatory notice period for termination of employment in Bolivia.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Bolivia

Employees are eligible for severance pay if they are subjected to unjustified dismissal. The amount of severance pay corresponds to one month’s salary for each year of service, including any incomplete year for fixed-term employees.

However, the employer is not obligated to provide severance pay if the employee is dismissed before completing the 90-day probation period.

Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants

Employment contracts may include post-employment non-compete covenants.

Data Protection

There are no explicit regulations outlining specific data protection obligations for employers. However, relevant laws and regulations addressing data protection in the country include the Bolivian Constitution, General Telecommunications Law, and Regulation for the Development of Technology of Information and Communication (RDTIC).

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Bolivia

Personal Income Tax in Bolivia

Individuals are taxed solely on their gross income derived from sources within Bolivia, regardless of their nationality or residence. The tax rate is a flat rate of 13%. Employers are responsible for deducting and remitting the taxes to the relevant authorities.

Social Security in Bolivia

Both employers and employees in Bolivia contribute to various social security schemes as follows:

Type Employee Contribution (%) Employer Contribution (%) Salary Cap (BOB)
Pension Fund 12.71* 60 times of national minimum wage (135,000 in 2023)
Supportive Social Contribution 1 to 10 **
Healthcare Contribution 10
Risk Insurance 1.71
Social Housing Plan Contribution 2
Solidarity contribution 3

*Employee pension contribution consists of the following items:

Type Contribution Rate (%)
Long-term SSO Contribution (Disability, Old Age and Death) 10.00
Common Risk 1.71
Pensionary Fund Commission 0.50
Solidarity Contribution for Pension 0.50

**Employees whose monthly employment income exceeds BOB 13,000 are required to contribute to Supportive Social Contributions as follows:

Monthly Employment Income (BOB) Contribution Rate (%)
13,000 – 25,000 1
25,000 – 35,000 5
Above 35,000 10

Employers are required to register their employees with social security authorities during the first five days of employment.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Bolivian Employees

Salary Payment

Salaries in Bolivia can be issued based on various timeframes, including hourly, daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly periods. The payment period for blue-collar workers is typically 15 days, while employees and domestic workers usually receive their salaries on a 30-day cycle. It is permissible to provide in-kind payment as part of the salary arrangement. Salaries must be paid in the local currency, during working days and at the place of employment.

When paying salaries to employees, employers are only allowed to deduct amounts corresponding to income tax, social insurance contributions and other legally required contributions. Deductions for amenities used at work – such as rentals, utility bills, medicines, tools, or fines (unless authorized by the Ministry of Labor) -are strictly prohibited.


While there are no specific legal requirements in Bolivia regarding payslips, it is advisable for employers to provide employees with detailed payslips that outline salary information, deductions and other relevant details.

Annual Leave

Employees have the right to paid annual leave after one year of services as follows:

  • One to five years of service: 15 working days
  • Five to ten years of service: 20 working days.
  • After ten years of service: 30 working days.

Annual leave cannot be substituted or compensated with a monetary payment, except in cases of employment contract termination. However, any unused annual leave can be accumulated according to a prior written agreement.

Sick Leave

Employees in Bolivia are entitled to paid sick leave upon providing a medical certificate. The specific number of days allowed for sick leave is not stipulated by law.

Sick leave is compensated starting from the fifth day of illness and can last for a maximum of 26 weeks within a one-year period. If ongoing medical treatment can prevent permanent disability, sick leave can be extended for an additional 26 weeks.

During sick leave, employees are entitled to receive their full salary. The employer is eligible to receive a reimbursement from social security schemes amounting to 75% (for common illnesses) or 90% (for work-related accidents or inability to work due to pregnancy) of the salaries paid to the employee during the sick leave period.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Female employees in Bolivia are entitled to 90 days of fully paid maternity leave for each child’s birth, of which 45 days are designated as pre-natal leave.

According to social security regulations, pregnant employees or the spouses of pregnant employees are eligible for a pre-natal subsidy starting from the fifth month of pregnancy. They are also entitled to a nursing subsidy until the child reaches one year of age. These subsidies are provided by the employer and consist of monthly supplies of dairy and nutritional products equivalent to one monthly national minimum wage.

Female employees must be granted one hour per day for breastfeeding during the child’s first year, as specified by the employer. This hour should not be included in the calculation of the two-hour break entitlement.

Paternity Leave

Male employees in Bolivia are eligible for three days of paternity leave upon submission of a medical certificate. The employer is responsible for providing full payment during the paternity leave period.

Training Leave

Employees can request a leave of two hours per day to receive vocational training. To be eligible, the employee must have been working for the employer for at least six months and submit the registration certificate or regular student certificate issued by the educational institution. The leave shall not affect the employee’s remuneration.

The employee shall compensate for the leave hours on the same working day with the same number of hours. The compensated hours are not regarded as overtime.

Public Holidays

Bolivia celebrates 10 national holidays annually.

Bolivia observes two half-day holidays: Father’s Day on March 19th and Mother’s Day on May 27th. If the dates fall on Sundays, the holiday will be observed on a work day on or before March 19th and May 27th.

Benefits to the Employee in Bolivia

Bolivian Statutory Benefits

Employees have the right to various benefits as mandated by law and collective agreements. These benefits include retirement pensions, healthcare insurance, maternity leave, paternity leave, annual leave and sick leave.

Other Benefits

In addition to the minimum entitlements, employers commonly offer the following supplemental benefits:

  • Performance bonuses
  • Private health and life insurance
  • Allowances supporting transportation and car, housing and accommodation, and utilities
  • Prolonged or additional leave days

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Bolivia

General Information


Bolivia’s visa policy varies depending on the visitor’s country of origin and purpose of visit. The Bolivian government classifies visa applicants into three categories:

  • The first category includes countries whose citizens are exempt from obtaining a visa for stays of up to 90 days. This category includes countries like the United States, European Union member states, Australia, and others.
  • The second category consists of countries whose citizens can obtain a tourist visa upon arrival for a fee, with the specific requirements varying depending on the country.
  • The third category comprises countries whose citizens must obtain special authorization before applying for a visa.

Regardless of the visa category, all visitors to Bolivia must hold a valid passport and a certificate of yellow fever vaccination. A visitor’s visa allows a maximum stay of 30 days per trip and 90 days per year.

Work Permits

In order to work in Bolivia, foreigners must hold valid visa and work permit. The work permit, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment, remains valid for a maximum of two years. The type of visa granted depends on the purpose and duration of the individual’s stay, which can be either a temporary resident visa or a work visa.

Within 90 days of arriving in Bolivia, foreign workers must register their employment agreement with the labor authorities and comply with local regulations regarding benefits, payroll and taxes.

According to the General Labor Law, the workforce of an employer cannot consist of more than 15% foreign nationals. This rule applies without exception and violations may result in penalties. Additionally, the total compensation for foreign employees cannot exceed 15% of the employer’s overall payroll.

Public Holidays Recognized by Bolivia in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Plurinational State Day January 22
3 Carnival February 12 – 13
4 Good Friday March 29
5 Labour Day May 1
6 Corpus Christi May 30
7 Aymara New Year June 21
8 National Day August 6
9 All Souls’ Day November 2
10 Christmas Day December 25

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