Job Benefits in Spain and Latin America

Reproduced from Vistas 4th ed, by Jose A. Blanco and Philip Redwine Donley, ©Vista Higher Learning (2012).

Translation by Austin B. Hahn

What do you think if they offered you a job that gives you thirty days of paid vacation? The job benefits in the United States, Spain, and Latin America are different in many ways. In Spain, for example, by federal law, employees have thirty days of paid vacation a year. On the other hand, while in the United States they give twelve weeks of maternity leave, the law does not specify that it’s paid. This depends on each company. In many Latin American countries, the laws dictate that [maternity leave is] paid. Countries such as Chile and Venezuela offer working mothers eighteen weeks of paid leave.

Another difference is in the retirement systems of the Latin American countries. Until the 1990s, the majority of Central American and South American countries had a public and state retirement system. It’s to say that people did not have to pay directly for their retirement, but that the State administered it. However, in the final years things had changed in Latin America: since more than a decade ago, almost all countries have incorporated the private retirement system, and in many countries we can find the two systems (public and private) working at the same time, such as in Colombia, Peru, or Costa Rica.

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