Payroll and Benefits Guide El Salvador

Last updated: May 03, 2023

United States Dollar (USD)
Employer Taxes
15.25% - 16.25%
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
San Salvador
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

15.25% – 16.25% Total Employment Cost
7.50% Social Security (up to a maximum monthly cap of 1,000 USD Employees who have salaries above 1,000 USD the Employer’s social security contribution applicable is 51.49 USD
7.75% AEP -Pension Fund (maximum 6,523.20 USD)
1.00% INESAFORP (applicable to companies with more than ten employees, based on employee monthly salary of less than 1,000 USD per month)


Employee Payroll Contributions

10.25% Total Employee Cost
3.00% Social Security (up to a maximum monthly cap of 1,000 USD Employees who have salaries above 1,000 USD the Employee’s social security contribution applicable is 30.00 USD
7.25% AEP (Pension Fund)


Employee Income Tax

0% Up to 4,064.00 USD
10% + $212.12 4,064.00 – 9,142.86 USD
20% + $720 9,142.86 – 22,857.14 USD
30% + $3,462.86 Over 22,857.12 USD

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


There is no single national minimum wage in El Salvador; the sector determines the minimum wage that the employee belongs to. National Minimum wages range from 243.46 USD for agriculture employees to 365.00 USD for industry and commerce service employees.




Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in El Salvador can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and payments must be made on the same day of the month and no later than one working day following the end of the pay cycle.

13th Salary

In El Salvador, it is common to pay a 13th-month salary payment to employees in December as a Christmas bonus. The payment is to be made around 20th December, and the amount depends on the years of service. The employer pays 15 days of salary to employees with one to three years of service, 19 days of salary for three to ten years of service, and 21 days for more than ten years of service.

Working Hours


The standard working week in El Salvador consists of 44 hours a week, typically 8 hours a day over five and a half days.


All work above the standard weekly working hours is paid as overtime and regulated by the employment contract/collective agreements. There are no maximums in relation to the number of hours allowed except in the case of minors.

All overtime hours in excess of 44 hours a week are generally paid at an overtime compensation rate of 200.00% of the employee’s regular salary payment.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

Once an employee has been employed for at least one year (or worked more than 200 days in the year), they are entitled to 15 days of paid annual leave.  The annual leave is calculated from December 12-December 12.

Paid time off is paid at a rate of 130.00% of the employee’s regular salary rate of pay and paid to the employee before their leave.

Any unused vacation days cannot be compensated financially and will be lost.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays in El Salvador.

Sick Days

The amount of sick leave an employee is entitled to in El Salvador is determined by years of service:

  • 1-5 months of employment entitles the employee to 75.00% of the basic salary for 20 days
  • Five months to 1 year of employment service entitles the employee to 75.00% of the basic pay for 40 days
  • One year or more of employment entitles the employee to 75.00% of the basic pay for 60 days

Maternity Leave

In El Salvador, female employees are entitled to receive up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, calculated at the rate of 75.00% of their regular wages. The employee must provide a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy status and expected due date.

Employees must take at least six weeks of leave before the expected due date and up to 10 weeks after the child is born. The employee can request to extend the maternity leave if there are any pregnancy-related illnesses/complications.

For the health and safety of the employee, she cannot be assigned any physical work after the 4th month of pregnancy.



Paternity Leave

In El Salvador, Fathers are entitled to three days of paternity leave which the employee must take within the first 15 days of the child’s birth.  The leave is paid at 100.00% of the employees’ regular salary.

Parental Leave

In El Salvador, employees who have suffered the loss of an immediate family member are entitled to one day of paid leave bereavement leave.


Termination Process

The termination process varies according to how it is stipulated within the employment agreement /collective agreement and is based on the type of contract, length of service and reason for termination.

Notice Period

In El Salvador, the notice period is stipulated in the employee’s employment contract/collect agreement; it is not a statutory obligation.  However, it is common practice to request that an employee provides a minimum of 7 days’ notice once they have completed their probation.

Severance Pay

Severance pay in El Salvador is subject to specific regulations and will vary depending on the reasons that led to the termination of the employment. For instance, severance is not provided in case of resignation by the employee or when the employment contract’s duration term has elapsed.

If severance is required, it is generally calculated as 30 days of salary for each year of service.‍

Probation Period

El Salvador’s probationary period depends on the type of role and is stipulated within the employment agreement. In general, probation periods can be no more than 30 days.



All foreign nationals seeking to work in El Salvador must obtain a Work Permit and a Temporary Residence Permit in the country. The Work Permit and Temporary Residence Permit are valid for an initial period of one or two years and can be extended for up to five years.

Nationals of Central American countries can apply directly for permanent residence. Nationals of Spain or Latin American, Spanish-speaking countries can apply for permanent residency after one year of holding a Temporary Residence Permit. All other foreign nationals can apply for permanent residence after three consecutive renewals of their Temporary Residence Permit.



The standard rate of VAT in El Salvador is 13.00%.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

April 18, 2022
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.

Questions & Answers

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11 months ago

Ive worked for the same company for 4 years and was recently terminated. What will be my severance pay?

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
11 months ago
Reply to  Shanon

Severance pay is generally calculated as 30 days’ salary per year of employment. If you are eligible, you can receive up to 120 days of pay.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in El Salvador

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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All questions are answered by our in-house compliance department working in conjunction with our local in-country partner for this specific country

Public Holidays Calendar

El Salvador 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year's Day
Thursday Apr-6 Maundy Thursday
Friday Apr-7 Good Friday
Saturday Apr-8 Holy Saturday
Sunday Apr-9 Easter
Monday May-1 Labor Day
Wednesday May-10 Mother's Day
Saturday Jun-17 Father’s Day
Saturday Aug-6 Fiesta de San Salvador
Friday Sep-15 Independence Day
Sunday Dec-24 Christmas Eve
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day
Sunday Dec-31 New Year's Eve