Payroll and Benefits Guide Guatemala

Last updated: May 09, 2023

Quetzal (GTQ)
Employer Taxes
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Guatemala City
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

12.67% Total Employment Cost
1.00% Workers Recreational Institute (IRTRA)
1.00% Professional Training Institute (INTECAP)
10.67% Social Security


Employee Payroll Contributions

4.83% Total Employee Cost
4.83% Social Security


Employee Income Tax

5.00% Up to 300,000
7.00% Over 300,000

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


The minimum salary in Guatemala is as follows:
Agricultural activities: 3,323.60 GTQ
Non-Agricultural activities: 3,416.38 GTQ
Export and Maquila activities: 3.143.54 GTQ




Payroll Cycle

Salaries are paid on a monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly basis, depending on the type of work conducted by the employee and what is agreed upon in the employment contract.

13th Salary

Salaried employees should receive two bonuses a year equivalent to one months’ salary each as a 13th and 14th-month payment. The bonus 14 (“Bono 14”) is payable in July of each year and a Christmas bonus is payable in December.

Working Hours


The standard working day in Guatemala is 8 hours per day, 44 hours per week and cannot exceed 12 hours per day. However, working hours do not apply to high-level executives or domestic employees.

Night-time work has a maximum of 36 hours per week with six hours a day between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. If the shift is mixed with day and night-time work, the maximum is increased to 42 hours per week.


All hours over 44 hours in one work week are considered overtime and are paid at a rate of 150% of the regular pay.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

15 days, after completing 12 months of continuous employment with the employer.
Any unused days do not carry over and will be lost. Holiday is paid at a rate of 130% salary, paid to the employee before their leave.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Public holidays that fall on the weekend are usually lost, with the exception of Army Day that moves to a Friday or Monday when falling on a Sunday.

Sick Days

Sick pay will be paid either by the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social) (IGSS) under its own regulations or by the employer if the IGSS regulated benefits do not cover the employee, the illness, or the injury.
The length and payment calculation of sick pay is dependent on the employee’s length of employment:

  • 2–6 months of employment entitles the employee to one month of paid sick leave paid at a rate of 50% of the employee’s regular salary
  • 6–9 months of employment entitles the employee to two months of paid sick leave paid at a rate of 50% of the employee’s regular salary
  • 9+ months of employment entitles the employee to three months of paid sick leave paid at a rate of 50% of the employee’s regular salary

In addition, the employer may seek to fill the employee’s duties temporarily, which can be terminated upon the employee’s return.

Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees in Guatemala are generally entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave starting 30 days before the expected due date.
In the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth, the mother is entitled to 42 days of paid leave.



Paternity Leave

There are no provisions in the law regarding paternity leave.

Parental Leave

There are no provisions in the law regarding parental leave.

Other Leave

Depending on the collective agreement/employment contract terms, an employee may be allowed additional leave types approved between the employer and employee, for the following:

  • Bereavement leave– employees are entitled to three days of paid leave in the event of the death of an immediate member of the family
  • Wedding– employees are entitled to five days of paid leave for their wedding
  • Labor union leader– a union’s executive committee member, is entitled to up to six days of paid leave to carry out union duties


Termination Process

The termination process varies according to how the employment agreement and collective agreement are in place and is based on the type of contract and reason for termination.

Notice Period

When the periods of notice are determined in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act, the employer and the employee may agree on the periods of notice (no longer than six months). Collective agreements may contain provisions on periods of notice. If the periods of notice in the collective agreement differ from the statutory periods of notice, the employer and the employee must observe the periods of notice laid down in the collective agreement.

The amount of notice is dependent on the length of service and reason for termination. If the employer terminates the contract, the notice period is as follows:

  • For employees with employment service of up to 6 months- 1 weeks’ notice
  • For employees with between 6 months and 1 year of employment service- at least 10 days’ notice
  • For employees with between 1- and 5 years’ employment service – at least 2 weeks’ notice
  • For employees with more than five years’ employment service- 1 month’s notice

Severance Pay

Employees receive severance if they are terminated without just cause and have 30 days to make a claim to a court. Should the employer be unable to justify the reason in court, the employee receives up to 12 months of severance pay but cannot return to their previous job/role/employer.

Also, employers cannot terminate trade union members, female employees during pregnancy or maternity leave, or immediately after childbirth, and those during a collective dispute or illegal shutdown of a business.

Should employees be terminated in the event of force majeure, death, or economic reasons, the severance payment is generally agreed at an amount equal to between two days and four months of the regular salary rate of pay.

Probation Period

The probation period in Guatemala is generally two months.



If a foreign national comes to Guatemala for paid work in a paid activity, it creates a relationship involving dependence on and management by a Guatemalan employer. In that case, the foreign national must apply for a migrant worker’s residence and work permit.

Following the elimination of the Business Visa, business travelers may now enter Guatemala under the category of Tourist or Traveler to perform consulting and advisory activities. Visa nationals must obtain the appropriate entry visa to enter ​Guatemala but are no longer required to apply for a Business Visa after arrival. The allowable consecutive stay as a business visitor is up to 90 days, with the possibility of a 90-day extension.

Once the foreign national has obtained a migrant worker’s residence permit (or has filed the corresponding application for migrant worker’s residence with the Guatemalan Institute of Immigration (Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración)), the foreign national must apply for a work permit with the Labor Ministry.
The main work authorization option is the Temporary Residence and Work Permit.

The Temporary Residence authorization is granted for an initial stay of up to five years, renewable for the same term. The corresponding work permit is valid for one year, renewable annually.​​​



The standard rate of VAT in Guatemala is 12.00%.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

April 12, 2022
The minimum wage salaries have been updated.
October 6, 2021
Minimum Wage: The minimum wage rose to 2 ,893.21 GTQ or $375.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Guatemala

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

Guatemala 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New year’s Day
Thursday Apr-6 Maundy Thursday
Friday Apr-7 Good Friday
Monday May-1 Labor Day
Monday Jul-3 Army Day Holiday
Tuesday Aug-15 Assumption of Mary
Friday Sep-15 Independence Day
Friday Oct-20 Revolution of 1944
Wednesday Nov-1 All Saints’ Day
Sunday Dec-24 Christmas Eve
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day
Sunday Dec-31 New Year’s Eve