Global Hirings

September 25, 2023

3 mins

Employment Essentials in Colombia

Colombia is a democratic nation and ranks as the fourth-largest economy in the South American region. Anticipated data projects the country's GDP to reach a noteworthy $350 billion USD by 2022. This accomplishment is closely linked to the ongoing implementation of reforms, strategic investments, and the significant exportation of oil, coal, coffee, and emeralds.

Employing in Colombia

Colombia presents numerous benefits for enterprises seeking to onboard fresh talent. The nation boasts an extensive reservoir of proficient and skilled labor, complemented by a comparatively affordable cost of living.


However, there are certain considerations to bear in mind when engaging in hiring processes within Colombia. This segment will provide you with fundamental insights into the necessary preparations for effectively onboarding talents in the country.

Employee Contract

Colombia acknowledges both verbal and written agreements. No specific language is mandated for the contract, affording employers the option to select either Spanish or English as their preferred choice.

Probation period

Colombia allows for a probationary period lasting up to two months.

Payroll Cycle

Employees receive their compensation on a monthly basis, typically at the conclusion of each month. Nevertheless, certain sectors are gradually adopting a semi-monthly schedule, enabling them to remunerate their workforce on both the 15th and the final day of each month.

Minimum Wage

Employees are entitled to a minimum wage of 1,300,606 COP, which encompasses a compulsory transportation allowance of 140,606.00 COP.

Overtime Pay

Employees who exceed the standard 40-hour workweek should receive additional compensation.

Bonus- 13th Month Pay

In Colombia, it is obligatory to provide a 13th-month payment, commonly referred to as "Primas." This payment amounts to an employee's average monthly salary and is split into two installments. The initial half must be disbursed within the initial two weeks or 15 days of June, while the second portion is to be paid during the opening two weeks or initial 20 days of December.

Employee Benefits

  • Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Health Insurance
  • Higher Pension Plans
  • Accident Insurance
  • Company Cars
  • Fuel Subsidy
  • Grocery Subsidy


The Value Added Tax (VAT) rate for Colombia in 2022 stands at 19%. Nevertheless, certain goods and services are subject to lower tax rates of 0% and 5%.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

Termination of employment contracts in Colombia can occur instantly, without prior notice. The company is obligated to provide a written explanation for the termination, specifying the reasons for the decision. Once both parties have verified and endorsed the termination agreement, it must be submitted to the relevant government agencies.

Notice Period

Colombian full-time employees are required to fulfill a 30-day notice period. However, this notice period can be shortened to 15 days in cases of termination due to unsatisfactory performance.

Severance Pay

1. Workers earning below 10 times the minimum wage per month:

  • First year of service: 30 days' salary
  • Each subsequent year of service: 20 days' salary

2. Employees earning 10 times the minimum wage per month or higher:

  • First year of service: 20 days' salary
  • Each subsequent year of service: 15 days' salary

3. Employees under fixed-term contracts:

  • Continuation of regular monthly salary until contract expiration

4. Project-based staff:

  • Regular salary until project completion, not less than 15 days' salary

Visa and Immigration

Individuals from abroad wishing to work in Colombia must secure a job offer from a domestic employer prior to initiating their visa application process.


Various visa categories necessitate acquisition through the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores offices located in Bogota.


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If you're considering hiring employees or contractors in Colombia or seeking compliant payroll solutions, reach out to us or book a demo at For further insights, follow us on Twitter @niuralhq. Make informed decisions and ensure a successful hiring process in Colombia!

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