Minimum Wage in Costa Rica - Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wages in Costa Rica?

Yes, Law of the National Wages Council (Law Nº 832). Legal minimum wage is the minimum wage that employers must pay the employer for his work.

Do one or more minimum wages exist that is/are determined by law?

Law No. 832 gives the National Wages Council the power to determine specific minimum wages across the country for occupational lines.

At what level are minimum wages determined at?

The occupational lines, defined in terms of their level of skill are organized into three groups. On one side are the specific occupations of the different production processes (blue collar jobs). These are grouped into four occupational groups: unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and specialized. The second group is called generic and includes nine occupational lines. It refers to white-collar occupations, which are common regardless of the sector in which one works and whose skill level is associated with formal education. The third group corresponds to a set of specific occupations.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated?

Minimum wages are fixed by ordinary day (day) for occupations associated with different production processes, these are grouped into four occupational groups: unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and specialized. The second group refers to administrative occupations and is called generic. Minimum wages are fixed per month and include the above four categories (unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and specialized), plus two technical categories (high school and higher education) and three additional lines for graduates and postgraduates.

The third group corresponds to a group of specific activities and greater variety of mountings. These settings are for normal hours for workers and higher specialization per month for domestic workers and journalists. Also includes piece rate fixings for coffee pickers, of coyok and stevedores and percentage for portaloneros and wincheros, taxi drivers venture, beer sales agents and newspapers circulars.

In case of weekly/monthly minimum age, are they based on any fixed number of hours?

According to Article 136 of the Labour Code effective working hours shall not exceed eight hours in the day, from six in the evening and forty-eight hours a week. However, in the works for his own status are not unhealthy or dangerous, may stipulate an ordinary workday to ten-hour day and a mixed day to eight hours, provided that the working week not exceeding forty-eight hours.

Are governmental bodies, employer and/or trade union representatives involved in minimum wages setting?

With the creation of the National Wages Council in 1949, the minimum wage fixations fall on this tripartite body with representatives of workers, employers and the government, which has legislative powers (binding resolutions).

How are upratings (adjustments) of minimum wage/S decided upon?

The resolutions of the National Wages Council, bindings and reviews, are specified in an executive order after a negotiation process where the parties made public their proposals and the results of the negotiations.

Which are the components of minimum wage in Costa Rica?

The minimum wage setting automatically changes employment contracts as may be specified in a lower and does not waive the worker nor the employer abandonment and pre-existing agreements favourable to the first, on the higher remuneration, to homes, farmland, tools work, medical service, and supply of medicines, hospitalization and other similar benefits.

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wage updated?

Fixed component of minimum wage is fixed twice a year - during the month of January and a mid-year (July or August).

What is/are the yardstick/s on which minimum wage upratings are based?

For reviews of minimum wages should be contemplated in addition to inflation, conditions and evolution of the labour market (unemployment and wages) and the general conditions and developments in the economy (production and productivity of the workforce).

What is National Poverty line?

Click here to know the national poverty line in context with Minimum Wage, living wages and actual wages. Select the currency (Euro or national currency) to know national poverty line.

How is minimum wages compliance regulated?

In Costa Rica, the responsibility of fixing wages for the private sector belongs to the National Wages Council, and mentoring and supervision of this right, it is the duty of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MTSS).

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Costa Rica in 2010 launched the National minimum wage Campaign there stipulated the following: During the first inspection, the officials will make the employer prevention and remind that Article 177 Labour Code establishes the right of workers to earn a minimum wage. During the next few days, inspectors will return to the workplace that is irregular to see if they corrected the fault. If not corrected, the next step is to apply a financial penalty set by the Ministry according to each case.

Are sanctions often being applied?

When the Ministry of Labour inspectors found a violation, the penalties are applied.

Are employer and/or trade union representatives involved in compliance procedures?

The law states that with the creation of the National Wages Council in 1949, the minimum wage fixations fall on this tripartite body with representatives of workers, employers and the government, which has legislative powers (binding resolutions). These resolutions, bindings and reviews, are specified in an executive order after a negotiation process where the parties made public their proposals and the results of the negotiations. However, there is no mention of the specific involvement of employers and trade unions in compliance procedures.

To whom/Where can individuals complain, if they think they are earning less than minimum wage?

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Costa Rica, and its regional offices, is responsible for receiving and managing complaints for failure to pay the minimum wage. Also enabled 800-TRABAJO inquiry line (800-872-2256).

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