Brazil Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Brazil.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Employees in Brazil are entitled to 30 days of paid annual leave after completing 12 months of service time.

Vacation time should be used in three periods, with one at least 14 days long, and the other two at least five days long.

Employers can reduce an employee’s annual leave entitlement if they have a number of unjustified absences throughout the year.

The number of unjustified absences in a year results in the following annual leave entitlements:

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Employees have the option to “sell back” and cash out up to 10 days of annual leave. This can be at the employee’s request only; employers cannot force employees to cash out their leave.

Annual leave does not carry over from one year to the next. If any annual leave is outstanding at the end of the year, the employer must cash out the balance at double their regular pay.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Brazil

Employees have the right to take sick leave for as long as is recommended by a doctor.

The first 15 days of sick leave are compensated by the employer at 100% of the employee’s regular salary. Following this time, assuming the employee has completed 12 months of service time, sick leave is paid by INSS (Brazilian social security), capped at BRL 6,433.57 per month.

Brazil Public Holidays

January 1New Year’s Day
February/March (varies)Carnaval (mandatory only in Rio de Janeiro)
March/April (varies)Good Friday (optional)
April 21Tiradentes Day
May 1Labour Day / May Day
May/June (varies)Corpus Christi (mandatory only in São Paolo)
September 7Independence Day
October 12Our Lady Aparecida / Children’s Day
October 28Public Service Holiday
November 2All Souls Day
November 15Republic Proclamation Day
December 25Christmas Day

Holidays that fall on a Sunday do not transfer to another day.

Certain regions, such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo, observe additional holidays in that region alone.

Black Consciousness Day (or Black Awareness Day) is often celebrated on November 20, as well.

Holiday Pay

Employees have the right to a paid day off for public holidays. If an employee is required to work on a public holiday, they are entitled to double pay or a compensatory day off.

Parental Leave in Brazil (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

After completing three months of service time, employees are entitled to 120 days of paid maternity leave (which can be extended by an additional 14 days on a doctor’s advice).

The employer and employee can agree to extend the period of maternity leave by an additional 60 days on top of the initial period. This program is known as Empresa Cidadã – leave under this program is paid by the employer, but the employer can claim payments back as deductions on their corporate tax contributions.

Maternity leave can start up to 28 days prior to birth, and employees are protected from dismissal for five months after giving birth.

Maternity leave is paid by the employer, who can claim the payment back via social security deductions.

Adoptive mothers receive the same benefits as those giving birth naturally.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to five days of paid paternity leave, starting once the child has been born, paid at full pay by their employer.

The Empresa Cidadã program also applies for fathers, where employee and employer can agree to extend paid paternity leave for an additional 15 days.

Bereavement Leave in Brazil

Employees are entitled to two days of paid bereavement leave for the death of a parent, spouse, or child.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Employees in Brazil are also entitled to paid time off for:

Official Resources

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