Sunday, January 14, 2007

Panama Maids Legal Information

This article I found here provides panama maid legal facts you can not miss . also provides other legal services and panamanian laws info you need to know. Please read this before you hire a panamanian maid

Panama Labor Laws – A Crash Course for New Employers
Introduction- This is an overview of some of the unique features in Panama Labor Law designed to help the new employer. This could be one employing a maid, a driver or a new business operating in Panama. This is not a comprehensive guide and should not be construed as legal advice.
Panamas Thirteen Month – This one is a winner for most North Americans and people from the EU. In Panama the workers get paid 13 months for every twelve, really. The pay is given to them every three months, one week at a time. When calculating wages take this into account. The thirteenth month pay is given on a certain schedule and if the person ahs not worked the full ninety days they still will get a pro-rated portion of their thirteenth month pay.
Panama Vacation Pay – After 11 continuous months of employment the Panama employee is entitled to one months paid vacation. If you are doing your math the get paid 14 months for every twelve worked. If you want your employee to work on the vacation period it is optional for them and you would be obligated to pay them double. You have no obligation to give them their vacation pay at the six month mark.
Panama Holidays – See below. As you can see there are a lot of holidays. From November to February there are many holidays and you need to plan for them before they are upon you. You can ask employees if they wish to work and pay them double pay for the holiday time worked.
New Year's Day (Jan 1st)
Day of Mourning (Jan 9)
Carnival (In February)
Good Friday, Labor Day (May 1)
Revolution Day (Oct 11th)
National Anthem Day (Nov 1)
All Souls' Day, Independence Day (Nov 3rd)
Flag Day (Nov.4th)
Uprising of Los Santos (Nov 10)
Independence from Spain (Nov.28)
Mother's Day (Dec 8th)
Christmas (Dec. 25th).
In Panama City, Foundation of Panama City (Aug 15 or 16) is a public holiday. Colón has an additional Independence Day on Nov 5.
Employee Taxes – Figure on 11% your contribution and 7% as their contribution for the whole package of retirement and government medical. This is quite low. There is no workman’s compensation insurance, no unemployment insurance, no disability insurance and no extra insurances so the amount of employer contribution is really dramatically low.
Maternity Leave – This is a real complex area and you will need legal counsel if confronted by this from a pregnant employee. There can be extensive leave during and after the pregnancy. If the doctor says it is a high risk pregnancy the worker may wind up sitting home with full pay. If you insist she works you may wind up paying for her medical expenses such as the delivery, special care etc. Do not fire someone because they are pregnant. Do send the worker for independent testing of the pregnancy where a photo ID would be required of the person to be tested. In a word talk to your lawyer, stay calm, be nice and see legal counsel immediately so you do not make a mistake.

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