Migrants and refugees have employment rights and obligations in Uruguay

As Covid restrictions begin to lift there will inevitably be increased movement of workers across borders.  This brings back into focus a range of global mobility and tax considerations for businesses and individuals.  Examples include work permits, visas, payroll and social security amongst other issues.  Below is a snapshot of some pints concerning Uruguay to add to our previous comments on Mauritius.  Please watch out for our further coverage of global mobility issues in other countries and regions.

This article is aimed at entrepreneurs and companies that are relocating their business or expanding into Uruguay. We briefly explore the rights and obligations that migrants and refugees have in the workplace environment in Uruguay.

Migrants: Foreign migrants who work in Uruguay have the same rights and obligations as nationals following current regulations. In the situation where the individual does not have an identity card, the employer may also hire a foreign worker as long as the foreign worker can prove that they are processing an application for temporary or permanent residence. Depending on the case, it is likely the relevant proof will be in the form of a certificate from The National Directorate of Migration – Ministry of the Interior. This certificate will be valid for a period of six months from the date of its issuance. 

It should be borne in mind that the authorities of Uruguay do not issue any certificate under the name of “Work Permit”. 

Refugees: Refugee applicants who have not yet obtained an Uruguayan identity card may be hired to work in a labor dependency relationship provided that they prove their status as refugee applicants in the country with the current certificate issued by the General Directorate for Affairs Consular and Liaison – Ministry of Foreign Relations. 

This certificate will be valid for a period of six months from the date of its issuance. 

Employer: When hiring a migrant or refugee worker, the employer must proceed as for any other worker of national origin, registering him/her with the pertinent bodies: 

  1. Social Security Bank (Banco de Previsión Social – BPS) ; with an identity card number or, failing that, with a Passport number, or an identity document from the country of origin in case the residence is pending). In the event that the worker is processing the residence or refugee application, the employer must keep in his / her possession a copy of the current certificate indicated in number 1 or 2, as appropriate. 
  1. State Insurance Bank  (Banco de Seguros del Estado); (Insurance against accidents and occupational diseases.)

For a further discusión of the issues, please get in touch with your usual Mazars contact or Luis Ualde.