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Starting a Business in Brazil

Background Checks in Brazil: Legal Guidelines and Best Practices

Brazil is a developing country in the Southern Hemisphere, boasting South America’s third-largest economy. Historically, international employers have flocked to this country for various reasons, such as affordable employment and ease of doing business. 

The Federative Republic of Brazil is also the fifth largest populous country, with a whopping 214 million citizens. Even with a jaw-dropping population, the Brazilian government has achieved a high literacy rate of 93.23%. According to Brazilian labor laws, the minimum pay is 1302 Brazilian Reals or US$ 249.453. 

Essential factors such as the abundant availability of talent and its affordability have been instrumental in attracting international employers. Subsequently, to reduce discrimination and protect personal data, the government has introduced several sanctions to moderate HR background checks in Brazil.

This guide highlights the crucial rules and regulations every employer must know and follow to successfully conduct a pre-employment background check in Brazil with zero hiccups.

What is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background check is a process employers use to verify the information an applicant provides during a recruitment drive. Reviews are generally conducted to verify a candidate’s education and employment history. However, job listings require further checks on criminal records, medical history, and more. 

A background check in Brazil is primarily regulated by the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) and the labor laws (Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho, CLT). An employer needs to abide by these laws while conducting an HR background check in Brazil. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Brazil

While conducting a pre-employment background check in Brazil, employers can make better hiring decisions as adequate information becomes available. 

Fraud prevention

  • Applicants often tamper with data to gain a higher chance of procuring employment. 
  • Conducting an employment background check in Brazil allows an employer to identify such attempts and hire potential candidates. 

Risk reduction

  • Governments often hold employers liable for their employees’ misconduct outside the workplace. 
  • Furthermore, workplace malpractice in healthcare and education is accompanied by dire consequences. 
  • Conducting a comprehensive criminal background check in Brazil allows an employer to identify personalities with such records. 
  • Through this, the likelihood of such threats decreases for an employer. 

Improved company culture 

  • While professional accomplishments are essential, one should consider an applicant’s ability to improve and add value to the existing work culture. 
  • Positive-minded individuals are essential parts of a company’s work culture. 
  • A background check on the social life of an applicant allows an employer to identify an applicant’s personality. 
  • It allows them to hire employees who can positively influence the work culture, creating a competent team. 

Conducting a background check in Brazil allows employers to identify an applicant beyond their professional accomplishments. It plays an instrumental role, as employers can identify well-rounded candidates, thus ensuring better hiring decisions.

Employers are allowed to carry out a pre-employment background check in Brazil restrictively. The Brazilian government has imposed strict sanctions to reduce workplace discrimination through the following laws. 

  • General Data Protection Law or the LGDP Law 13.709/2018, imposed in 2020.
  • Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho, CLT Law 9.029/1995.

Employers are advised to take the applicant’s consent before conducting a pre-employment background check in Brazil. The mentioned provision in LGDP limits an employer from using a candidate’s data.

The CLT, on the other hand, restricts an employer from acting a certain way that might cause discrimination. It is applicable during a pre-employment background check in Brazil, and instances such as criminal record checks serve as examples of the mentioned restriction. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Brazil

Employers must comply with the governing laws while conducting an HR background check in Brazil.

Employment history

  • Employment history should be considered and verified for jobs that require experienced professionals. 
  • The application lists all relevant work details and professional accomplishments in such cases. 
  • Conducting a company background check in Brazil allows employers to verify such data.

Education History

  • An employer must verify an applicant’s educational history. 
  • Data tampering or false information can be identified by contacting the listed references in a candidate’s job application. 

Criminal record

  • The provisions in CLT regulate criminal background checks. 
  • In most cases, employers are prohibited from conducting a criminal background check in Brazil to reduce non-discrimination. 
  • Special allowances are made for job listings such as caregivers, heavy-duty drivers, or any other job requiring high trust. 
  • The Superior Labor Court should approve the requirement.

Credit report

  • A credit score can be used as a real-life report card highlighting an applicant’s finance management skills on a personal level. 
  • The credit report should be considered a mandatory check for financial management jobs. 
  • The employer must perform such checks in compliance with the LGDP, as credit scores are categorized as sensitive data. 

Social life

  • Social life highlights the personality and political views of an individual. 
  • Conducting a background check in Brazil on the social life of a candidate is essential for building a positive work environment. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Brazil

Employers must notify an applicant and acquire their consent to conduct a background check. As a pre-employment background check in Brazil is strictly moderated, obtaining written or signed permission is always advisable.

A list of the mandatory documents has been provided below. Employers can request the necessary information if some need to be added to the list. 

  • A candidate’s signed consent 
  • A Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA)
  • An applicant’s complete legal name
  • Date of birth as registered with the government
  • Residential address as registered with the government
  • The Cadastro de Pessoas Fiscas (CPF) number serves as an applicant’s national identity.
  • Institute name, copy of the educational certificate, year of passing, reference name, and contact information for educational verification.
  • Company name, designations served, employment date, release letter, employer name, and contact information for conducting an employment background check in Brazil. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Brazil

Employers can transfer the responsibility of conducting a background check in Brazil to a third party or perform a manual verification. Employers must share all the relevant candidate information when a third-party company is involved and wait for the outcome. However, to conduct a manual pre-employment background check in Brazil, employers must follow the listed steps. 

Listing requirements

  • A pre-employment background check in Brazil should comply with the CLT and the LGDP regulations. 
  • Employers are allowed to verify the information associated only with a job position. 
  • Therefore, the necessary information must be listed accordingly.

Acquiring acknowledgment

  • Employers must notify an applicant before a background check. 
  • Employers must prove that the involved background checks do not violate the candidate’s fundamental rights with a Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA).
  • A written or signed consent is necessary with the LIA.

Gathering data

  • Employers can use the reference data listed in a candidate’s application form or CV. 
  • The employing company should establish contact with the listed references and acquire the data by providing the candidate’s information.  
  • In case of additional checks, employers can contact concerned government agencies and request information. However, employers verify the requirement of the requested data with acceptable proof. 

Cross-verification

  • Once the necessary information is procured from the references, it can be cross-verified with the candidate’s statement to establish credibility. 
  • The employing company can further conduct an employee screening in Brazil based on information from social media and different government agencies. 

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Brazil 

Some industries where background checks are essential to have been listed below. 

Caregivers

  • Daycare employees must take care of disabled, minors, and aged individuals. 
  • Unethical practices done by an employee in this sector can have a detrimental effect on the employing company. Therefore, the employer must conduct a criminal background check in Brazil while hiring for the mentioned industry. 

Hospitality

  • Jobs in the hospitality industry, such as cooking, and room cleaning, require a high degree of trust. 
  • Minor incidents like theft and poor food might cause knicks in a brand’s reputation. 
  • Serious consequences accompany the mentioned issues on a macro level. 
  • Companies can reduce the probability of such instances by examining a candidate’s criminal record. 

Healthcare

  • Candidates applying for designations, like doctors or nurses, should undergo rigorous background checks. 
  • These jobs have no scope for error. Therefore, conducting an educational and employment background check in Brazil for the mentioned designations is extremely important. 
  • A criminal background check is also advised while hiring for the mentioned post.

Heavy transportation

  • Driving jobs involving the movement of heavy goods from one point to another requires skill and proven driving records. 
  • While looking at employment might be considered beneficial, a criminal background check in Brazil is also necessary. 
  • If the applicant were to be responsible for an accident, an employer could identify that through the mentioned check. 

How Multiplier Helps With Background Checks

Multiplier is a SaaS-based Employer of Record (EOR) that allows employees to comply with all labor laws. At the same time, its partners are responsible for conducting a background check in Brazil. Employers can redirect their efforts into more concerning matters as Multiplier enables them to hire international employees, run background checks, stay compliant, run payroll, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Employers must contact the Superior Labour Court in Brazil with the candidate’s consent. Once the court provides an acknowledgment, the criminal check is conducted. Authorities like the State Tribunal de Justica, the Ministry of Justice, and the Federal Tribunal de Justica also provide the mentioned check.

Transferring the responsibility of conducting a background check in Brazil can save up massive time for an employer. However, before opting, a cost-to-return analysis should be done, as every company has specific needs.

The application where the educational information is provided can be used as consent. However, getting signed authorization from the candidate is always an excellent strategy.

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