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Colombia Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Colombia




Colombian Peso (COP)



Payroll Frequency

Monthly, Bi-Monthly

GDP per Capita


Employer Tax

21.022% - 36.46%

Talent Overview

Colombia is a democracy and the fourth-largest economy in South America. The country’s GDP is expected to hit 350 USD Billion in 2022. This is tied to its continued reform, investments, and main exports of oil, coal, coffee, and emeralds.

Major economic hubs:

Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, and Cartagena

Skills in demand:

ICT Roles, Warehouse Occupations, Customer Service Roles, Technical Support Occupations, Education/Teaching Occupations, Business Advisors, and Digital Services

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Local Universities

The top local universities in Colombia are as follows:

Uni1 23

Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Local: 1

World: 359

Uni2 20

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia


Local: 2

World: 480

Uni3 17

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana


Local: 3

World: 830

Uni4 18

Universidad de Antioquía


Local: 4

World: 982

Uni5 17

Universidad del Valle


Local: 5

World: 1104

Salary Data

The table mentions the average monthly salary in Colombia

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (COP) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Financial Operations Manager 8,790,000 2,212
General Manager 8,470,000 2,132
Business Development Manager 7,000,000 1,762
Financial Analyst 5,720,000 1,440
Business Analyst 5,850,000 1,473
Project Manager 5,100,000 1,284
Talent Source 9

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards

Linkedin, Glassdoor, Indeed, Computrabajo, Trabajando, Elempleo

Number of LinkedIn users


Top Recruitment Agencies

Adecco, Michael Page, Aristos, Hays,

Employing in Colombia

Colombia offers many advantages to companies looking to hire new employees. The country has a large pool of highly-skilled workers, and the cost of living is relatively low. 

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when hiring in Colombia. In this section we’ll provide you with the basics of what to prepare when onboarding talents in Colombia.

Employee Contract 

Both verbal and written contracts are accepted in Colombia. There is no requirement that the contract should be written in a specific language, and employers can choose between Spanish or English.

Probation period

In Colombia, the probation period is up to 2 months.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day National holiday
8 Jan Epiphany National holiday
28 Mar Maundy Thursday National holiday, Christian
29 Mar Good Friday National holiday, Christian
1 May Labor Day / May Day National holiday
13 May Ascension Day National holiday
3 Jun Corpus Christi National holiday
10 Jun Sacred Heart National holiday
1 Jul Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul National holiday
20 Jul Independence Day National holiday
7 Aug Battle of Boyacá Day National holiday
19 Aug Assumption of Mary National holiday
14 Oct Columbus Day National holiday
4 Nov All Saints’ Day National holiday
11 Nov Independence of Cartagena National holiday
8 Dec Feast of the Immaculate Conception National holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day National holiday, Christian

Employee Leaves

Type of leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual leave/Earned Leave At least 15 days, after a year of service Yes
Sick Leave Up to 180 days, based on medical certificate Yes
Maternity Leave 18 weeks Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

Workers are paid once a month. Usually, payments are made at the end of the month. However, some industries are slowly implementing bi-monthly cycles, which allows them to pay their employees every 15th and the last day of the month.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for employees is 1,300,606 COP, including a mandatory transportation allowance of 140,606.00 COP.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

Employees working for more than the regular 40 hours a week should be paid as follows:


13th Month Pay

Paying a 13th month pay or popularly known as “Primas” is mandatory in Colombia. It is equivalent to an employee’s average monthly salary and is divided into two parts. The employer must pay the first half within the first two weeks or 15 days of June and the second half within the first two weeks or first 20 days of December.

Employee Benefits

  • Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Health Insurance
  • Higher Pension Plans
  • Accident Insurance
  • Company Cars
  • Fuel Subsidy
  • Grocery Subsidy


Employer Payroll Tax

Type of Contribution Contribution
Health and Medical System 8.5%
Pension System 12%
Professional Risk System 0.522% – 6.96%
Payroll tax 9% (only applies to employees whose monthly income is higher than ten minimum monthly wages)

Employee Payroll Tax

Type of Contribution Contribution
Pension System 4.00% – 5.00%
Health and Medical Plan 4.00%

Employee Income Tax

Colombia follows a progressive tax rate:

Annual Taxable Income Tax Rate
Not over 1,090 0.00%
1,090 – 1,700 19.00%
1,700 – 4,100 28.00%
4,100 – 8,670 33.00%
8,670 – 18,970 35.00%
18,970 – 31,000 37.00%
31,000 and up 39.00%


Colombia’s VAT for 2022 is 19%. However, specific services and goods are taxed at 0% and 5%.

Offboarding & Termination

Employment contracts in Colombia may be canceled at any time with immediate effect. The organization must disclose the rationale or grounds for termination, which must be communicated in writing. Once the termination contract has been authenticated and acknowledged by both parties, it must be delivered to the appropriate government authorities.

Full-time employees in Colombia must serve 30 days of notice period. The period can be reduced to 15 days’ in case of termination due to poor performance.

Situation Severance pay
Employees earning less than 10 minimum wage per month 30 days of salary for the first year of service + 20 days of salary for each additional year of service
Employees earning 10 minimum wage per month or more 20 days of salary for the first year of service + 15 days of salary for each additional year of service
Employees with a fixed-term agreement Regular monthly salary until the agreement expires
Project-based employees Regular salary until the end of the project, no less than 15 days of salary

Visa and Immigration

Foreigners hoping to work in Colombia must first obtain a job offer from a local employer before applying for a visa. There are several types of visas that must be obtained at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores offices in Bogota, here are two of the most common:

Visa And Immigration 11
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Overtime Period Compensation
Performed before midnight 25% above regular hourly rate
Night shifts (9:00pm–6:00am) 35% above regular hourly rate
Sundays and Public Holidays 75% above regular hourly rate

Visa & Immigration

Type of Visa Validity
M Visa (Migrant Visa) 3 Years – Renewable
R Visa (Resident Visa) 5 Years – Renewable