Equipping New Hires in Brazil & Colombia: Key Considerations

One of the greatest business benefits of remote working is the ability to expand your talent search beyond the commuting distance of your offices and access the global talent market. But hiring and onboarding internationally comes with a myriad of challenges and considerations - especially when it comes to equipping new hires.

Latin America is proving to be a major hiring hub for remote work, especially Brazil and Colombia. In terms of Hofy’s customer base, they are the top 2 countries in the region that we supply to.  

But if you are hiring in either of these countries, you need to be aware of several rules and regulations. There are also many practical considerations (e.g. customs clearing) that will seriously affect your equipping process.

Here are just 5 of the legal and logistical considerations when sending equipment to remote workers in either Brazil or Colombia.

1. You are legally obliged to provide equipment and cover utilities 

Brazilian and Colombian employment law states that you must provide remote workers with all necessary equipment for work, including laptops and work phones.

You’re also required to cover all additional costs associated with working for the business, which could include higher energy bills and internet as a result of working from home. 

NB: There’s no mandated amount to cover the costs. You’re encouraged to review allowances on a case-by-case basis. 

2. You must follow ergonomic and health & safety (H&S) standards

In both countries, you must comply with H&S standards that apply equally to home and office workers.

In Brazil specifically, you and your new hire must enter into a specific type of employment contract under the CLT (Brazilian employment code). Within this contract, your new hire must acknowledge that they have received specific training related to ergonomic standards, and occupational H&S. 

3. In  Colombia, employment law changes depending on what type of remote work is taking place

Colombian law separates “distance work” into 3 categories, and law and guidance can change depending on which type of work is in question. The three categories are: 

  • Telecommuting - When the employee works for more than 2 days a week (otherwise known as hybrid working).  
  • Home office - Working away from the office only for temporary or exceptional reasons. 
  • Remote work - When the whole labour relationship is performed away from the employer’s premises. 

So if you are hiring remote workers in Colombia, you are concerned with the requirements for remote work - not to be confused with the other two categories.

4. Allow time for customs clearance

You will need to allow ample time for your new hire’s equipment to get through customs as the higher the value or the bulkier the item, the longer it will take to clear customs. It could easily take 2+ weeks for shipping and custom clearance.

In Colombia in particular, your new hire will often have to arrange and pay for a customs agent to release their item - a terrible employee experience before they have even started.

5. Be prepared for shipping and customs delivery times and fees

To deliver a laptop worth $1,000 from London to São Paolo, you will pay approximately $700 in shipping and customs fees. To deliver the same laptop to Bogotá, you will pay around $650. These costs can escalate due to local bureaucratic proceedings, and you may find added items on your final invoice labelled as “processing fee”, for example.

Equip new hires effortlessly with Hofy

Save hours navigating customs forms, regulations, H&S standards, and risk when you work with Hofy. We enable you to equip new hires with ergonomic equipment guaranteed to meet local H&S standards in just 1 click. And then we take care of the logistics, so you don’t have to. We deliver equipment in time for your new hire’s start date, wherever you hire, while ensuring a fantastic employee experience.