Everyone working in Brazil has to contribute to the country’s extensive social security system. Both the employer and the employee pay these contributions. While you are working in Rio, between 8% and 11% of your salary will be deducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs (Ministério da Previdência Social) for social security purposes.
Luckily, Brazil has signed social security agreements with several countries making a move to Rio de Janeiro significantly easier. If you are from one of these countries, you still have to contribute to the Brazilian system. However, your contributions will be taken into account by the social security system of your home country and you will be able to collect benefits for the time you spend in Rio.
The National Institute of Social Security (Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social (INSS)) provides different social security benefits such as sick pay, pensions, and invalidity benefits. Keep in mind that you have to pay contributions for a minimum of 15 years in order to qualify for public old-age pension. Invalidity benefits, on the other hand, require you to contribute to the social security scheme for at least 12 months. Fortunately, the contributions you have to make are comparatively low by international standards.
Aside from INSS funds, your employer has to establish a Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Servico (FGST) for you. This is a frozen account into which your employer pays a certain amount of your monthly salary. In case of a termination without cause or a serious disease, you will receive the money from this account.
Before getting ready to do business in Rio de Janeiro, there are a few cultural aspects you need to keep in mind. For instance, working in Rio can be quite difficult for expat women who do not know how to deal with the machismo that pervades in Brazilian culture. Especially if you find yourself in a position of authority as a woman, you should be prepared to be the only woman at the top and to work hard to gain the respect of your male colleagues.
Brazilians like to establish personal relationships before doing business. This means that you have to put some time and effort into building such a relationship and giving your business partners the feeling that you are trustworthy and sincere. Patience is the key as you get used to the slower pace of doing business. On the plus side, you will establish long-term relationships with your business partners.
Last but not least, keep in mind that being fashionably late is quite common and perfectly acceptable in Brazil. If you hail from a country where doing business is a much more fast-paced endeavor and where punctuality is a virtue, you might find it hard to adapt to this.
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