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Remote’s guide to employing in

Panama
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Make employment in Panama easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in Panama, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • Capital City

    Panama City

  • Currency

    Panamanian balboa (B/., PAB)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    4,176,869

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductContractor Management

Facts & Stats

Panama Map Illustration
  • Capital City

    Panama City

  • Currency

    Panamanian balboa (B/., PAB)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    4,176,869

  • Ease of doing business

    Easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$ (2021)

  • Payroll frequency

    Semi-Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    7%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    3.0 (2019)

The Republic of Panama (República del Panama) is a unitary presidential republic split across North and South America and that’s home to the famed Panama hat, a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific, and more biodiversity that the United States, Canada, and Europe combined.

Panama is a high-income economy with a strong performance in banking, commerce, tourism, and transportation, all of which has cemented its place as Latin America’s seventh strongest economy.

Grow your team in Panama with Remote

Looking to employ workers in Panama? Companies hiring in Panama must either own a legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider, usually one that provides employer of record services.

Remote can employ your team in Panama on your behalf through our local legal entity in the country and handle payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance for your Panama team. You can also pay contractors now in Panama with Remote in some currencies (talk to an expert now for full details).

Risks of misclassification

Panama, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Panama may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in Panama

The Panamanian Labor Code of 1971 spells out provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights for Panama’s workforce of just under 2 million.

Employees in Panama enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.

Common questions that could come up during the hiring process include the minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Panama.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage, determined by activity, company size, and region, has increased between 4.5% to 7% across various sectors. Salaries higher than the new minimum wage will remain valid.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Wet Signature Requirement

Please note that Employment Agreements must be signed in Panama by a Panamanian national or legal resident. Documents cannot be signed digitally, they must be signed in wet-ink in the country. The document must be an original, so scanned signatures will not work.

Decimo Tercer Mes - 13th Salary

The 13th salary is mandatory in Panama and this payment accounts to one month of additional pay per year. It is paid out in three installments over April, August, and December.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Panama fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 6 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

13 Public holidays

Jan
Monday, January 1, 20241New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)
Tuesday, January 9, 20242Martyrs' Day (El día de los Mártires)
Feb
Monday, February 12, 20243Carnival Tuesday (Martes de Carnaval)
Mar
Friday, March 29, 20244Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
May
Wednesday, May 1, 20245Labor Day (Día del Trabajador)
Nov
Sunday, November 3, 20246Independence Day (Día de la Independencia)
Monday, November 4, 20247Flag Day (Día de la Bandera)
Tuesday, November 5, 20248Colón Day (Día de Colón)
Sunday, November 10, 20249First Shout for Independence of La Villa de los Santos (Primer grito por la independencia de La Villa de los Santos)
Thursday, November 28, 202410Independence Day (Día de la Independencia)
Dec
Sunday, December 8, 202411Mother's Day (Día de la Madre)
Friday, December 20, 202412National Mourning Day (Dia de Duelo Nacional)
Wednesday, December 25, 202413Christmas Day (Navidad)

Want to see and manage all holidays? Sign up for our free HRIS!

Effortless HR in Panama: Take the Tour

Seamlessly Manage Your Workforce, from First Hire to Final Paycheck

Competitive benefits package in Panama

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Panama are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Mental Health Support

  • Pension or 401(K)

  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in Panama

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Panama.

  • 12.50%

    Seguro Social (Social Security Contribution)

  • 8.33%

    Decimo Tercer Mes (13th Salary)

  • 1.50%

    Seguro Educativo (Educational Insurance)

  • 0.98%

    Riesgo Profesional (Accident insurance)

  • 0.90%

    Seguro Social del Décimo Tercer Mes (Social Security on 13th Month Compensation)

Types of leave

After spending an entire year working for an employer, workers are entitled to 30 days of paid leave annually.

Employment termination

Termination process

Panamanian labor law stipulates that long-term employment contracts can only be terminated with a written notice specifying a just cause, such as dishonesty, negligence, fraud, or any other work-related offenses. Employees can seek redress via a labor court if they deem that a termination has been made on an unjustified basis.

Notice period

Employers are only required to provide 30 days’ notice to employees dismissed without just cause.

Severance pay

Employees are only entitled to severance payments when a termination decision is due to redundancy.

  • Up to 6 months of employment: two weeks’ pay

  • Up to 9 months of employment: three weeks’ pay

  • Up to 1 year of employment: 1 months’ pay

  • Up to 2 years of employment: 3 months’ pay

  • Up to 4 years of employment: 4 months and two weeks’ pay

  • Up to 5 years of employment: 5 months and a week’s pay

  • Up to 10 years of employment: 9 months and three week’s pay

  • Up to 20 years of employment: 14.8 months’ pay

Probation periods

The maximum length of probation is 3 months.

Fair Pricing in Panama

Employer of Record

Hire and pay your global team

Starting at $599/month

Top features

  • Satisfaction guaranteed

  • No deposits or hidden fees

  • Zero onboarding or offboarding fees

  • Compliant equity incentives support including withholding and reporting

  • Built-in security and compliance

  • Fast onboarding (average 2-3 days)

  • Flexible, localized benefits

Contractor Management

Compliantly onboard and pay contractors

$29

per contractor/month

Start free trial

Top features

  • Only pay for contractors you actively work with

  • Work with contractors in 200+ countries

  • Create, edit, and sign tailored, localized contracts

  • Approve contractor invoices with one click or auto-pay

  • Transparent payments with complete visibility

Global Payroll

Consolidate your multi-country payroll

$50

per employee/month

Top features

  • Reduce costs by centralizing payroll management

  • Ensure local compliance for every country

  • Direct support from in-house local payroll experts

  • Accurate, on-time, compliant payroll to level-up your employee experience

  • Tax and labor authority reporting handled for you

HRIS

Manage all of your employees in one place

Free
Sign up

Top features

  • Guided onboarding and offboarding

  • Employee profile and document management

  • Time and attendance (time off and tracking)

  • Expense management and reimbursement

  • Employee self-serve on the platform and mobile app