International Payday Rules from A to Z

Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

Have you ever wondered about the legal requirements that impact how your employees are paid around the world?   Or, if you have an employee(s) in a start-up operation in a new country, do you know how they should be paid?

This article addresses a few facts about country payrolls that you might like to know.   We will focus on some basics:   legal rules affecting paydays and legal currency allowed for payment of wages.  These provisions are for local national staff, not expatriates.

Below is a table showing the requirements for one country from A to Z with the exception of “X” and  “W”.   There are no countries starting with those letters.

If you find the table useful, you might want to download a copy (in Excel) as well.

Country Payday Currency Comments
Argentina White collar jobs once a month; blue collar jobs twice a month Argentina Peso; ARS Direct deposit  in employee’s name Salary statements are strictly regulated in terms of content
Belgium White collar jobs once a month; blue collar jobs at least twice a month with max interval of 16 days Euro; EUR Paycheck must be given directly to the employee unless he/she requests direct deposit ———
China At least once a month;  max pay cycle for part-timers is 15 days China Yuan Remninbi; CNY.   No foreign exchange control in China ———
Denmark No statutory regulation governing wage payment.  Usually governed by employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. Danish Kroner;  DKK ———
England Once a month is normal. Great British Pounds; GBP;  No specific laws governing currency but most common is GBP Must provide a detailed pay statement on or before payday
France Once a month Euro; EUR Beyond wages of EUR1,500 per month cannot receive payment in cash.  Otherwise, cash, bank check or direct deposit. —————-
Germany Once a month unless special agreement between employee and employer. Euro; EUR Unless agreement between employee and employer for another currency.   Can be paid in cash but direct deposit is most common —————
Hong Kong Once a month.  Must be paid within 7 days of one month period. Hong Kong Dollars; HKD; Common to pay in HKD. No special law regarding currency. If not paid within one month after pay is due, employee may assume employment contract is terminated.  He/she must receive pay in lieu of notice as well as severance pay
Italy Once a month Euro; EUR. No law governing currency but Euro most common Specific requirements for pay statement
Japan Once a month on a designated date Japanese Yen. Cash, but employee can sign agreement for direct deposit ———–
Kenya Once a month Kenya Shillings; KES If pay advance is given for more than one month, it is not recoverable by law
Luxembourg Last working day of the month Luxembourg Francs; LUF ——–
Mexico White collar every two weeks; blue collar weekly Mexican pesos ——–
Netherlands Timing is specified in the employment contract.  Either paid monthly or weekly. Euro; EUR. Limited ability to pay in other currency Weekly payments must never be paid later than one month after due.   Monthly payments must never be paid later than three months after due.
Oman Employment contract may state pay will be once a month.   Otherwise pay is weekly Oman Rials; OMR ————
Poland Once a month on a fixed date. Euro;  EUR. Paid in cash directly to the employee unless written consent for direct deposit Must be paid not later than 10 days after due.
Qatar If employees are hired under an annual or monthly contract they are paid monthly.   Other employees are paid every two weeks. Qatar Riyals;   QAR —————-
Russia Must be paid not less than twice a month Russian Ruble;  RUB. Historically paid in home country currency due to inflation Paying in any other currency than Russian ruble is against the law and is strictly monitored
Slovakia Once per month – at the latest the end of the following month. Slovak Koruny; SKK.  Wages are payable during workday directly to the employee unless the employment contract states it should be paid direct deposit Strict requirements for information provided on pay statement
Taiwan Every two weeks unless the employment contract states once a month New Taiwanese Dollar; NTD. Payment can be cash, check or direct deposit ——————–
United States States regulate when, where and how often an employee must be paid. Some states require that nonexempt employees be paid bi-weekly or even once per week. Other states require a nonexempt employee be paid twice a month. Fair Labor Standards Act requires employees in the U.S. be paid in United States dollars. —————-
Venezuela Agreed upon by employee and employer but not greater than every 14 days. If the employee receives food and housing from the employer, the paydate can be once per month. Venezuela Bolivares; VEB Must be paid in cash unless the employee and employer agree on either bank checks or direct deposit.
Yemen Depending on the employment contract pay can be weekly, every two weeks or monthly.   If monthly pay, must be paid no later than six days into the following month.  If paid every two weeks, pay not be later than third day after the two week period.   If paid weekly, no grace period is allowed. Yemen Rial; YER ——————
Zambia Agreed upon in the employment contract.  If monthly it is last business day of month, if every two weeks, the last business day of the two week period; if every week, the last business day of the workweek. Zambia Kwacha; ZMK —————-

Important Note:  This posting is intended to provide a brief overview of  payroll practices around the world.     Please check with your local, in-country payroll providers to ensure this information is up-to-date with the latest laws.

Source: Natlex Data Base (International Labour Organization)

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9 responses to “International Payday Rules from A to Z

  1. Maxine T. McClellan


    Great information. Could you possibly update with Brazil? With the booming economy here there are a many foreign companies looking for this type of info.


  2. Thanks, Jacque. Very helpful info. Agree w/ Maxine…would love to see info on Brazil, as well as Shanghai.

  3. This is very helpful-thanks for the summary. Where is the info on Canada?

  4. Well, this article has been so well received I just might have to do another one. Maybe with BRIC and the 11 other emerging markets. What do you think?

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  6. Hi John —- agree this would be a great topic!

  7. Great information! I’d love to see more. I agree Brazil would be a great one to include.

  8. Pingback: International Payday Rules – Even More Countries | International HR Forum