At Work in Bogotá

Social Security in Bogotá

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Colombia has a rather feeble social security system, with limited benefits consisting of health, pension, and unemployment given in very limited circumstances.  Some of them are privately managed. 


All people enrolled in the formal employment system, whether Colombian or foreign nationals, are obliged to contribute to social security.  Contributions are partly paid by employers, partly deducted from the employee's gross salary and paid for by the employee. Self-employed people and entrepreneurs are also required to pay, and they are responsible for managing their social insurance.

In certain situations, close family members, spouses and civil partners may also be covered by the insured person's social contributions.

The social security contributions in Colombia are:

  • Pension - 16% of salary, payable 12% by the employer and 4% by the employee
  • Health – 12.5% of salary, payable 8.5% by the employer and 4% by the employee to the chosen EPS.
  • Solidarity Pension Fund – 1-2%, payable by the employee, percentage depends on the ratio of the salary earned to the minimum salary.
  • Professional risks contribution – 0.348% - 8.7%, payable by the employer
  • Payroll taxes – 9% payable by the employer.

Payments are due monthly.


The benefits are received by the contributor, but his or her immediate family, spouse or civil partner may also be eligible if they are not making any income.
Benefits are given on the basis of the Colombian ID card. 

Statutory Sick Pay in Colombia

Sick leave is given on the basis of a medical certificate (certificado de incapacidad temporal). Mandatory sick pay amounts to 66.67% of the employee's salary, and is paid by the employer (the first two days) and the social security system (the rest of the days).

If the sickness was by any means work-related or a direct consequence of work activities, the employee is entitled to 100% of the salary.

Self-employed people are also entitled to sick pay on the basis of the medical certificate. In this case, the amount is paid by social security on the basis of the person's monthly contributions.

Maternity Leave and Pay in Colombia

The duration of maternity leave in Colombia is 14 weeks. Two of these should be taken before childbirth (pregnancy leave), and twelve afterwards (nursing leave). However, the mother can opt to take only one week off as pregnancy leave, with the rest taken as nursing leave.

During maternity leave the mother is entitled to her full salary, paid by the health insurance company. When the salary is variable, the maternity pay is computed on the basis of the average salary for the past year.

Working mothers with a breastfeeding infant younger than six months are also given two 30-minute breastfeeding breaks per day.

Fathers also have the right to eight days of paternity leave, fully paid by social security.

Update 20/08/2018


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