At Work in Quito

Social Security in Quito

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National Insurance Number/Social Security Number

If you become an Ecuadorian resident or citizen, you are able to obtain a cédula. You need this identification card to arrange matters at governmental institutions and also to register at IESS. The cédula come with a personal identification number.

Once you have obtained your resident visa, you can apply for your cédula at the civil registration office at Avenida Amazonas and will need to demonstrate a proof of health insurance, your passport, visa, and the reason why you got your visa (e.g. marriage certificate or registration of your university degree).

More information on how to obtain a cédula you find here.


If you hold a contract of employment at an Ecuadorian company, you are automatically subscribed at IESS, the country's social security system. This means that you are entitled to public health care for free (restrictions apply) and you accrue pension.

The contribution amounts to 9.45%, which is deducted monthly from your wages. For example, when you earn $1,000 USD per month, a wage above average, your IESS contribution is $94.50 USD per month. This is not the full IESS registration cost: your employer pays 11,15% to IESS on top of your $1000 USD salary.

If you are self-employed, you can also register for IESS. In this case, health care benefits and amount of pension you are building depends on how much you contribute monthly. The voluntary contribution amounts at least 17.6 % (since you do not have an employer to pay the other part) of the minimum wage, meaning $66 USD. Minors are automatically ensured with one of their parents until they reach the age of 18.


As an employee in Ecuador, you have certain benefits. The main benefits are:

  • Illness: If you cannot work because of health problems for longer than 3 days, IESS covers your salary. To qualify for this, you need an official medical certificate from an IESS doctor.
  • Maternity Leave: In total, new mothers have the right to 12 weeks maternity leave, 2 weeks before the due date and 10 weeks after the child is born. During this period, you receive 100% of your wage. After the 12 weeks maternity leave, mothers are entitled to work only 6 hours a day for the same wage up to 12 months after giving birth. This benefit only applies if you have paid for your IESS contribution for at least 12 months.
  • Paternity Leave: Also new fathers are entitled to paternity leave. The minimum number of days are 10 working days, which is extended to 15 working days in case of twins or a Caesarean section.
  • Additional payments: In August, your employer has to pay you an extra amount of $385 USD and in December an extra month of your wage. If you have worked a full year at the company, you receive the full amounts, otherwise parts of them for each month you are in employment. Also, Ecuadorian companies are obliged to share a part of their yearly profit with their employees, which you will get paid in April.

If the company where you work has to fire you, for example because of layoffs, your employer is obliged to pay you three more months of salary, unless he or she has a good reason to fire you and has built proof for that.

Update 24/01/2019


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