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6 reasons for NOT paying your employees in Costa Rica by the month

                                                                                                                                                        by Ivo Henfling

6 reasons for NOT paying your employees in Costa Rica by the monthMost of the time, I find new topics for my blogs while being with clients, mostly the nicer ones and the most communicative. This time, we are killing some time while waiting for another realtor who was running late and my client asks “when do I pay my maid and my gardener, once a month?

This reminded me of when I was a 15 year old I was looking for a Saturday job, so I’d have some spending money. I was hired immediately for the most interesting job I’ve held in my life: filling shelves in a supermarket. I wasn’t smart enough at the time to ask when I would get paid, so at the end of the day I went for my money. The manager looked at me like I was from a different planet and said: “at the end of the month”. I never went back and found myself a Saturday job that was just as interesting, washing dishes at a retirement home. But it had two advantages, they served a great lunch and they paid every Saturday.

In Costa Rica, most full time household employees in Costa Rica like a maid or gardener as well as factory workers and other jobs that don’t require any high level education, are paid by the week. Though a lot of household employees are great employees who have no vices at all, you better feel safe than sorry. Do NOT pay them by the month but by the week.

6 reasons for NOT paying your employees in Costa Rica by the month

  • Many employees live by the day and never have a chance to save money. They don’t earn enough to survive without getting paid for a whole month.
  • They won’t have money to buy food so they’ll buy on credit from the Polaco and in the pulpería. Once they receive their salary, it will be all spent already and will ask for an advance a week later.


A typical pulpería or local grocery store in Costa Rica

A Costarican pulpería

  • They might not be able to handle that much money at once and might not come back to work until the money is spent.
  • They might have a drinking habit and will not return to work until all the money is gone.
  • They might not have a safe place to keep a whole month of salary and they won’t have a bank account and probably don’t have a credit card either.
  • They have a pre-paid phone with just enough balance on it for a couple of days.

Before you hire new employees in Costa Rica, discuss with them how they want to get paid and which day.

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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. I know you all meet people on the plane, in the supermarket, at yoga, at the gym, at the Blooms ladies club, at the potluck organized by your community. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, when you meet someone who wants to purchase one, we appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty




Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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