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How much does having an employee cost?

When we started this laboratory, as the person in charge of everything, I felt a tremendous uncertainty because I was entering a world for which neither undergraduate and graduate studies prepared me. Had I been less impulsive, I would have taken a course that told me exactly what to do, approved by some teacher whom I would have to indulge with "the correct answer." But how would this work if the teacher is from a world so different from that of medicine? It would simply not be practical, because each economic sector has characteristics that cannot be applied indiscriminately to other sectors, just like what works in an urban environment does not always work in a rural one, or what works well in some cultures, will not necessarily do so in others.

At this point you will think that I'm justifying my successes and mistakes, with the byas that all survivors have, believing that everything they did or didn't do was calculated and led them to the end of the race. It's certainly not an apology, because along the way I've made a lot of mistakes and misjudged things.

Thinking of young colleagues who are about to embark in their clinics or private practices, I have decided to explain the cost of an employee. Not a collaborator, not an associate, or any of those bs's with which they want to convince us that we are in a peer environment. It is simply not so. There is the employer and the employee in an employment relationship.

First, you have to look on the website of the Ministry of Labor for the minimum hourly wage in your activity and region. David, which is where this laboratory is located, belongs to region 1 and within the sector of Social Services and Related to Human Health, Health Clinics and Hospitals have a minimum salary of B/. 3.34 per hour.

Second, you must estimate a budget and for this my advice is to start small and then increase hours and days, taking into account that the first three months of operations can be very poor income or none at all. So let's think about four (4) hours, five days a week. If we do well, then we can think about going up to eight (8) hours and extending the service to the weekends. So our clinic starts with one employee, four hours, five days a week, at B/. 3.34 per hour, which represents B/. 133.60 per fortnight, which is how the payment is styled.

Third, it must take into account benefits to which all employees in the Republic of Panama are entitled: fifteen (15) days of disability per year, thirty (30) days of paid vacation per year, three (3) salary bonuses (the "thirteenth month", which is one month of salary divided into three payments during the year) and three (3) weeks of compensation for liquidation per year worked. Thus, each year thirteen (13) additional weeks of salary must be taken into account .

Fourth, you must take into account the payment of a substitute for your employee the forty-five (45) days of the year that he will be away for disability or vacation, so to the salary you must add six (6) additional weeks of salary.

Fifth, let's do the math:
B/. 3.34 x 4 hours x 5 days a week = B/. 66.80 per week.

52 weeks of the year + 19 weeks of additional salary for benefits and substitute pay = 71 weeks of salary per year.

B/. 66.80 per week x 71 weeks = B/. 4,387.80

This without considering the employer's contribution that the employer must contribute with the Social Security payment, which I left to someone more knowledgeable in these matters and is in addition to the calculation that I exposed above.

So an employee will receive a gross salary of B/. 267.20 (B/. 3.34 x 4 hours x 5 days a week x 4 weeks), but it will cost your company B/. 365.65 per month. The difference (B/. 98.45) is a fund that must be contemplated on a monthly basis for the payment of the benefits detailed above, so just to start serving part-time, you must budget B/. 1,096.95 for the first three months, only in one employee.

None of the calculations includes operating expenses or production costs, which are a matter for other entries.

Et voila! Our first small business business lesson.

health care, Panama, hospital, Chiriquí, David, employee, employer, payment, clinic, social security, minimum wage, cost

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