Forums For Adjudicating Employment Disputes
The employment dispute in Egypt may be settled in the Labour Courts and this is the most common way of settling a labour dispute in Egypt. Disputes can also be settled by mediation as well as arbitration.
The Main Sources Of Employment Law
The main sources of Employment Law in Egypt are the Employment Law no.12 of year 2003 and its amendments, in addition to that the new social Insurance Law (no148/2019) as amended, and its executive regulations which regulate matters related to social security, and civil law.
National Law And Employees Working For Foreign Companies
The national law is applied to national employees as well as foreign employees and employers who are working for foreign companies within the Egyptian territory.
National Law And Employees Of National Companies Working In Another Jurisdiction
If a national employee who works for national company is employed abroad, the Egyptian Employment Law shall apply to this employment relation.
Generally speaking, labour law protects employees from employers’ abuse. Employee’s privacy and personal data are protected by the general rules of law and more specifically by the Personal Data protection Law no 151 of year 2020.
Legal Requirements As To The Form Of Agreement
There must be a written employment contract, and the essential terms that are required to be evidenced in writing are the:
- Employer’s name;
- Employee’s name, address, education, work experience and social insurance number;
- Nature and type of job;
- Documentary evidence of work credentials; and
- However, it is worth mentioning that in case of disputes, the Employee shall be entitled to prove the employment relationship using all proof means available by law, regardless of the existence of a written agreement.
Probation period shall not exceed three months, and the employee shall not be appointed under probation for more than once with the same employer.
Hours Of Work
The Labour Law restricts and limits working hours to nine hours per day, with a one-hour rest per day, and 48 hours of rest per working week. The working hours shall include one or more break periods, not less than one hour in total for meals and rest, while determining this period it should be observed that the worker shall not work more than five continuous hours. The working hours and break periods shall be reorganised so that the period between the start and the end of working hours shall not be more than 10 hours a day. The break period shall be counted as attendance hours.
Special Rules For Part-time Work
The Labour Law is silent regarding part-time employees; hence, the general rules of law based on a contractual relationship with an employer, based on the principle of “the contract is the law of the parties” apply. On the other hand, the Labour Law sets fixed-term employees’ relationships with employers.
The wages shall be determined according to the labour contract, if the wage is not determined, employees shall be entitled for wage equivalent to the employees in the same position. Discrimination in the wages because of the gender, origin, language, religion or creed shall be prohibited; the current minimum wage is EGP 1200, which should be doubled (EGP 2400) starting from January 2022.
The annual leave is 21 days for employees who have spent at least a full year with their current employer, which is increased to 30 days for workers who have been with the same employer for over 10 years; weekends and official holidays do not count within the annual holiday. An employee can accumulate and roll over his or her annual leave for a maximum of three years.
For employees who spend less than a year in the service, they shall be entitled to annual leave in proportion to the period they spent in the service
In all cases, the period of the annual leave shall be increased by seven days for the workers engaged in hard, dangerous works, or in the remote areas to be determined by virtue of a decree of the concerned minister. The employer shall determine the dates of the annual leave according to work conditions.
The worker whose sickness is established shall have the right to a sick leave to be determined by the concerned medical quarter. During that period, he shall be entitled to a compensation for the wage as shall be determined by the Social Insurance Law.
The minimum age of hiring an employee is 14 years old (under certain conditions) and the retirement age by law is 60 years. Continuation of the employment after reaching the age of 60 is at the discretion of the employer.
According to the rights of disabled people law no.10 of year 2018 governmental and non-governmental agencies and every employer who employs 20 or more workers, whether they work in one place or separate places, and whatever the nature of their work, is obligated to hire at least 5% of the number of workers with disabilities who are nominated by the concerned ministry.
Location Of Work/Mobility
If the employer hires employees to work in places unreachable by normal means of transportation, they are obligated to provide appropriate means of transportation. In cases where the employer hires employees who work in remote areas, he must provide them with adequate nutrition and housing.
The basic pension for all workers will be at least 65% of the monthly minimum wage and capped at 80%, subject to having at least 15 years of insured employment. The National Wage Council will set the minimum wage for private-sector employees. It will increase annually up to 15% of inflation. Workers employed in difficult jobs will receive increased pension benefits, but their employer will have to pay higher contributions.
Parental Rights (Pregnancy/ Maternity/ Paternity/ Adoption)
If female employees worked for the employer for 10 months, they are entitled to three months of paid maternity leave for each children born. They won’t be entitled to more maternity leaves if they have three children. In other words, the employee is allowed maternity leaves only twice during their employment term with the employer.
Women employed in companies with more than 50 employees are entitled to two years of unpaid maternity leave in accordance with the Labour Law. Within 24 months after the child is born, women are entitled to two 0.5-hour care breaks per day, or a combination of one-hour long breaks.
Labour Law does not contain provisions on paternity leave or adoption. For companies with 100 or more employees, the employer is obliged to provide a kindergarten in the company or help find nursery for the child until his or her age is ready for education.
Everything that is mentioned in the Labour Law is compulsory and neither employer nor employee can waive their rights or obligations.
There is nothing in the law that is not compulsory.
Types Of Agreement
- Definite labour contracts
This is where the agreement is made for a definite term. It automatically terminates after the lapse of such term unless renewed by the parties or the parties have continued to carry on their obligations under the agreement after the lapse of its term the same shall be deemed an indefinite period agreement, if the agreement and the renewal of the same reached a threshold of five years or more, the employee may terminate the agreement after the lapse of the five years period with no compensation by virtue of three months prior notice.
- Indefinite labour contracts
This is when an agreement is made without a definite term, the same entitles either party to terminate the agreement by virtue of a written notice (without prejudice to the above, the notice period is two months if the regular service period is between (0-10) years and three months if more than 10 years).
Contract for particular work, this is when an agreement is made for the execution of a certain job and shall be deemed terminated as soon as the job is completed unless the parties have decided to carry on with their liabilities, in such case the agreement shall be deemed indefinite period renewal, also if the employment relationship has reached a threshold of five years, the employee may not terminate the agreement unless the project is completed.
The difference between the definite and indefinite agreement rises mainly in the termination notice period and the number of annual leave days.
The Labour Law is silent regarding confidentiality, however, in practice, the parties may agree to confidentiality clause in the employment contract in which they shall the decide that the employee shall keep all the data, information of the work confidential and they also may agree that after the termination of the employment contract the employee shall keep the employer company’s confidential for a certain period of time.
Ownership of Inventions/Other Intellectual Property (IP) Rights
IP law in Egypt no.82 of year 2002 regulates the cases of ownership of invention as follows: If the employer commands an employee to make specific invention, all rights derived from such invention shall belong to the employer. Moreover, the employer shall have all the rights derived from the inventions discovered by the employee during the period of work relation/employment, insofar as the invention falls within the scope of the work contracts.
The name of the inventor shall be mentioned in the patent, and he shall be remunerated in all cases. If such remuneration was not agreed on, he shall be entitled to a fair compensation from the employer.
Generally speaking, there are no restrictions or prohibitions against background checks on applicants. Background checks can be conducted by obtaining experience certificates from, or directly contacting, applicants’ former employers, an employer has the right to require a medical examination in jobs requiring extra care before or during employment for narcotics or alcohol. Employers have the right to dismiss employees who test positive.
It is allowed for non-nationals to work in Egypt, however, certain conditions need to be fulfilled in order for foreigners to work in Egypt. For example, the foreigner must be legally authorised to stay in Egypt for the purpose of work and must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower in order to be able to work in Egypt. Moreover, the employer is restricted by keeping a ratio of 10 Egyptian employees for each foreign employee.
Hiring Specified Categories Of Individuals
Labour Law prohibits discrimination in employment based on gender, race, language, religion or beliefs.
Outsourcing And/Or Sub-Contracting/Temporary Agency Work
Recruitment agencies must obtain a licence from the Ministry of Manpower before recruiting from within Egypt or abroad, pursuant to the Labour Law.