The Labor Law and Articles 674 to 698 of the Civil Code of 1948, contain the most significant rules governing the relationship in Egypt between employers and employees.
[i] Work Certificates and Permits
All Egyptian workers, except part-time or temporary, must obtain work certificates.
[ii] Employment Contracts
Employment contracts are required to be in writing, in triplicate and in the Arabic language. The employer, employee and social insurance office shall receive a copy of the employment contract. The employment contract must include certain information specified in the Labor Law.
If an employee is hired on probation, the employment contract should indicate the probationary period, which cannot exceed three months. An employment contract may be drawn up for a fixed or indefinite period time. A fixed-term contract with an Egyptian employee, if renewed, automatically becomes an employment contract for an indefinite period.
Employees should not work more than eight hours a day or 48 hours over a six day work week. Most private sector employees work only five days a week, usually Sunday through Thursday.
The duration between the commencement of work and its termination shall not daily exceed 11 hours within a day.
Employees are entitled to one day off each week. The day off cannot be for less than 24 hours. The day off shall be fully paid.
Certain exceptions apply when work is intended to prevent a serious accident or to cope with a heavy workload. In such situations, the employee must be paid overtime.
An employee is entitled to a minimum annual paid leave of 21 days starting after one full year of service this annual leave is increased to one month after the employee has worked for 10 consecutive years or is over 50 years old.
Every employee is entitled to full pay for holidays designated by the Minister of Manpower and Training, not to exceed 13 days a year. If employees are required to work during such holidays, the employees are entitled to overtime (paid at twice their normal pay)
The labor law provides that an employee is entitled to up to six months of paid sick leave at between 75% and 100% of the employee’s normal wage.
Employment of foreigners
-Any foreigners wishing to work in Egypt must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower and Training. Work permits are usually granted for a period of one year or less, and may be renewed.
-The foreigner shall introduce the following documents to the foreigners permit administration to obtain the work permit
1-The agreement of the company that he intend to join (if the foreigner is the applicant for the permit.)
2-The license for conducting a certain profession (if required)
3-The presidential republic approval if the applicant is a political refugee.
Joint stock, limited liability and simple commode by shares companies may not employ foreigners in excess of 10% of its work force nor to pay foreign employees more than 20% of the employees’ total payrolls.
Joint stock companies may not employ technical and administrative foreign employees in excess of 25% of its work force nor to pay them more than 30% from the technical and administrative employees’ total payrolls. The same applies to limited liability and simple commode by shares companies if its capital exceeds 50,000LE
In case of facing shortage in recruiting Egyptians in a specific field the Minister of Manpower and Training may permit foreign employment for specific periods without being calculated in the aforementioned percentages.
[iii] Health Care and Pension Payments
All private sector companies in Egypt are required to provide free health care for their Egyptian employees either through the Medical Insurance Plan of The Ministry Of Social Insurance or privately. They are also required to contribute to the Pension Insurance Fund Of The Ministry of Social Insurance.
[iv] Dismissal and Termination
The Labor Law lists the grounds under which an employee may be dismissed. The employee may not be dismissed until the matter is brought before the local conciliation committee at the Ministry of Manpower and Training. The committee seeks to help parties settle employment related disputes and can issue non-binding recommendations. However, the employer may be thereafter dismiss an employee against such recommendation and the employee retains the right to challenge the dismissal in court. The Egyptian labor courts retain discretion in reviewing an employment dismissal. Compensation awards may be granted to employees for wrongful dismissal on the basis of a review of the facts and circumstances of each case. Court decisions have tended to award payments of between two and three months’ salary for each year of employment for wrongful dismissal. Grounds for legal termination without notice include the expiration of a fixed-term employment contract, retirement, resignation, death , total incapacitation of the employee to work at the relevant job or his unfitness during probation period.