A country of 100 million, Egypt is located on the Mediterranean Sea to its north, the Red Sea to its east, Libya to its west, and Sudan to its south. Egypt’s large population makes it an attractive market for businesses from around the world. Employers compete in finding a place for their businesses in Egypt because of the low costs associated with establishing cooperate branches to gain access to the country’s large consumer market.
Employment contracts in Egypt must be written in Arabic. They are based either on duration or work-completion. Duration based contracts are either definite or indefinite. Definite contracts have a designated period, while indefinite contracts are continuous until an employer or employee initiates termination. Work completion-based contracts have a designated completion of specified work.
The standard work period is 48 hours per week and eight hours per day with a one-hour break. Employees receive 24 hours of weekly rest. An employee shall not be made to work more than five continuous hours per day without a break or a maximum of 10 hours per day, including overtime. Overtime is capped at two hours per day.
An employee is entitled to a total of one year of sick leave every three years. Benefits are paid pursuant to Egypt’s social security system. Employees can also use any accrued, but unused annual leave.
A female employee is entitled to 90 days of fully paid maternity leave. She must spend at least 10 months working before qualifying for maternity leave. Maternity leave is granted twice per employee. Employees generally begin maternity leave within 45 days before the delivery date and must take at least 45 days of leave after delivery. Employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide female employees with up to two years of unpaid leave, no extensions, to care for a child. Employers with more than 100 female employees are required to provide childcare services by contracting with a childcare organization or establishing an in-house nursery for employees. Male employees do not receive any paternity leave.
Although bonuses are common, there is no statutory requirement that employers must pay employees an annual bonus.
A full-time employee under the age of 50 is entitled to 21 days of fully paid leave after one year of service. At least six days must be taken consecutively. This leave is increased to 30 days after 10 years of employment, or after reaching the age of 50, whichever comes first. If employment is less than a year, then the leave shall be in proportion to the period of employment. After five years, an employee is entitled to an additional, one-time, 30-day religious leave to conduct a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca or a Christian visitation to Jerusalem. The employer determines the dates for the annual leave by the work-need conditions. Employers, however, are prohibited from interrupting an employee’s leave except in emergency cases for which compensation and additional leave is required.
The following holidays are observed in Egypt:
Egypt offers universal healthcare.
The termination of an employment relationship is regulated by the type of contract signed by the employer and employee. A contract for a definite time period is terminated either by the expiration of its period or by the employer for cause. A contract for an indefinite time period may also be terminated by the employer for delinquency, insufficiency of ability or total disability of the employee. A work-completion-contract may be terminated either by completing the designated work or by the employer. An employee may not initiate termination of a work-completion-contract, even if the work exceeds five years until the designated work is completed. To initiate termination, an employer is required to give a two-month notice period to an employee whose service did not exceed 10 years, and a three-month notice period if the service exceeded 10 years. A notice period cannot be given while an employee is on leave. During the notice period, an employee may take one day leave of absence every week to look for alternative employment provided that the employer is notified. Generally, an employee may initiate termination of the definite or indefinite contract in writing, only after five years have passed. The employee is required to give a three-month notice in advance, give up any compensation, base their reasons on health, social and economic conditions, or the employer’s failure to honor contractual obligations, or physically assaulting the employee. An employee who retires at the age of 60 is eligible for an indemnity. They would receive half a month’s salary for the first five years and one month pay for each of the following years.
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