Egyptian Labor Law

The new Egyptian Labor Law promulgated by law n°12 of 2003 favors employees. Some of its features are set forth in this article.

Probationary Period
Employees in Egypt are typically hired with an initial probationary period. The length of the probation period is fixed by contract and, by law, cannot exceed three months. There can be only one probation period.

Mandated Raises
The New Law sets the minimum periodic annual increase to 7% of the basic salary.

Equal Opportunity
The law prohibits discrimination in wages on the basis of sex, origin, language, religion or creed.

Minimum Wage
In cases where the wage of the employee is fixed per commission or output, the law specifies that the worker shall not obtain a wage less than the minimum wage.

The law provides that employees have the right
to twenty-one days of paid vacation annually. Once the worker spends ten years in service, his vacation period is increased to thirty days. The thirty days’ vacation also is required for any worker over the age of fifty. Official holidays shall not be counted as part of the vacation days. For workers engaged in hard, dangerous, and unwholesome occupations, or employed in remote areas, vacations are increased by seven days.

Work Hours
The legal maximum working hours are eight hours a day or forty-eight hours a week, excluding meals or rest breaks. The worker shall not carry on working more than five unbroken hours. Workers are allowed an hour rest break.

In Egypt, in case of termination of the contract without legitimate and adequate justification, either party shall compensate the other for the harm incurred. This compensation shall not be less than the wage of two months of the comprehensive wage for each year of service.

The New Labor Law states that the contract of employment shall terminate at the expiry of a fixed-term contract or at the completion of the task for which the contract was concluded. However, a fixed-term contract is deemed renewed for an indefinite period if both parties continue to abide by it after its date of expiry. An exception is made for foreign workers.

Both parties can terminate an open-ended contract, provided that the notice period as well as writing procedures is respected. In regard to the notice period, it shall be two months if the worker’s uninterrupted period of service is less than ten years, and three months if that period exceeds ten years.

However, an employer cannot dismiss a worker except in cases where the worker commits a serious offense. In the case of a dismissal due to an offense, before taking any decision the employer must submit a request to the committee, which will approve or disapprove this dismissal. If the committee disapproves, then the worker is reinstated in his previous position.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Myriam Trannet
Myriam Trannet is an associate at Hegazy & Associates law office in association with Crowell Moring L.L.P

Copyright Hegazy & Partners

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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