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Global employment briefing: Egypt, October 2018

  • Africa
  • Employment law


Changes to the labour law are anticipated

The current 2003 Labor Law was implemented to comply with Egypt’s obligations under the International Labor Organization of which Egypt is a member. The Labor Law is characterized by its highly protective approach towards employees.

Recently, a new draft labor law prepared by the government has been discussed but nothing has been submitted to the Parliament. It remains unclear when the new draft will be implemented and all the indicators are that it will adopt the same protective approach. In the meantime, no major developments nor amendments have been made to the Labor Law, although a Ministerial Decree is anticipated providing for public holidays in the private sector.


Currently, employment relationships in Egypt are primarily governed by the Labor Law, applicable ministerial decrees and labor office regulations issued to implement and to supplement the Labor Law. The Egyptian Civil Code applies to employment matters that are not covered by the Labor Law. The Labor Law constitutes the minimum rights of employees. Any other provision or treatment that contradicts the Labor Law -unless it is more beneficial to the employee- is considered null and void by the labor courts.

While the Labor Law allows for an employment relationship to be proven by any means, there are minimum formalities with respect to the form and the procedure required for employment agreements. In broad terms, the Labor Law governs employment contracts, wages, annual leave, working hours, female employee provisions and termination of employment.

One of the main difficulties faced by employers in Egypt concerns the termination of employment. The Labor Law provides that termination must occur for cause and it sets down an exhaustive list of causes. It also provides for specific procedures to be followed. If an employer fails to comply with these procedures, the termination is regarded as unlawful and the employee entitled to compensation.

For further information, please contact:

Suzan Farid