- MLA’s Labor & Employment Practice Group advises clients in all matters involving labor and employment law, including on hiring, terminations, drafting contracts and workplace policies and procedures, and workplace investigations.
- Led by Lead Lawyer Benyam Tafesse, MLA’s employment and immigration clients largely consist of foreign companies doing business in Ethiopia. MLA regularly provides legal services to leading foreign businesses in matters related to recruitment, employment contracts, employment taxes, human resource manuals, managing discipline, termination of employment, collective bargaining and agreements, restructuring and retrenchments, employment benefits; occupational health and safety, strikes and lock-outs, and dispute resolution.
- MLA’s Labor & Employment Practice Group also assists expat workers to secure business visas to enter the country, in-visa extension, obtaining work and residence permits for expats and their families as well as renewals of the permits.
- The Practice Group additionally advises clients on responsibilities under Ethiopian law related to disputes between employers and employees. We have extensive experience engaging in negotiations and mediations with relevant Ethiopian government agencies in order to resolve workplace disputes.
- MLA’s industry involvement in the labor and employment field covers the full gamut, ranging from employers in the hotel and hospitality industries, manufacturing, health care, biomedical, construction, transportation, financial services, energy, agriculture, and technology. A significant portion of our MLA’s clients in the labor and employment practice are investors as well as foreign diplomatic missions and multilateral organizations.
- In addition to assisting our clients understand the intricate legal and regulatory regimes in Ethiopia, the MLA Labor & Employment Practice Group provided proactive counseling and compliance review to help our clients minimize the risks inherent in nearly all employment decisions, drafted and reviewed comprehensive employee handbooks, personnel policies and procedures, collective agreements, and work rules.
Mehrteab Leul & Associates’ Quick Guide on Labor and Employment Law in Ethiopia
- The principal legislations that regulate private employment relationships in Ethiopia include the Ethiopian Civil Code of 1960, the Labour Proclamation (Proc. No. 377/2003), as amended, the Private Enterprise Employees Social Security Proclamation (Proc. No. 715/2011), and the Social Health Insurance Proclamation (proc. No. 690/2010). These set of laws are complemented by the different decisions of the Cassation Division of the Federal Supreme Court.
- Under the Ethiopian Employment Law regime, broadly speaking, there are two categories of employees: managerial and non-managerial. While the Labour Proclamation applies to private employment relationships based on a contract that exists between a non-managerial worker and an employer, the Civil Code governs the case of managerial employees. Managerial employees are defined as those employees vested with a power to formulate and execute management policies, to hire, transfer, suspends, assign or take disciplinary measures against other employees.
- The Labour Proclamation accords greater protection to non-managerial workers by laying down minimum conditions below which parties may not opt to agree. In contrast, the Civil Code gives a greater discretion to the parties’ agreement in the case of managerial employees.
- The Labour Proclamation which applies to the employment of non-managerial workers provides that, except for contact of employment concluded for a definite period or for piece work, all other types of employment contracts are deemed to have been concluded for an indefinite period. The law prescribes an exhaustive list of instances whereby a contract of employment can be concluded for a definite period or for piecework. If these conditions are not met, the parties’ designation of indefinite period contract as definite will have no effect under the eyes of the law. On the other hand, the Civil Code that regulates the employment of managerial workers allows for parties to enter into a definite term contract.
- On December 15, 2017, the Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives promulgated a new Public Servants Proclamation, which repealed a law that was enforced since 2007. This law, however, is only applicable to public servants, and as such, does not govern the private organization and public enterprise employers or employees. Additionally, the Labor Proclamation, which currently regulates employment relationships in private and public enterprises, is under revision. The proposed amendments include annual leave, overtime, probation period, grounds of termination and notice period.
MLA’s Quick Guide on Employment of Foreign Nationals
- Any investor can employ duly qualified expatriate experts required for the operations of its business. A foreign investor can employ expatriates for top management positions without any restriction.
- However, the right to employ expatriates for non-top management positions is limited by the law’s requirement that foreign investors should replace, within a limited period, such expatriate personnel by Ethiopians by arranging the necessary training thereof.