Employment Law and Startups in Egypt – Part (1)

Written by Ghadir Halim

Are there certain requirements for employment contracts under Egyptian law?

Yes. A contract is the foundation of any binding legal employment agreement and should be drafted with precision. In Egypt, an employment contract must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be in writing;
  • It may be bilingual but one of the languages must be Arabic; and
  • The employer, the employee, and the social insurance office should each have a copy.

Furthermore, an employment contract should include the following information:

  • The name of the employer and the address of the place of work;
  • The worker’s name, qualification, profession/craft, social insurance number, home address, and ID number;
  • Nature of the employee’s work and responsibilities;
  • Wages and the timing of wage payment; and
  • The length of the probationary period, if applicable.

What is the duration of a probationary period under the Labour Law?

The probationary period for the employee may be agreed upon for any period of time, as long as such a period does not exceed three (3) months (“Maximum Period”). This Maximum Period is a public policy rule that may not be infringed, otherwise, the clause stating such excess shall be null and void, with the rest of the contract remaining valid and effective. Additionally, a probationary period should be clearly and explicitly referred to in the employment contract.

To what extent can the employer evaluate the employee in the probation period?

During the probationary period, not only does the employer have discretionary power to evaluate the employee’s work but also the employee’s behavior and cooperation with his superiors and colleagues.

Is the probation period considered as a part of the duration of the employment contract?

Yes. A contract with a probation clause is considered a complete employment contract subject to a condition subsequent, namely, the failure of the trial. If the trial succeeds, the contract becomes final and is considered valid from the date of its conclusion and not from the date of the end of the probation period. However, If the trial fails, the contract will be considered terminated without retroactive effect.

What are the different types of leaves that an employee is entitled to in Egypt?

Public Holidays: The following are fully paid: Orthodox Christmas Day, 25th of January Revolution, Sinai Liberation Day, Labor Day, Sham El-Nessim, Eid al-Fitr, 30th of June Revolution, Eid al-Adha, Revolution Day, Islamic New Year, Armed Forces Day, and Mawlid al-Nabi. Unless the Prime Minister issues a decree applicable to the private sector substituting the public holiday with a weekday if one of these holidays falls on a weekend the employer is not obliged to give the employee an extra day off.

Annual Leave: An employee who spent a year in service has an annual leave of 21 working days. Employees older than 50 years or who spent 10 years or more in the service of the employer are entitled to annual leave of 30 working days. Employees do not have the right to take leave in the first six months of employment, however, for employees employed for more than six months but less than a year, annual leave is prorated to the period of service.

Sick Leave: The number of days of sick leave is determined on a case-by-case basis by the competent medical authority. An employee whose sickness is established and determined by the competent medical authority is entitled to sick leave and shall be compensated according to the Social Insurance Law.