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Employment Law in Morocco

A single item of legislation, the Labour Code — Law no. 65-99, promulgated by Decree no. 1-03-194 of 11 September 2003 — governs most aspects of individual and collective employment relations. The Code applies to most employees (ie individuals bound by an employment contract), though it contains special rules (not covered here) for groups such as agricultural workers and commercial travellers/representatives, while separate legislation (not covered here) governs some aspects of the employment of groups such as miners, seafarers, journalists, concierges and domestic workers. Governmental decrees and decisions lay down detailed rules on the implementation of the Labour Code in areas such as fixed-term contracts, notice periods, working time, rest periods and health and safety. Case law — and especially that of the Supreme Court — interprets the Labour Code.

The Labour Code has not been significantly amended since its introduction in 2003, despite various attempts, and changes are again under debate at the time of writing (May 2022), for example in relation to issues such as part-time work, temporary agency work and dismissal procedures.

The Code of Obligations and Contracts, which deals with contracts in general, applies to some aspects of employment, while the Penal Code is relevant to employment-related discrimination and harassment. Specific legislation deals with issues including continuing vocational training (Law no. 60-17), apprenticeships (Law No. 12-00) data protection (Law no. 09-08), social security (Law No. 1-72-184) and the rights of people with disabilities (Framework Law no. 97-13).

Collective agreements play a role in regulating some employees’ pay and conditions but have only limited coverage. Potentially more significant are the internal rules that employers with 10 or more employees must draw up (in consultation with employee representatives), dealing with matters such as recruitment, dismissal, leave, absence, work organisation, disciplinary measures, and health and safety. Individual employment contracts are the other main source of employment law. The provisions of employment contracts, internal rules and collective agreements cannot be less favourable for employees than those of the Labour Code.

This topic refers to employment law in the private sector only.

Employment Law in Morocco: Quick Facts
  • In recruiting and selecting employees, an employer must take into account only their occupational qualifications, skills, experience and references. Recruitment and Selection

  • Statutory limits apply to probationary periods — in the case of indefinite-term contracts, these are 15 days for blue-collar employees, one month for white-collar employees and three months for managers. Recruitment and Selection

  • There is no statutory requirement that indefinite-term employment contracts must be in writing, though employers must provide all employees with written information about the main conditions of employment. Employment Contracts

  • Fixed-term contracts (which must be in writing) generally have a maximum duration of one year and may be used only in certain circumstances permitted by law. Employment Contracts

  • Wages must generally be paid by cash, cheque or bank transfer, at least monthly for white-collar employees and at least twice a month for blue-collar employees, accompanied by a written payslip. Pay and Benefits

  • There is a statutory national minimum wage that applies across most of the private sector. Pay and Benefits

  • Most employees are entitled after two years’ service to a “seniority bonus” on top of their normal wages (ranging from 5% to 25% of wages, depending on service). Pay and Benefits

  • Employees’ statutory normal working time is generally set at 44 hours per week or, in certain circumstances, 2288 hours per year. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Overtime is permitted mainly to deal with exceptional increases in workload, generally subject to a limit of 80 hours per year, and employees are entitled to a wage supplement of 25%–100% for overtime work. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees have no general statutory right to rest breaks during the working day or to a minimum daily rest period, but must be granted a weekly rest period of at least 24 hours. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Employees with at least six months’ service are entitled to paid annual leave, with the statutory entitlement starting at 18 working days and rising with service to 30 working days. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Pregnant employees are entitled to take 14 weeks of maternity leave (including seven weeks of compulsory leave following the birth), during which they generally receive a social security benefit set at 100% of normal wages, followed by 90 days of additional leave (without benefit entitlement) and, with the employer’s agreement, one year of unpaid childcare leave. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Male employees are entitled to take three days of paternity leave, while all employees are entitled to various short periods of paid or unpaid leave for family and personal reasons such as marriages and deaths. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • During sickness absence, the employment contract is suspended but, if an employee is absent for more than 180 consecutive days in any one-year period, the employer is entitled to consider that the employee has resigned. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Discrimination in employment is prohibited on grounds including race, colour, disability, sex, marital status, religion, political opinions, trade union membership, national descent and social origin. Equality and Discrimination

  • Sexual harassment is a criminal offence but is not dealt with specifically by employment legislation. Equality and Discrimination

  • Employees are entitled to join a trade union of their choosing, and to cease to be a member, and employers must not discriminate against or dismiss employees on the grounds of trade union membership or activities. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Only the “most representative” (ie best supported) trade union organisations may participate in collective bargaining, enter into collective agreements and appoint workplace representatives with statutory entitlements. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employees’ employment contracts are suspended rather than terminated by going on strike and they must not be discriminated against or dismissed for participating in a legitimate strike. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employee delegates with information and consultation rights must be elected by employees in all establishments with at least 10 employees. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employers have a general duty to take all measures necessary to ensure employees’ safety, health and dignity, and have various specific health and safety obligations, while employees have a number of duties and rights in this area. Occupational Health and Safety

  • An employer must not (after the end of any probationary period) dismiss an employee with an indefinite-term employment contract without a “valid reason” related to their aptitude or conduct, or based on the company’s operational needs — in many cases, dismissals for the latter reason require authorisation by the public labour authorities. Termination of Employment

  • Except in cases of gross misconduct by the other party, or force majeure, an employer or employee must observe a statutory minimum notice period when terminating an indefinite-term employment contract. Termination of Employment

  • Employees with an indefinite-term employment contract and at least six months’ service are entitled to a statutory severance payment if they are dismissed for any reason, except for gross. Termination of Employment

  • Employees have a right to receive continuing vocational training from their employer. Other key issues

  • Employers with 10 or more employees must draw up (in consultation with employee representatives) internal rules dealing with matters such as recruitment, dismissal, leave, absence, work organisation, disciplinary measures, and health and safety. Other key issues