The Egyptian Labour Law No. 12 for the year 2003 aims at regulating the relationship between employers and employees in the private sector in Egypt while Law No. 81 for the year 2016 regulates the working relationship of the civil servants of the State. The other Acts governing employment relationships are Social Security Law No. 79/1975, and the Civil Law.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee’s maximum working hours per day are 8 hours or 48 hours per week in case of a six-day workweek.
Work hours and rest periods must be regulated so that the period between the beginning and the end of the working hours does not exceed 10 hours per day.
Employees who work in seasonal work by nature can be allowed to work for more than 10 hours are excluded so long that the period of their stay at the place of work does not exceed 12 hours per day. Art 80, Labor Law.
As per the law, night work is the period between sunrise and sunset.
Overtime Work for Night
For overtime work at night, the employee shall in addition to his original wages be entitled to a wage for overtime hours as shall be agreed upon in the individual or collective labor contract, but such wage shall not be less than the wage the employee is entitled to plus 70 % for night working hours. Art 1 & 84, Labor Law.
The working hours must include a period or more for eating and resting, not less than 1 hour in total, and in determining this period it shall be taken into account that an employee does not work more than five consecutive hours. The period designated for meals and rest is not included in the working hours. Rest period shall be counted as working hours if the employee stays at the workplace during that time period.
The authority has the right to specify, the work in which it is imperative for technical reasons or operating conditions to continue working without a rest period. The authority can and also determines the difficult or exhausting works in which the employee shall be given breaks and which shall be considered as actual working hours. Art 81 – 82, Labor Law.
Work in an establishment must be organized in such a manner so that every employee receives a weekly rest of not less than 24 full hours after 6 continuous working days at most, and in all cases, the weekly rest is paid.
As an exception, it is permissible in places far from urbanization and in the kind of work that is required to be continuous by the nature of work or operating conditions, the weekly rest entitled to the employee can be collected together and can be granted to the employees together as per the sanction and rules of the organization. It is taken into consideration in calculating the period of the combined weekly rest that it starts from the time the employee arrives at the nearest location with transportation and the hour of return back. Art 83-85, Labor Law.
If an employee is employed to work on a day of rest, the employee shall be entitled to his regular wage for that day, and the employer shall grant another day in lieu of that day of rest during the following week. Art 83-85, Labor Law.
There are 13 public holidays in Egypt:
- Coptic Christmas – Jan 7
- Revolution Day
- Sinai Liberation Day
- Easter Sunday
- Eid Sham El Nessim*
- Labor Day – May 1
- End of Ramadan – 3 days*
- Revolution Day – June 30th & Jul 23rd
- Eid-Al-Adha – 3 days*
- El- Hijra*
- Armed Forces Day – Oct 6
- Eid Sham El Nessim (Birth of Prophet Mohammad)*
*Islamic Holiday exact dates are subject to moon sightings and may differ in dates every year. Friday & Saturday are considered as the weekend.
Work on Public Holidays
The employer may require the employee to work on a public holiday. In this case, the employee in this case is entitled to a regular wage plus double the regular wage. Art 52 of the Labor Law.
The period of the annual leave shall be 21 days with full pay for those spending one complete year in the service. The leave shall be increased to 30 days once the employee spends 10 years in service with one or more employers and for employees over the age of 50. The holidays, the official occasions days, and the weekly days off shall not be counted as part of the leave days.
If the employee’s service is less than 1 year, the employee shall be entitled to a leave-in proportion to the period he has spent in work, providing he has spent 6 months in the service of the employer.
The period of annual leave will be increased by 7 days for employees engaged in hard, dangerous work or in remote areas.
The employer will determine the dates of the annual leave according to work exigencies and conditions. Employers cannot interrupt the leave except for strong reasons. In all cases, the employee shall obtain an annual leave of 15 days per year which should constitute at least 6 consecutive days. The employer shall settle the balance of leaves or the wage against that balance at most every 3 years.
The employee shall have the right to determine the date of his annual leave if he is sitting for the exam in any of the educational stages, providing he shall notify the employer at least 15 days in advance.
Termination of employment
If the employment of the employee terminates before he/she could avail the annual leave, in such cases the employer shall provide the employee with wages according to the balance of annual leaves left with the employee. Art 47-48 of Labor Law.
If an employee is sick, he/she is entitled to sick leave based on the report from the concerned medical authority.
According to Social Insurance Law, during sick leave, an employee is entitled to his/her salary. An employee with a proven record of sickness is entitled to paid sick leave at the rate of 75% of his/her salary upon which social insurance payments are calculated; for a period of 90 days, to be increased to 85% for the following 90 days.
Sick leaves are payable up to 180 days. The right is reserved for the employee to benefit from his/her accumulated annual leaves as well as convert these into sick leaves if such a balance exists. Art 54 of Labor Law.
Female employees who have spent 10 months or more in the service of the employer are entitled to 3 months of paid maternity leave for each up to three children, provided they have been contributing to the social insurance for the past 10 months.
Maternity benefits are paid at 75% of the last wage. Moreover, women employed in establishments with more than 50 employees are entitled to up to two years of unpaid childbearing leave per child.
Employees shall be required to submit a medical certificate indicating the date on which the birth took place. Employees may not be employed during the 45 days following the date of delivery.
Female employees are also entitled to two half-hour nursing breaks per day, or alternatively one combined an hour-long break, for 24 months after the date of birth of each child in addition to the designated rest periods. The break shall be counted as working hours.
For establishments employing 100 employees or more, an employer is obliged to provide for an in-house nursery, or alternatively, to take charge of placing employee’s children (until the age of schooling is reached) inadequate nurseries. Art 91-92 of Labor Law.
A female employee in an establishment that employs fifty or more employees shall have the right to obtain leave without pay for a period not exceeding 2 years in order to take care of her child and she is not entitled to this leave more than twice for the duration of its service with the employer. Art 94 of Labor Law.
An employee may take an absence from work for a casual reason for a period of not exceeding 6 days during the year, with a maximum limit of 2 days each time. The casual leave will be deducted from the employee’s annual leave. Art 51 of Labor Law.
Employees shall be entitled to paid study leave subject to collective bargaining agreements. Duration is not defined. Art 55 of Labor Law.
An employee who has completed 5 continuous years of service with the employer shall have the right to leave for 1 month with full pay for performing religious pilgrimage duty or visiting Jerusalem. This leave shall be granted only once throughout his service period. Art 53 of Labor Law.
Last updated on: January 12th, 2021