Last updated on: January 19th, 2023
The Labor Law in Egypt is regulated mainly by Egyptian Labor Law No. 12, 2003 (as amended under law 180 of 2008) aims at regulating the relationship between employers and employees in the private sector in Egypt. The Law governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, and other employment conditions. The other Acts governing employment relationships are Social Security Law No. 79/1975, and the Civil Law.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee who is employed for a year is entitled to 21 working days of paid annual leave and 30 working days for employees over 50 years of age every calendar year. Annual leave is increased by 7 days for employees engaged in hard, dangerous, or unwholesome work or working in remote areas.
If an employee has worked at least 6 months but less than a year, they are entitled to annual leave on a pro-rata basis. Annual leave also increases with the length of service. An employee is entitled to 30 days of annual leave after 10 years of service with an employer.
Annual leave is independent of public holidays, official occasions’ days off, and weekly rest days. The employer determines the dates of annual leave according to the work exigencies and conditions and the employee takes the leave on the date and for the period determined by the employer. The employer may not interrupt the annual leave except for strong reasons necessitated by work interest. The employee may also determine the date of annual leave provided that shall be notified the employer at least 15 days prior to the date of availing annual leave.
The annual leave shall be increased by 7 days for employees whose work in difficult, hazardous or health-damaging jobs, or in remote areas as determined by the concerned authorities
The employee has the right to determine the date of their annual leave if the employee is applying to take the exam in one of the stages of education, provided that they notify the employer at least 15 days before taking the leave.
An employee is not entitled to wages during annual leave if they have worked with another employer during this period. Annual leave may accrue however during a year, an employee has to be granted leave of 15 days including at least 6 continuous/ consecutive days. The employer must settle the unpaid leave balance or pay the appropriate wage every 3 years at most.
Termination of employment
If the employment of the employee terminates before they could avail of 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.
Proposed Amendments: During the first year of employment, employees would be entitled to 15 calendar days of paid annual leave. Employees aged 50 or older would be entitled to 45 calendar days.
Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum wage is EGP 2700 per month.
An employee whose sickness is established and determined by the concerned medical authority is entitled to sick leave. The sickness benefit is paid as specified under the Social Insurance Law. Workers are entitled to sick leaves as follows:
- 75% of wages during the first 90 days of sick leave; and
- 85% of wages during the next 90 days of sick leave
An employee may be entitled to benefit from their accumulated annual leave in addition to the leave of sickness and also has the right to request their leaves of sickness to be transferred to the annual leave balance. Labor Law, Art 54.
Proposed Amendment: Sick leave benefits will be paid for 12 months i.e 365 days. The benefit payable would also increase to:
- 100% of covered earnings for the first three months,
- 85% for the following six months, and
- 75% for the last three months.
Female employees who have spent 10 months or more in the service of the same employer are entitled to (3 months) 90 days of paid maternity leave for not more than twice during the employee’s service period provided they have been contributing to social insurance for the past 10 months. Female employees shall submit a medical certificate stating the date on which the birth of the child occurred. Employers shall not employ any female employee within 45 days after giving birth.
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 2 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 paid nursing breaks per day, or alternatively one combined 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.
Proposed Amendment – The female employee will be entitled to 120 (i.e. 4 months) days of paid maternity leave up to three times during the employee’s service period. Moreover, female employees of more than 25 employees-companies (once 50 employees) can also take up to 2 years of unpaid leave. Responsibility for financing the compensation for maternity leave wages will be split between the social insurance scheme (75%) and the employer (25%).
New fathers will be allowed to take one day off following the birth of their child. This paid day off will be granted to employees when they present the child’s birth certificate.
A female employee in an establishment that employs 50 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.
Proposed Amendment – Casual leave entitlement (after one year of service) would increase from 6 to 7 days.
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 (30 days) 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.