Hire in Côte d’Ivoire
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Côte d’Ivoire.
Currency of Côte d’Ivoire
West African CFA Franc (XOF)
The Capital of Côte d’Ivoire
Time Zone in Côte d’Ivoire
Important Facts About the Country of Côte d’Ivoire
Introduction to Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is a West African country situated along the southern coast. The country’s capital city, Yamoussoukro, is located in the middle of the country, while its largest city and commercial center is Abidjan, a port city. The population of Côte d’Ivoire is 28 million people. It is a republic in which the president has significant executive authority. The country’s economy is thriving due to the production of coffee and cocoa, which has led to a high level of income and made it an economic powerhouse in West Africa.
What to Know about Côte d’Ivoire's Geography
Côte d’Ivoire shares its borders with several neighboring nations. Guinea is located to the north-northwest, while Liberia is to the west and Mali is to the north-northeast. Burkina Faso is situated to the northeast, and Ghana is located to the east. The Gulf of Guinea, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean, borders the country to the south. In total, the country covers a land area of approximately 322,463 square kilometers.
Climate in Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire has two distinct climate regions. The southern part of the country experiences a humid equatorial climate, while the northern region has a dry tropical climate. The average temperature throughout the year ranges from 24 to 28°C. The rainy season in Côte d’Ivoire typically lasts from June to October.
The Culture of Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s culture is diverse and dynamic, shaped by a combination of factors such as its geographical location, the presence of numerous ethnic groups and its history of French occupation. The country is home to over sixty distinct indigenous ethnic groups, each with its own unique traditions and identities. In addition to these groups, there are many sub-clusters of these ethnicities, further contributing to the cultural richness and complexity of the country.
Religions Observed in Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire has a religiously diverse population, with followers of several religions. About 42% of the population practices Islam, mainly Sunni, while approximately 40% are Catholic or Evangelical Christians.
Languages Spoken in Côte d’Ivoire
The official language of Côte d’Ivoire is French but the country also has a rich diversity of indigenous languages that are widely spoken. There are around 78 distinct languages spoken in the country. Dyula, one of the most commonly used indigenous languages, serves as a trading language in many parts of the country, particularly in the northern regions.
Côte d’Ivoire Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire has two significant legal frameworks governing employment. The first is Act 2015-532, which was enacted on July 20, 2015, and outlines the Labor Code. The second is the Interprofessional Collective Agreement of 1977. These two frameworks play crucial roles in regulating employment relationships and related matters in the country.
Employment Contracts in Côte d’Ivoire
Employment contracts in Côte d’Ivoire can either be fixed-term or indefinite. While both verbal and written agreements are allowed, fixed-term contracts must be in writing. Otherwise, they will be considered as indefinite-term contracts.
In addition, employment contracts must contain at least the following details:
The date and place of the contract
The identity of both the employee and the employer
The date and place of employment
The classification of the employee in the professional hierarchy, their salary and any additional benefits
The length of the probationary period (if applicable)
The nature and duration of the contract
The reference or regulatory texts to the collective agreements governing all relations between employers and employees
Côte d’Ivoire's Fixed Term Contract Terms
A fixed-term contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee for a specified term that is decided at the time the contract is signed. It is required by law that a fixed-term contract must clearly state either the specific expiration date of the contract or the duration for which it is valid.
However, a fixed-term contract may be concluded without a specific term if the contract results from the execution of a specific and temporary task and/or is intended only to:
ensure the replacement of an employee in the event of their absence, the suspension of their employment contract or while awaiting the entry into service of an employee under an open-ended contract
respond to an occasional increase in workload or unusual activity of the company
fill seasonal positions
last for the duration of a construction project
fill positions in certain sectors defined by law or by agreement and for which it is common practice to use fixed-term contracts
If the employment contract does not meet the above standards, it will be deemed an “open-ended contract” or “indefinite contract.”
There is no limit to the number of times a fixed-term contract can be renewed, as long as it does not exceed two years.
Except for certain sensitive positions requiring ethical behavior, an employer cannot inquire about a candidate’s criminal record.
Côte d’Ivoire's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period
The length of the probation period is based on the payment cycle and ranks as follows:
Eight days for daily or hourly-paid workers
One month for monthly-paid workers
Two months for supervisors, technicians and similar workers
Three months for engineers, managers, high-level technicians and similar workers
The probation period can only be extended once and the employee must be notified in writing.
Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Côte d’Ivoire
In Côte d’Ivoire, the regular work schedule comprises 40 hours per week, or eight hours per day, five days a week. Flexible working arrangements are permitted but such arrangeents must be reported to the labor inspector.
Furthermore, employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks, which may be either a 30-minute session or two 15-minute sessions.
Côte d’Ivoire Laws Regarding Overtime
Overtime pay is calculated as follows:
- 115% for hours worked between the 41st and 48th hour
- 150% for hours worked after the 48th hour
- 175% for hours worked at night, as well as during the day on Sundays and public holidays
- 200% for hours worked at night on Sundays and public holidays
Côte d’Ivoire Timesheets & Record Keeping
Employers are required to maintain payroll and payment records, either manually or electronically.
Medical check-ups are mandated by law. It must take place within three months of the employee’s probation period.
A fixed-term contract may only be terminated before expiration on the following grounds:
If a fixed-term contract is terminated in violation of the aforementioned regulations, the employer is obligated to pay all wages and benefits due until the contract’s natural end. Additionally, if a fixed-term contract is terminated without the offer of a permanent contract, the employee is entitled to compensation equal to 3% of their gross wages received during the contract term.
For indefinite contracts, termination may be based on several factors such as job performance, suitability, professional inadequacies or misconduct. If an employer terminates an employee for personal reasons, written notice must be provided and communicated via registered letter with receipt acknowledgment or hand-delivered letter against receipt in the presence of staff representatives or witnesses. If notification is impossible, the termination must be communicated to a staff representative of the company, with a copy sent to the Labor and Social Affairs Inspector.
In the case of multiple employee layoffs for economic reasons, the employer must hold an informational meeting with staff representatives, who may be assisted by trade union representatives. The employer is required to submit a file to the National Council for Social Dialogue, staff representatives, and the Labor and Social Affairs Inspector at least 15 working days before the meeting. The file should contain reasons for the planned redundancies, criteria used by the company, the list of employees affected and the dates of dismissal. It should also contain any additional documents required to evaluate the situation.
The following categories of employees are protected from dismissal:
Workers on sick leave
Côte d’Ivoire's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
Employers are required to give notice of termination except in cases of gross fault negligence. The minimum notice period is related to the employee’s tenure as well as their category and is as follows:
For employees paid by the hour or by the day:
0-6 months: 8 days
6 months – 1 year: 15 days
1 year – 6 years: 1 month
6 years – 11 years: 2 months
11 years – 16 years: 3 months
Over 16 years: 4 months
For employees paid monthly and placed in the first five categories:
up to 6 years: 1 month
from 6 years to 11 years: 2 months
from 11 years to 16 years: 3 months
over 16 years: 4 months
For employees placed in category six and above:
up to 16 years: 3 months
over 16 years: 4 months
Termination by mutual consent does not require any notification.
The employer may allow the employee not to serve the notice period. However, in such a case, the indemnity in lieu of notice is still owed to the employee. The employee is free to start a new job during the notice period.
Redundancy/Severance Pay in Côte d’Ivoire
When the employer terminates the employment, the employer must observe the notice period and provide the employee with severance pay. The employee must have worked for the company for at least one year and not have committed gross misconduct to be eligible for severance pay.
The amount of severance pay is calculated based on a percentage of the employee’s total monthly salary for the 12 months before dismissal, multiplied by the number of years they have worked for the company. The percentage is determined based on the employee’s seniority level and is as follows:
Up to and including year five: 30%
From year six to year 10: 35%
Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants
The law does not prohibit employment contracts from specifying non-competition and confidentiality covenants.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Law No. 2013-450 governs the processing of personal information. This law ensures the protection of individuals in relation to the processing and circulation of their data. To process personal data lawfully, the data subject’s consent is required.
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Côte d’Ivoire
Personal Income Tax in Côte d’Ivoire
- Salary Tax: Levied at 1.2% of the taxable income and is withheld by employers.
- National Contribution: Applies to 80% of gross income, with rates varying from 0% to 10%
- General Income Tax: Levied at progressive rates from 15% to 60% calculated in relation to the national contribution and the number of dependent ratios or “parts” and includes a 15% deduction
Employers are also required to pay a Salary Tax of 1.2 % for local employees and 10.4% for expatriate employees on the taxable income, Apprenticeship Tax (Taxe d’apprentissage) of 0.4%, and Training Tax (Taxe de formation) of 1.20% on the entire gross remuneration, which includes salary, benefits, and benefits in kind.
Social Security in Côte d’Ivoire
The Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale (CNPS) manages Côte d’Ivoire’s national social security schemes. Both employee and employer make contributions to the schemes according to the following rates:
|Type||Employer Contribution (%)||Employee Contribution (%)|
|Family Allowance (Prestations familiales)||5.00||NA|
|Maternity Insurance (Assurance Maternite)||0.75||NA|
|Statutory medical insurance allocation (CMU)||500 XOF||500 XOF|
|Work Accident (Accident du Travail)||2.00% – 5.00%||NA|
|Social Security Fund (Pension – CNPS)||7.70||6.30|
Important Information for Côte d’Ivoire Employees
Employers in Côte d’Ivoire are required to pay their employees in the local currency and cannot pay them below the national minimum wage. Payment should be made at regular intervals, except in cases of force majeure during employment.
For daily or weekly employees, payment should be made every 15 days, while for fortnightly or monthly employees, payment should be made every month. Monthly payments should be made within eight days of the end of the month in which the qualifying work occurred.
Although there is no legal requirement for employers to provide employees with payslips, it is recommended to do so in order to detail important information such as their salaries, deductions, and other relevant details.
An employee with one year of service is entitled to paid annual leave at the rate of 2.2 days per month. The minimum annual leave entitlement is as follows:
One year of service: 26.4 days
Five years of service: 27.4 days
10 years of service or longer: 28.4 days
Employees are entitled to five days of paid sick leave per year upon presentation of a medical certificate.
Maternity, Paternity, Parental, and Childcare Leave
Female employees are entitled to 14 consecutive weeks of maternity leave, which includes six weeks before the estimated date of delivery and eight weeks after the birth. This period of leave will be counted as actual employment when calculating the employee’s seniority-based benefits.
If there are multiple births, the post-natal portion of the maternity leave will be extended by two weeks.
During the maternity leave, the female employee is entitled to a maternity allowance and an allowance equal to her income at the time her contract was suspended. Both benefits are covered by social security.
Male employees are entitled to two days of paternity leave.
Côte d’Ivoire usually celebrates 14 national holidays. The government may add one-time holiday events throughout the year.
Benefits to the Employee in Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire Statutory Benefits
Employees in Côte d’Ivoire are entitled to pension insurance, worker injury insurance, maternity leave benefits, paternity leave, annual leave and sick leave as prescribed by law.
Employers often provide additional benefits to employees beyond the legally required minimum entitlements. Such benefits may include bonuses, private health insurance, life insurance, food allowances, family allowances, education allowances and additional leave days.
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Côte d’Ivoire
Visitors to Côte d’Ivoire who are not from one of the visa-exempt countries are required to obtain a visa from one of the Ivorian diplomatic missions.
Online applications are accepted for e-Visas, which can be picked up at Port Bouet Airport in Abidjan if approved. The eVisa is granted within 48 hours and is valid for 90 days
Expats who plan to work in Côte d’Ivoire must apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Security before their arrival. Work permits are usually issued together with residence permits and are valid for one year, after which a new application must be submitted.
To obtain a work visa, the expat must already have secured employment in Côte d’Ivoire, and their potential employer must submit copies of contracts and employment documents to the Côte d’Ivoire Labor Office.
The expat must also provide an up-to-date criminal record and a medical certificate from a licensed physician. In some cases, a French translation may be required.
Public Holidays Recognized by Côte d’Ivoire in 2023
|1.||New Year’s Day||01.Jan.2023|
|3.||Day after Laylat al-Qadr||19.Apr.2023|
|11.||The Day after the Prophet’s Birthday||28.Sep.2023|
|12.||All Saints’ Day||01.Nov.2023|
|13.||National Peace Day||16.Nov.2023|