Hire in Morocco
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Morocco.
Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
The Capital of Morocco
Time Zone in Morocco
GMT + 1
Important Facts About the Country of Morocco
Introduction to Morocco
Morocco is a country located in the westernmost part of North Africa, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco. Its main port and largest city is Casablanca, which serves as a hub for industrial and commercial activities. The capital city, Rabat, is situated in the northern part of the country.
What to Know about Morocco's Geography
Morocco is located across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain and covers an area of 446,550 square kilometers. It shares borders with Algeria to the east and southeast as well as Western Sahara to the south. Morocco has coastal exposure to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, making it the only African country with such a distinction. Its western coast is lined by the Atlantic Ocean, while the northern part of the country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea.
Climate in Morocco
The climate in most parts of northern Morocco, particularly along the coasts, is characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The rainy season usually lasts from October to April.
The Culture of Morocco
Despite rapid modernization, Morocco still preserves a significant amount of its ancient architecture and traditional customs. Its culture is a unique blend of ethnic traditions and religion, reflecting the influences of Berber, African, Arab and Jewish cultures. Moroccans are known for their tolerant and hospitable nature but visitors should observe modest clothing and remove shoes before entering a room, as is customary in the country.
Religions Observed in Morocco
The official state religion of Morocco is Islam and the majority of its population follows Sunni Islam. While Moroccan law guarantees freedom of religion, few non-Muslims reside in the country.
Languages Spoken in Morocco
Arabic is the official language of Morocco and is spoken by around two-thirds of the population, while the Moroccan dialect Derija is the most widely used. About 35% of Moroccans speak Berber, which includes several dialects such as Tamazight and Rif. French is also an important secondary language, particularly in business and government. In the northern part of the country, Spanish is spoken. Notably, English is becoming more widely used in the country.
Moroccan Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Morocco
The Labor Code of Morocco governs both individual and collective employment relations. In addition to the Labor Code, the government has issued various decrees that specify rules regarding fixed-term contracts, notice periods, working hours, health and safety in the workplace.
Employment Contracts in Morocco
Employers in Morocco are required to provide written indefinite-term employment contracts (CDI) to their employees. The contract must include information about the main terms of employment, such as:
- working hours and schedule for weekly rest days
- time for payment of wages
- the industry-specific health and safety rules
- any applicable collective agreements
- insurance against occupational accidents and illnesses
For an employment contract to be valid in Morocco, it is necessary for the parties entering into the contract to have the capacity to do so voluntarily.
Both permanent (CDI) and fixed-term contracts (CDD) are required to be in writing and signed by both the employer and employee. The contract should have two copies and the employee must keep one of the copies.
Morocco's Contract Terms
In Morocco, the provisions of employment contracts, internal rules and collective agreements must be at least as favorable as those outlined in the Labor Code. If the terms of these documents are less favorable, the contracts may be deemed invalid.
Employers with 10 or more employees must develop internal work rules in consultation with employee representatives. Work rules should cover topics such as hiring, dismissal, leave, absence from work, work scheduling, health and safety.
Every employee in Morocco must be given a labor card. The card must include the employer’s information (name, address and CNSS registration number) and the employee’s name, date of birth, CNSS registration number, start date, job description and wage rate. The labor card must be updated whenever the employee’s job description or wages change.
Fixed Term Contacts for Moroccan Employees
Fixed-term contracts are employment agreements that usually have a maximum duration of one year. If a fixed-term contract is extended or if employment continues beyond one year, the contract will become an indefinite-term contract. It is mandatory to have a break between the end of the first fixed-term contract and the start of the second fixed-term contract as an extension.
Fixed-term contracts are generally permitted only for certain types of work or under certain circumstances.
- Replacing an employee temporarily
- Meeting a temporary increase in the business activity
- Seasonal work
When a fixed-term employment contract ends, it automatically terminates on the expiry date or when the defined work in the contract is completed. During the contract’s term, either party may end it immediately without notice due to misconduct or force majeure. If the contract ends prematurely, the party responsible for terminating the contract is liable to pay damages equal to the wages agreed upon until the contract’s expiry date. In case the employer initiates the termination, the employee must be notified at least two weeks before.
Employees on fixed-term contracts must use their annual leave entitlement before the contract expires.
Employees are required to undergo a medical examination by the occupational doctor before employment begins or, at the latest, before the end of the probationary period.
Morocco's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period
Probationary periods are not mandatory in Morocco, but they are allowed.
For indefinite-term contracts, the duration of the probationary period is limited to:
- 15 days for blue-collar employees
- one month for white-collar employees
- three months for managers/executive level employees
The probation period can only be extended one time, for the same duration as stated above.
For fixed-term contracts, the probation period is limited to:
- one week for contracts of less than six months
- one month for contracts of six months or more
The probation period for a fixed-term contract may not be extended.
Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Morocco
In Morocco, the normal working hours per week are typically 44 hours. Every employee is entitled to at least one rest day per week. The workweek can be either five or six days. However, the maximum duration of a normal working day is 10 hours.
Moroccan Laws Regarding Overtime
Overtime can only be authorized in situations where there is an exceptional increase in workload or to carry out urgent work in the public interest. If an employee’s working hours are calculated on a weekly basis, any hours worked beyond 44 hours are considered overtime.
The overtime rate is 25% for overtime worked between normal working hours (defined as 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.) and 50% for overtime worked outside of normal working hours (defined as 9 p.m. – 6 a.m.). The overtime rate increases to 100% for overtime worked on the employee’s weekly rest day.
Moroccan Timesheets & Record Keeping
To comply with regulations, employers are required to keep a record of all wages paid to employees in a pay ledger. This record can be in written or electronic format. Additionally, employers must keep payroll reports for a minimum of five years.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Companies with at least 50 employees or those in industries with a risk of occupational illnesses are required to set up an independent occupational health service. Smaller companies may use an intercompany or shared service specific to their industry or location. Regardless, employers are responsible for ensuring their employees receive medical checkups from the occupational physician.:
- before recruitment or, at the latest, before the end of probation
- every 12 months during employment
- when the physician considers it necessary (e.g. for pregnant female employees), employees with children under the age of two years, employees with disabilities and employees exposed to particular risks
- following any sick leave that is the result of an occupational accident or illness
- following repeated health-related absences from work
Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Morocco
Employees who have completed two years of service are entitled to a seniority bonus, unless stated otherwise in the employment contract, work rules or a collective agreement.
The seniority bonus is an additional payment made on top of the employee’s regular wages and increases with tenure as follows:
|Years of Service||% of Gross Wage|
The calculation for the bonus amount includes basic wages, overtime supplements and additional elements (e.g. profit-sharing payments; certain bonuses), except tips.
If an employee is being dismissed due to misconduct, they must be given an opportunity to defend themselves and be heard by the employer or its representative. The employer must inform the employee of the decision to have a hearing within 48 hours of when the misconduct is made known. The hearing must take place no more than eight days from when the employer is made aware of the misconduct. Meeting minutes must be written up and signed by both parties. The employee must be given a copy. Both the employer and employee must cooperate in this procedure. Otherwise, either party will have the right to call the labor authority.
An employer can only dismiss an employee on an indefinite-term contract with a valid reason, whether it is related to their performance or because of company operational requirements.
Under the Labor Code, the following grounds can never constitute a valid reason for dismissal:
- The employee’s race, color, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, religion, political opinions, national descent or social origin.
- The employee’s disability, to the extent that this does not prevent the employee from carrying out their job adequately.
- The employee’s trade union membership or role as a trade union representative.
- The employee has brought a complaint or participated in legal proceedings against the employer under the Labor Code.
Morocco's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
During the probation period, either the employer or employee can terminate the contract without giving a reason. The employee does not need to provide notice. If the employer terminates within the first week of probation, they do not need to give notice either. However, after the first week, the employer must give at least two days’ notice if the employee is paid on a daily, weekly or fortnightly basis, and eight days’ notice if the employee is paid on a monthly basis unless the termination is due to the employee’s misconduct.
If a female employee is medically certified as being pregnant, she is entitled to resign without giving notice. If the employee is on a fixed-term contract, she can resign by paying compensation to the employer.
An employee with an indefinite-term employment contract may resign at any time by serving the notice period as stated on the employment agreement. This period is determined by their length of tenure and the notification to the employer must be put in writing. There is no severance payment for voluntary resignations.
The notice periods are generally accepted to be as follows:
|<1 year||1 month||8 days|
|1 – 5 years||2 months||1 month|
|> 5 years||3 months||2 month2|
Redundancy/Severance Pay in Morocco
If an employee is unfairly dismissed by the company after having served for at least six months, they are entitled to receive severance pay. The severance pay includes payment for any unused annual leave, including the current year’s entitlement and any leave carried over from the last two years. The amount of severance pay is determined based on the employee’s years of service as follows:
|First 5 years||96 hours of wages per year of service|
|6 – 10 years||144 hours of wages per year of service|
|11 – 15 years||192 hours of wages per year of service|
|> 15 years||240 hours of wages per year of service|
Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants
The three main types of restrictive covenants enforceable in Morocco are confidentiality provisions, non-compete clauses and exclusivity clauses.
Morocco has a data protection law called Law n° 09-08 of 18 February 2009, which is enforced by the Moroccan data protection authority (CNDP). Since the law was adopted, Morocco has taken steps to ensure the protection of personal data and to align with European Union data protection standards.
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Morocco
Personal Income Tax in Morocco
Employees’ wages in Morocco are subject to tax, known as ‘Impôt sur le revenu’ (IR), which is calculated based on six progressive tax rates ranging from 0% to 38%. Employers are required to deduct the tax from employees’ monthly payroll, file their tax returns with the local tax office and make the payment before the 30th of the following month.
|Annual Taxable Income (MAD)||Tax Rate %|
|0 to 30,000||Exempted|
|30,001 to 50,000||10|
|50,001 to 60,000||20|
|60,001 to 80,000||30|
|80,001 to 180,000||34|
|More than 180,000||38|
Social Security in Morocco
In Morocco, the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS) fund is the only compulsory social security regime. Private social security programs are optional. Employers are required to collect and transfer their employees’ social security contributions to the CNSS fund along with their own contributions.
|Type||Employee Contribution (%)||Employer Contribution (%)||Monthly Salary Limit (MAD)|
|Family allowance||–||6.40||No cap|
|Social allocation (Covers short-term, e.g. sickness, maternity & long term e.g. old age, disability pension)||4.48||8.98||6,000|
|Vocational training||–||1.60||No cap|
|Mandatory medical care||2.26||4.11||No cap|
A ‘social solidarity’ contribution is imposed on:
- Employers with profits over a certain level (2.5%–3.5% of payroll)
- Employees who earn more than 120,000 MAD annually after PIT and social contribution deductions (1.5% of pay)
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
Important Information for Moroccan Employees
To comply with regulations in Morocco, employers must ensure that wages are paid in Moroccan currency, using cash, check or bank transfer. White-collar employees must be paid at least once per month, while blue-collar employees must be paid at least twice per month. Additionally, employers must display information at the workplace indicating the date, time and location of wage payments.
Payslips with the following information must be provided to employees:
- Employer’s name, address and CNSS registration number
- Employee’s name, date of birth and CNSS registration number
- Date of payslip and pay period
- Working hours/days worked, including any overtime
- Payment in kind or additional pay
- Gross and net pay, stating any deductions for tax and social security
Electronic payslips are acceptable.
Employees in Morocco are entitled to 18 days of annual leave per year, which is equivalent to 1.5 days of leave per month, as long as they have completed a minimum of six months of service. Additionally, for every five years of service, the entitlement increases by 1.5 days.
|> 5 years||19.5 days|
|> 10 years||21 days|
|> 15 years||22.5 days|
|> 20 years||24 days|
|>25 years||25.5 days|
|> 30 years||27 days|
|> 35 years||28.5 days|
|> 40 years||30 days (cap)|
To calculate an employee’s annual leave entitlement in Morocco, they must have worked for at least one month, which is equivalent to 26 days or 191 hours.
Annual leave must be taken in a single block within the year. With mutual agreement between employer and employee, it can be taken in shorter periods or carried over to the following year. However, employees must take at least 12 consecutive working days of annual leave plus two rest days.
To report an absence due to illness or injury, an employee must inform the employer within 48 hours. If the absence is longer than four days, a medical certificate must be provided, along with an estimation of the absence’s length. If an employee is absent for more than 180 consecutive days due to illness or injury, the employer can consider it a resignation.
To qualify for sickness benefits from social security, employees insured with CNSS must have paid at least 54 days of CNSS contributions in the previous six months. The benefit is two-thirds of normal wages, up to a ceiling. This is payable from the fourth day of absence. Employers are not legally required to pay employees during sick leave. However, the employment contract, collective agreement or internal rules may provide for it.
Maternity & Parental Leave
Pregnant employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, which starts at the earliest seven weeks before the expected date of delivery and ends at the latest seven weeks after the birth. The employee needs to provide a medical certificate of pregnancy. If the birth is earlier than expected, the unused prenatal leave can be added to the postnatal leave up to a total of 14 weeks. Female employees cannot work during the seven weeks following childbirth.
In addition to the paid maternity leave, a female employee can take unpaid additional maternity leave for up to 90 days if she informs the employer at least 15 days before the end of the paid maternity leave period. However, no CNSS benefit is payable during this additional leave.
Female employees who return to work after maternity leave are entitled to paid breaks for up to 12 months to breastfeed their child. This entitlement includes two half-hour breaks per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, with the employer’s agreement, the employee can arrange the timing of the breaks otherwise.
If a company has at least 10 female employees, the employer must provide a dedicated breastfeeding room that meets certain statutory requirements at or very near the workplace.
Male employees are entitled to three days of paid paternity leave, which can be taken as a single block or shorter periods within the month following the birth of their child. During the leave, the employer must pay the employee their regular wages. The employer can claim reimbursement of this amount from the CNSS up to a certain limit.
|Wedding Leave||4 days||2 days|
|Child of the employee or of a child from a previous marriage of the employee’s spouse||2 days||2 days|
|Death of the employee’s father, mother, spouse, child, grandchild, ascendant or child from a previous marriage of the employee’s spouse||3 days||2 days|
|Death of the employee’s father, mother, spouse, child, grandchild, ascendant or child from a previous marriage of the employee’s spouse||2 days||2 days|
|Circumcision||2 days||2 days|
|Surgery on a spouse or dependent child||2 days||2 days|
*Unless otherwise provided for in the employment contract, a collective agreement or the internal regulations, the absences provided for in Article 274 above are paid only to employees paid on a monthly basis.
Employees have the right to take unpaid leave to attend exams or participate in national or international sports events.
There are normally 15 public holidays observed each year in Morocco.
Benefits to the Employee in Morocco
Moroccan Statutory Benefits
The retirement pension is optional in Morocco, but companies that choose to affiliate with the Caisse Interprofessionnelle Marocaine de Retraites (CIMR), also known as the interprofessional retirement fund, must subscribe to one of two CIMR retirement pensions. The employee’s contribution to the retirement pension is deducted from their wages and must be shown on their payslip. The employer’s contribution must be paid within 45 days after the end of each quarter.
Meanwhile, work accident insurance is mandatory in Morocco. Employers must provide coverage to employees against workplace risks. The premium for white-collar employees is estimated to be 2.7%.
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Morocco
Foreign nationals, except for citizens of Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia, need government labor authority authorization in order to work in Morocco. The authorization comes in the form of a visa affixed to the employment contract. The employment contract is mandatory for foreign nationals and is typically a fixed-term contract. The visa can be either for an Expatriate Status (for local hires) or Secondment Status (for intracompany transfers).
The process for obtaining the visa is as follows:
- The employer must declare to the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (Agence nationale de promotion de l’emploi et des compétences – ANAPEC) that there are no suitable Moroccan candidates for the role and obtain a certificate from the agency.
- The employer must obtain authorization to employ the foreign national by submitting the written employment contract to the Ministry of Labor (via the TAECHIR website). The Ministry will review and stamp it once approved.
- With the authorized and stamped employment contract, the foreign national can apply for a work visa at the Moroccan embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
- The foreign national may then enter Morocco and start work. Within the first three months, the foreign national must apply for a registration card at a local police station, showing the stamped employment contract and authorization for employment.
Public Holidays Recognized by Morocco in 2023
|1.||New Year Day||01.Jan.2023|
|2.||Independence Manifesto Day||11.Jan.2023|
|6.||Islamic New Year||19.Jul.2023|
|8.||Qued Ed-Dahab Day||14.Aug.2023|
|11.||Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday||28.Sep.2023**|
|12.||Green March Day||06.Nov.2023|
*Two days off.
**Most Moroccan companies grant two days off.