Hire in Senegal

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Senegal.

Ready to Hire? Get Started!

Last updated at December 27, 2023
Beach on Ngor Island, Dakar, Senegal

Currency of Senegal

West African CFA Franc (XOF)

The Capital of Senegal

Dakar

Time Zone in Senegal

GMT

Important Facts About the Country of Senegal

Introduction to Senegal

Senegal is a country located on the West African coast, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. It is officially known as the Republic of Senegal and has Dakar as its capital, which is both the economic and political center of the country. Senegal derives its name from the Senegal River, which borders the country to the east and north. With a population of about 17 million people, Senegal is a unitary presidential republic and is considered one of the most politically stable countries in Africa.

What to Know about Senegal's Geography

Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. It also almost entirely surrounds The Gambia, except for a small Atlantic coastline. The total land area of Senegal is approximately 197,000 square kilometers. The capital city of Dakar is located on the Cap-Vert peninsula, which is the westernmost point of Africa.

Climate in Senegal

Senegal’s climate is tropical, characterized by moderate temperatures all year round, with distinct dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. The capital city, Dakar, experiences an annual rainfall of around 600 mm between June and October, with temperatures ranging from 24.2 °C to 30 °C. In the months of December through February, the temperature in Dakar varies from 18 °C to 25.7 °C.

The Culture of Senegal

Senegal is renowned for its rich tradition of storytelling, which is performed by griots. Griots have preserved the history of West Africa through their art of storytelling and music for thousands of years. This vocation is handed down from one generation to the next and requires years of learning about genealogy, history and music.

Religions Observed in Senegal

Senegal is officially a secular state but the majority (96.6% of its population) practices Islam. The Christian community, which makes up 3.3% of the population consists mostly of Roman Catholics but also includes various Protestant denominations.

Languages Spoken in Senegal

The official language of Senegal is French, spoken by approximately 26% of the population. However, Wolof is the most commonly used language and serves as the lingua franca, with around 80% of Senegalese people speaking it as their first or second language.

Senegal Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Senegal

The key legal frameworks governing employment relationships in Senegal include:

  • Act 97-17 of 1 December 1997, which constitutes the Labor Code

  • National Interprofessional Collective Agreement

  • The collective agreements specific to the various sectors of activity

Employment Contracts in Senegal

Senegal permits both oral and written employment contracts. However, in practice, contracts can only be registered if they are in writing, as per the country’s laws that mandate the registration of all employment contracts. Additionally, employment contracts must be written in French for them to be legally binding and registered.

If an employment contract is for a fixed term, it must be in writing. If it is not in writing, it will be deemed to be for an indefinite period.

Senegal's Fixed Term Contract Terms

In Senegal, it is against the law to hire contract workers for permanent positions. A fixed-term contract is an agreement with a predetermined duration that is mutually agreed upon by both parties. This type of contract also applies to projects or tasks with a duration that cannot be precisely estimated in advance.

A fixed-term contract must be in writing and cannot exceed two years, including any renewals. Renewals are limited to one-time only. However, a fixed-term contract related to a particular project is not subject to the maximum two-year term, but it cannot be renewed.

An employee cannot be hired twice on a fixed-term basis with the same employer. If a fixed-term contract is renewed more than once or by mutual agreement, it will be considered as an indefinite contract.

If a fixed-term contract lasts for more than three months, the employer is required to register it with the local labor and social security inspectorate before its execution.

Pre-Employment Checks

The law does not prohibit employers from conducting background checks, such as criminal records or medical history.

Senegal's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

The maximum length of probation is six months, including renewal.

For employees paid by the month, the probation period is as follows:

  • One month (renewable once) for general employees, supervisors, technicians and similar workers
  • Three months (renewable once) for managers and executives

For workers paid by hours, the probation period is eight days and is renewable once.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Senegal

In Senegal, the maximum working hour schedule is eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Employees are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest every week. According to the law, Sunday is the mandatory weekly rest day for all employees.

If an employee is required to work on a weekend, they are entitled to a compensatory holiday. However, he or she must waive the right to overtime pay in order to receive the holiday.

Senegal Laws Regarding Overtime

According to the law, “overtime” refers to any work done beyond regular working hours. Overtime pay is calculated by multiplying the hourly wage by specific rates, as follows:

  • For overtime work during the day, the first eight extra hours are paid at a rate of 15%. Any additional extra hours are paid at a rate of 40%.

  • For overtime work during night hours, any extra hours are paid at a rate of 60%.

  • For overtime work on weekends or public holidays, any extra daytime hours are paid at a rate of 60%. Any extra night-time hours are paid at a rate of 100%.

Senegal's Timesheets & Record Keeping

Manual or digital payroll and payment records may be maintained, but manual records must be kept up to date.

Medical Check-ups

Medical check-ups are mandated by law. It must take place within three months of the employee’s probation period.

Termination

To terminate a permanent contract, the employer must provide the employee with written notice stating the grounds or pay compensation instead. Severance pay is mandatory under the law. However, if there is severe negligence, the employer may terminate the contract without notice. A court will evaluate the severity of the fault. The employer has the burden of proving the validity of the reason for termination in case of a dispute. Additionally, unfair dismissal may result in a damages penalty on top of the termination indemnity.

Dismissal of an employee on maternity leave is not allowed. For workers’ representatives, approval from the Labor Inspector is necessary before dismissal.

In the case of a fixed-term contract, termination before the term is only possible in the case of severe negligence, written agreement by both parties or force majeure.

Senegal's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

Either the employer or employee may end the employment contract by giving written notice or payment in lieu of notice.

The notice period for executive and similar employees is three months, while for non-executive employees, it varies from eight days to one month, depending on their length of service:

  • Less than one year of service: 8 – 15 days

  • One to five years of service: 15 days

  • More than five years of service: one month

During the notice period, the employee is entitled to two days off per week to look for a new job.

A pregnant or breastfeeding employee may terminate the employment contract at any time without notice and without compensation.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Senegal

For permanent contracts, an employee who has been employed for at least one year and has not committed major misconduct is eligible for severance pay in the event of termination. The amount of severance pay is a percentage of the total monthly wages per year of service. The percentage increases with the number of years of service. Specifically, it is 25% per year for the first five years, 30% per year for the next five years and 40% per year after the tenth year. An employee terminated for economic reasons is entitled to one month’s gross salary in addition to severance pay.

For fixed-term contracts, if an employer cancels the contract before its expiration, the employee is entitled to the remaining wages associated with the contract and an end-of-contract indemnity equal to 7% of the total gross salary received during the contract period.

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

The law does not prohibit employment contracts from specifying non-competition covenants.

Data Protection

The handling of personal data in Senegal is regulated by the Data Protection Act, which aims to safeguard the privacy of individuals and regulate the flow of personal data. To process personal data lawfully, the individual to whom the data pertains must give their consent.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Senegal

Personal Income Tax in Senegal

All Senegalese employees are subject to taxation on their worldwide income. The tax payable is calculated based on the personal income tax rate which varies progressively, as well as a minimum personal income tax that is fixed in amount.

 

Taxable Annual Income (XOF) Tax Rate (%)
0 – 630,000 0
630,001 – 1,500,000 20
1,500,001 – 4,000,000 30
4,000,001 – 8,000,000 35
8,000,001 – 13,500,000 37
13,500,001 – 50,000,000 40
50,000,001 and above 43

 

Taxable Annual Income (XOF) Minimum Personal Income Tax (XOF)
0 – 599,999 900
600,000 – 999,999 3,600
1,000,000 – 1,999,999 4,800
2,000,000 – 6,999,999 12,000
7,000,000 – 11,999,999 18,000
12,000,000 and above 36,000

 

Social Security in Senegal

In Senegal, social security contributions are the sole responsibility of the employer. The applicable rate for industrial accident/occupational disease is determined by the Social Security Office upon registration. The applicable rate is indicated in the related certificate.

Scheme Employer Contribution (%) Monthly Salary Cap (XOF)
Family Allowances (Prestations familiales) 7.00 63,000
Work accident/occupational disease (Accidents du travail) 1.00/3.00/5.00 63,000
Both employers and employees must contribute to retirement funds, with different rates for general employees and executives. Employers must deduct the employee’s share from his or her salary.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ. 

Employee Category Employer Contribution (%) Employee Contribution (%) Monthly Salary Cap (XOF)
Retirement Fund-General (Pension – Regime General) 8.4 5.6 432,000
Retirement Fund-General (Pension – Regime Cadre/Executive) 3.6 2.4 1,296,000

Employers are required to enroll in the medical benefits program (Statutory health insurance AMO) to provide medical coverage for their employees. The monthly contribution rate is between 2% and 7.5%, with a monthly salary cap set at CFA 250,000. Typically, employees receive reimbursement for 80% of their medical expenses under this plan.

Employers are also required to pay a flat rate contribution (forfaitaire à la charge des employeurs) at a rate of 3% of the gross amount of remuneration (including benefits in kind).

Senegal and France have signed a totalization agreement, which allows French ex-pats to be exempt from contributing to Senegal’s mandatory social security programs if they provide a certificate of coverage.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

 

Important Information for Employees in Senegal

Salary Payment

An employee’s salary cannot be lower than the national minimum wage and must be paid in the local currency, and payment must be made in all situations, except in cases of force majeure during employment.

The payment must be made at regular intervals that do not exceed 15 days for daily or weekly employees and one month for fortnightly or monthly employees.

For monthly payments, payment must be made within eight days of the end of the month in which the qualifying work occurred.

Payslip

Although there are no specific legal requirements, it is recommended that employees receive payslips detailing their salaries, deductions, etc.

Annual Leave

Upon completing 12 months of service, an employee is entitled to 24 days of paid annual leave, which increases proportionally with service length as specified by collective agreements. Female employees are entitled to an additional day of annual leave for each child under 14.

Annual leave can be accrued over a maximum of three years, but employees must use at least six days per year. Compensation in lieu of annual leave is prohibited, except in the case of contract termination.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to at least five days of paid sick leave. Employees under the Inter-professional collective agreement are entitled to longer sick leaves based on their years of service with the employer:

  • Less than 12 months of service: one month’s full pay, three months’ half pay

  • More than 12 months but less than five years: one month’s full pay, four months’ half pay

  • More than five years: two months’ full pay, five months’ half pay

Absence Leave

After completing six months of service, an employee in Senegal can take a maximum of 15 days of absence or permission leave with full pay per year. If this limit is exceeded, the employer may deduct these days from the employee’s annual leave entitlement. The absence leave cannot be carried over from year to year.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees in Senegal have the right to 14 weeks (98 days) of maternity leave, which includes eight weeks of postnatal leave. This leave can be extended by three weeks if a medically verified illness results from pregnancy or confinement.

The maternity allowance is calculated based on the employee’s full daily wage from their most recent paycheck and is paid by the government. Additionally, female employees are entitled to a one-hour paid nursing break for breastfeeding their children until they reach 15 months of age.

Paternity Leave

Under the Inter-professional collective agreement, male employees are entitled to one day of paid paternity leave.

Public Holidays

Senegal usually celebrates 14 national holidays annually. The government may add one-time holiday events throughout the year.

Benefits to the Employee in Senegal

Senegal’s Statutory Benefits

Senegalese employees have a right to various benefits according to both the law and collective agreements. These benefits include retirement pension, industrial accident/occupational disease insurance, family allowances, medical benefits, maternity leave, paternity leave, annual leave, absence leave and sick leave.

Other Benefits

In addition to the minimum entitlements, it is common for employers to offer the following perks:

  • Year-end bonuses

  • Private health and life insurance

  • Allowances supporting transportation and car, housing, electricity, water, phone and domestic servants

  • Prolonged or additional leave days

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Senegal

General Information

Visas

Senegal allows most African nationals to enter without a visa for stays up to 90 days. Nationals from several European and North American countries can also obtain a visa upon arrival for stays up to 90 days. For longer stays or certain types of travel like work or study, a visa is required. Senegal offers various types of visas such as tourist, business, and student visas.

Work Permits

Foreign nationals who plan to work in Senegal need a work permit, which can also be called a “work authorization.” This policy aims to protect the local workforce and ensure that Senegalese nationals are not losing job opportunities to foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals can only obtain a work permit in Senegal if they receive an employment offer from a Senegalese company. The employer must then apply for the work permit on behalf of the foreign national and provide various documents, including the foreign national’s passport, employment verification, and medical certificate. The employer must also prove that they have made reasonable efforts to hire a Senegalese national for the job.

If approved, the work permit is valid for up to one year and is renewable. The work permit only allows the foreign national to work for the employer who sponsored their application and does not permit them to switch employers without obtaining a new work permit.

Public Holidays Recognized by Senegal in 2024

  Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Easter Monday April 1
3 Independence Day April 4
4 Eid al-Fitr April 10
5 Labour Day May 1
6 Ascension Day May 9
7 Whit Monday May 20
8 Tabaski June 16
9 Ashura July 16
10 Assumption Day August 15
11 Magal de Touba August 22
12 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday September 15
13 All Saints’ Day November 1
14 Christmas Day December 25

 

Hire New Talent in Senegal

Our international hiring services let you hire anyone in any country without the investment needed to establish a local entity.

Get Started