Whom does the law govern?

Somaliland Employment law governs the relationship between employers and local employee(s) working for local and foreign companies, NGOs and INGOs.

Four groups are exempted from this law: civil servants, the armed forces, organised sports and casual workers.

Recruitment of Employees.

When establishing a company or an organisation with more than five employees, you must disclose this and its company details to the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family within ten days of its registration.

The Act states that during recruitment, new position(s) should be advertised for at least two weeks before shortlisting and appointing a new employee.  The hiring committee should include at least three members from the employer, the Labour Office and the Labour Association, respectively. The Act specifies that an organisation can only hire international staff if it finds that the skill set required for the job is unavailable locally.

Once an employment contract is signed, this needs to be submitted to the Labour Office. Probation periods are limited to two months, although this can be increased to a further two months if required. During this period, both sides can terminate the agreement without giving prior notice to the other.

Investigatory Powers

The Labour Office has the statutory powers to investigate any work to ensure that the law is followed correctly. Also, they have the statutory powers to accept and investigate any complaints made by my employees. The Act allows them to enter work buildings without a warrant and request any information they deem necessary to complete their investigation.  If found violating the Act, inspectors either issue a warning or a fine to the organisation.

Rights of the Employee.

The act confers social and economic rights to employees, such as:

  1. They are allowed 30 days of leave per annum
  2. There are 12 bank holidays
  3. Four months maternity leave allowance
  4. Breastfeeding breaks during working hours for breastfeeding parents
  5. Sick leave cannot be more than six months every three years
  6. 2-7 days of family responsibility leave
  7. They are entitled to a 25% wage increment for Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha
  8. They are entitled to overtime payment
  9. They are not allowed to work more than 48 hours per week, and Friday is a rest day.

Foreigners working in Somaliland.

The act creates for foreigners the same rights as citizens, but it lays down the requirement for them to work in the country, which is:

  1. There should be a need for their skill or knowledge.
  2. They must legally reside in the country by visa or registered as refugees and have a residency letter.
  3. They cannot be younger than 15 years old.
  4. Proof that they did not commit a crime in Somaliland or any other country.
  5. They should have a work permit from the Ministry.
  6. Evidence of physical and mental health.

Diplomats,persons with immunity, and foreigners working for aid organisations who have an agreement with the government do not need to fulfil the above criteria to work in the country.

The requirement for a work permit:

  1. A completed application form
  2. passport (or, in the case of a refugee, a permission letter)
  3. A CV
  4. Proof of health certificate
  5. Details and type of work, reasons for hiring the foreigner and In the case of working in the education or health sector, they must provide the certificate issued by the related Ministry.

After which, the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs and Family will decide to issue the work permit within 15 days after receiving these documents.

Termination of Employment Contract.

The act provides that any party can terminate the employment contract by notifying the other(s) six weeks before the termination, but if the employee(s) fights, refuses a lawful order, commits fraud, theft or crime, disclose confidential information or destroys intentionally company's property the employer can fire or terminate the contract without notice.

Article 47 creates a tribunal which will solve the disputes between the employer and employee, and it consists of 5 members, two from the Ministry, one from Labour Associations, one lawyer nominated by the Minister of MESAF and one member from Non-Governmental Organisations.The committee will adjudicate complaints between the parties. Any party not satisfied with its decisions can file an appeal suit in the Supreme Court within 30 days, and the Supreme Court will issue the final judgement.

We can write and review your employment contracts in Somaliland to make sure you are compliant with Somaliland Law. if you have any further questions or would like assistance with your employment contracts in Somaliland don't hesitate to contact us on +252(0)636-292-813

Or drop us an email on info@aqnlaw.com