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With some of the world’s largest exports and a strong labor market backed by diverse experience, Morocco is an ideal place to find international employees for your new remote ventures or global growth goals. Hiring in another country can be a complex process, and you must be careful to stay compliant with all local and national requirements while offering a fair, competitive package to entice top talent.
In this guide to hiring employees in Morocco, you’ll get a closer look at the country’s labor market and specific laws and guidelines you must follow when taking on a new employee, as well as tips for simplifying the process.
What to know before hiring in Morocco
The Kingdom of Morocco, often shortened to just Morocco, is a North African country with 12 administrative regions bordering Algeria, Mauritania, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. More than 36 million people currently call Morocco home, with French and Muslim influences seen throughout the culture, history, and languages.
A few facts to know include:
- The government structure is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
- The currency is the Moroccan Dirham, or MAD, symbolized as د.م.
- The country’s economic planning agency expects a 4.6 percent growth throughout 2021.
- Top exports include cars, wiring, fertilizer, and apparel. In 2019, Morocco was the world’s largest exporter of phosphoric acid, calcium phosphates, and legumes.
A large portion of Morocco is unionized under a nonpartisan labor union, and Labor Code laws protect employees’ ability to strike without facing workplace discrimination. Similar laws exist to ensure fair working conditions free of child labor, compulsory employment, and unsafe environments, as well as protect against discriminatory hiring practices.
1. The labor market
Morocco’s labor force consists of over 10 million people, and more than 80 percent of those people work in either agriculture or services. Many students enroll in tertiary education — around 1.12 million in 2019 — with 733,106 bachelor’s degree students, 41,078 master’s degree students, and 26,308 doctorate degree students enrolled in the 2019/2020 school year.
Morocco’s official languages are Arabic and Tamazight, but many locals also speak Berber languages — including Tachelhit and Tarifit — and French. A 2021 report showed a growing interest in learning English among younger generations as a tool for pursuing new social connections or as a preference. All employment documents and contracts should be translated into Arabic and the employee’s native language, and an interpreter or translator might be necessary for interviews and meetings.
3. Working hours and time off
Moroccan employees work no more than 44 hours per week — unless employed in the agricultural industry, where they may be entitled to additional hours as approved — and shifts typically fall between Monday through Friday. Overtime is available at a pay higher than the employee’s standard rate, with the total amount varying depending on income and time worked.
Morocco recognizes 13 national holidays. Employees are entitled to paid sick leave and vacation time throughout the year, and they should accrue more paid days the longer they’re with your company. Severe health situations require a medical certificate for an extended absence. Mothers receive 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, taken before and after the birth, with an option to take an additional year of unpaid leave. Fathers receive three paid days of paternity leave. Employees also receive leave for marriage, bereavement, and similar situations.
4. Employment contracts
Although more than half of existing Moroccan employees lack a binding contract with their employer, a written contract is highly advisable. At the very least, you’re required to provide each employee with a job card that lists your organization’s name and the employee’s name, social security number, and function.
If you choose a complete written contract, you should include the following information:
- The job position, requirements, and official title
- Starting salary and benefits
- Expected duties
- Working hours, paid leave, and unpaid leave requirements
- Information about raises and bonuses
- Termination guidelines and required notice period
- Probationary period information, if applicable
All written contracts need legalized signatures to be considered legally valid and binding. Supply a written contract in both the company’s native language and Arabic or the employee’s native language. All financial figures should be listed in MAD.
5. Compensation and benefits
Key Moroccan trade unions worked with the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) to raise the country’s minimum wage by 10 percent between 2019 and 2020, and the country’s public sector salaries have grown by nearly 25 percent over the past decade. Employers face a fine if they are found paying below accepted rates in their region. Morocco is one of several countries that differentiate agricultural from nonagricultural jobs, with varying wage requirements and labor laws.
Morocco has a public healthcare system, but employers can provide private health insurance to create a more enticing benefits package for talent. Regardless, all Moroccan residents must enroll in the National Healthcare System. Employees pay 6.74 percent of their gross salary toward social security costs, while employers pay 12.11 percent uncapped or 8.98 percent capped of the employee’s gross salary. Nearly 23 percent of existing Moroccan employees are currently enrolled in a pension fund.
Additional benefits employers may provide include:
- Professional training
- Additional vacation time
- Transportation allowance
- Remote work equipment
- Supplemental insurance
- Physical training and fitness allowance
Companies must pay taxes on all income generated from any activity, service, or operations performed in the country. The corporate income tax rate varies based on a company’s net profits. The tax rate is currently 10 percent for the company’s net profits amounting to MAD 300,000 or less. The tax rate is 20 percent for net profits between MAD 300,001 and MAD 1 million and 31 percent for net profits over MAD 1 million. The Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is 20 percent for most companies but may be reduced for specific transactions, depending on several factors.
Both employers and employees must financially contribute to professional training tax, health insurance, and social security, as well as pay income tax. Moroccan residents pay income tax on all income, regardless of location, while nonresidents only need to pay an income tax on any money made in Morocco. Taxable income includes salaries and wages, pensions, fringe benefits, and more. Employment income tax never exceeds 38 percent.
The cost of hiring an employee in Morocco
Hiring new employees in Morocco involves multiple direct and indirect costs throughout the full recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process. Leave room in your company’s hiring budget for expenses like the following:
- Travel and accommodations for recruiting, interviews, and other necessary business tasks
- Cost of research or expert assistance for understanding local laws in each region
- Minimum deposits for bank accounts
- Job recruitment and hiring software or professional services
- Processing and verifying applicant and resume information
- Training and equipment costs for each new hire
- Translators and interpreters for documents and in-person meetings
- Legal consultations
- Job advertisements
- Third-party assistance for advertising or hiring
Additional costs may apply depending on your company’s specific needs and unique benefit offerings.
Hiring practices in Morocco
Hiring in Morocco takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks, but Globalization Partners’ Global Employment Platform™ can make it easier. This technology will help identify and maintain compliance with local labor laws and hiring restrictions and provide insight for things like:
- Probationary periods: All employment relationships in Morocco include a one-week trial at the beginning, where both parties can test the relationship and work environment to ensure the right match. Probationary periods may extend, depending on your industry, the position in question, and specific terms in your written employment contract. There are a few restrictions in place for probationary lengths and renewals — our in-house country experts will help you establish the right probation period for each employee’s unique situation.
- Right to work: It’s your responsibility to verify each applicant’s right to work. Nonresident Moroccans need a work permit from the National Agency for the Promotion and Employment of Skills (ANAPEC) and may need to submit additional verification documentation, depending on where they’re from and the position you’re hiring them to fill. As you consider applicants, you may conduct background checks, perform drug screenings, and check medical history, immigration status, and criminal records.
- Bonuses and 13th-month salary: Bonuses and a 13th-month salary are not mandatory in Morocco but aren’t unheard of, especially for rewarding seniority. Globalization Partners will help you choose the best bonus structure for your company that provides a fair and competitive advantage for employees and will help you structure employment contracts to reflect bonus-related terms.
What does a company need to hire in Morocco?
Your company must establish an entity in Morocco before hiring there. The most common structures are joint stock companies and limited liability companies with an optional sole shareholder. As you navigate the steps to hiring in Morocco, consider the following factors:
- Document translations: You must provide legalized, translated versions of all critical documents, including labor contracts, benefits contracts, tax compliance and files, and all economic and government transactions.
- Payroll options: Options for processing and distributing payroll include outsourcing to a local payroll company, utilizing remote payroll and currency exchange, relying on your own internal payroll team through your company’s human resources department, or leveraging Globalization Partners’ Global Employment Platform™ to handle all payroll and HR management for international and remote employees. Our platform will also help you determine which currency to pay each employee in and understand relevant local and global exchange rates.
- Local bank accounts: Your company isn’t required to have a local bank account, but it is advisable for simplifying payroll, tracking company expenses, and managing local business tasks. Every financial institution has its own requirements for opening an international corporate bank account, such as specific documentation or signatures required.
Hiring remote Moroccan employees
Hiring remote employees in Morocco gives your company an inside connection to a brand-new market, and you’re free to choose the best candidate for the position, regardless of where they live or what time zone they’re in. Remote employees are often a vital part of the global growth process.
Investing in high-quality equipment is a critical part of hiring someone in Morocco from your international office. Successful remote interactions need a strong internet connection, video and audio equipment, and adequate lighting. It’s also helpful to have a noise-canceling headset, sound control devices to reduce echo, and a clean background free of distractions. Always test your recording or video streaming setup before beginning interviews or meetings with remote employees, and make adjustments as needed.
Here are some additional facts to know as you begin working with remote employees in Morocco:
- The date is written as dd/mm/yyyy.
- Approximately 65 percent of Morocco’s population uses the internet, with “.ma” as the country’s internet code.
- Morocco recognizes Daylight Saving Time, which begins on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.
- The local time zone is UTC + Western European Summer Time, or WEST.
Additional tips for hiring in Morocco
All companies with 50 or more employees must form a work council to help inform company-wide decisions and strategies. Smaller companies with at least 10 people but fewer than 50 should elect a representative to help facilitate claims with the employer regarding working conditions and concerns. Should you decide to terminate a working relationship, you must abide by all written terms in your employment contract, as well as local labor laws. You can only terminate a fixed-term contract in the event of:
- A serious breach of a valid contract
- Disciplinary measures taken against an employee
- Unforeseeable circumstances that interrupt work duties or render them impossible to complete
You can terminate an indefinite contract as long as you abide by the established notice period or pay a total compensation equal to the employee’s current salary, though some exceptions may apply depending on the situation — Globalization Partners can help with that. Employees might be entitled to severance based on the reason for termination and their length of time with your company.
Get help hiring and managing Moroccan employees with Globalization Partners
Globalization Partners has a presence in 187 countries worldwide and is ready to help you achieve your growth and expansion goals and hire employees in Morocco. Our global employment platform streamlines and automates all of your onboarding, payroll, and hiring complexities — including legal compliance and creating a competitive benefits package — while you focus on your day to day operations. Working with our AI-driven technology will save your company time and help you avoid the legal maneuvering and steep costs associated with international hiring and employee management. Our solution is also easy to navigate and access, with security and privacy features to protect all sensitive information and employee data.