Table of Contents


Table of Contents


West African CFA franc (XOF)

Payroll Frequency


Employer Taxes


About Benin

With a population of over 10 million people, Benin remains an underdeveloped country that depends on cotton as its main export. Cotton alone accounts for 40% of the country’s GDP making agriculture the leading economic sector followed by industry and service sectors. The country relies mainly on Nigeria as its primary trading partner. Although Benin has gone through substantial economic growth, it is ranked as one of the poorest nations despite being the largest cotton producer in the world. Benin has also seen political stability since the end of its Marxist-Leninist regime in 1989. Having won the 2016 elections, Patrice Talon, a multi-millionaire in the cotton industry, adopted different strategies to make cotton production thrive. His government focused on 45 projects aimed at improving the general living conditions of citizens. Cultural practices in Benin vary depending on the tribe. For example, each tribe has different attire worn during special occasions like weddings, funerals, and other local festivals.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

The labor law of Benin acknowledges employment contracts for an indefinite term that may be written, verbal or tacit. If the job requires the employee to be outside his or her usual place of residence, the contract must be made in writing. Employees whose contract does not explicitly mention the duration of work are considered to have a contract for an indefinite term.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Written contracts may not extend beyond a period of 2 years, and are renewable once. A contract for seasonal, temporary, or occasional employment does not exceed 6 months in duration and can be renewed. After 6 months of continuous employment, an employee is entitled to a contract of an indefinite term.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Seasonal, temporary, or casual workers engaged for short term employment not exceeding 1 day cannot receive a fixed-term contract until they have completed a period of continuous employment of more than 6 months.

Probationary Period

The probationary period for indefinite contracts must be included in a written agreement and may not exceed 15 days. This probationary period can be renewed only once for indefinite contracts and must be done in writing. For fixed-term contracts, the trial period must be equal to 1 day per working week and cannot exceed a total period of 1 month for employees, workers, or laborers and 3 months for supervisors or managers. The trial period cannot be extended or renewed in the case of fixed-term contracts.

Working Hours

The maximum working time is 40 hours per week, with the exception of agriculture, where the legal limit is 2,400 hours per year. Workers employed for only part of the year may not work more than 50 hours per week.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1 Traditional Day – January 10 Labor Day – May 1 Independence Day (National Day) – August 1 Assumption Day – August 15 All Saints’ Day – November 1 Christmas Day – December 25 Easter Monday – date subject to change every year Pentecost Monday – date subject to change every year Ascension Day – date subject to change every year Ramadan – date subject to change every year Tabaski – date subject to change every year  Maouloud – date subject to change every year

• Paid Annual Leave

All workers are entitled to 24 working days of paid annual leave, at the rate of 2 days per month, upon completion of 1 year's service. Annual leave increases with the length of service, at the following rate: By 2 working days after 20 years of continuous service in the same company By 4 working days after 25 years of service By 6 working days after 30 years of service The cumulative duration of leave may not exceed 30 working days for 12 months of work. The leave has to be taken in the following 12 months. Young employees under the age of 18 are entitled to 30 days, and those under 21 years are entitled to 24 days of paid annual leave, irrespective of the length of service.

• Sick Leave

Employees in Benin are entitled to paid sick leave, depending on the length of service: Under 1 year of service – 1 month leave with 100% salary 1 to 5 years of service – 3 months leave with 100% salary and 3 months with 50% of salary More than 5 years of service – 6 months' leave with 100% salary  

• Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave with full pay 6 weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth. It can be extended by 4 weeks in the case of a duly diagnosed illness resulting either from pregnancy or from birth. All employed women and spouses of employed men are entitled to prenatal allowance and childbirth allowance paid by the National Social Security Fund of Benin. Employers cannot dismiss pregnant employees, except for gross misconduct and under circumstances in which it is impossible to maintain the contract. Any dismissal in violation of this rule will lead to damages worth 12 months' salary to be paid to the employee.

• Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is not clearly provided under the Benin Labor Code, but the Collective Labor Agreement provides for 3 paid leave days for birth at home, which can be taken as paternity leave by fathers. Employees must notify their employer in advance for taking this leave.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

The Labor Code of Benin states that if a contract of employment is being terminated, notice must be given as follows by the party who initiates it: 15 days for employees paid by the hour 1 month for other employees and workers 3 months for supervisors and managers Employees can be dismissed without notice in case of gross misconduct. Employees who are dismissed without notice for valid reasons are entitled to receive their remuneration including benefits in kind for the duration of notice.

• Severance Benefits

Severance pay for individual dismissals is paid at the following rate: 30% of overall average monthly salary for each year of the first 5 years; 35% from the sixth to the tenth year inclusive; 40% per year beyond the tenth year. For collective dismissals, the rate of severance pay is 35%, 40%, and 45%, respectively, for tenure, as above. Employees dismissed due to gross misconduct are not entitled to receive severance benefits.