Table of Contents

Democratic Republic of Congo

Table of Contents

Currency

Congolese Franc (CDF)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

14.2% - 19.2%

About Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a nation in central Africa neighboring the Republic of Congo to the east, the Central African Republic to the north, South Sudan to the northeast, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania to the east and Zambia and Angola to the south. It is the second largest African country by land mass. Over 60 percent of the country is forested and has a wide range of natural resources such as minerals, agricultural capacity, hydroelectric power capacity, as well as timber. As a poor country, DRC also has had the longest running current political conflict affecting the world today. These wars have involved 9 African armies and numerous armed gangs. Ethnic groups are mostly Bantu, with the largest being Luba, Mongo, Kongo, and the Hamitic Mangbetu-Azande. French is the official language with Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, and Tshiluba also widely used.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

The  Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo recognizes permanent employment in which the employment contract must be concluded for an indefinite period. If a contract violates the labor legislation by being concluded for a determinate period, it will automatically be considered to be for an indefinite period. Also, in case of the absence of a written contract or written proof of employment, the agreement is considered to be concluded for an indefinite period, until proven otherwise.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

The Labor Code in the Democratic Republic of Congo allows fixed-term contracts for a predetermined period, a specific job, or the temporary replacement of another employee. Generally, the maximum term of employment may not exceed 2 years. In some situations, however, the maximum term may be 1 year. Employees cannot conclude more than 2 fixed-term contracts with the same employer or renew a contract more than once, with the exception of seasonal work. If any Labor Code provisions regarding fixed-term agreements are violated, the employment contract is automatically considered to be for an indefinite period.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo does not explicitly define temporary employment or its terms. However, the law exempts seasonal workers from the maximum term length and renewal requirements for fixed-term contracts. Additionally, the Labor Code allows daily labor agreements if they do not exceed 22 days over a period of 2 months. Beyond that, the daily labor agreements are treated as a contract for an indefinite period.

Probationary Period

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo allows the use of probationary periods in employment contracts. The probationary period must be evidenced in writing. Its duration may not exceed 1 month for unskilled laborers or 6 months for other employees. If the probationary period exceeds the maximum limit, it will be automatically reduced to a maximum of 1 month or 6 months (depending on whether the worker is an unskilled laborer).

Working Hours

In all public or private organizations (including educational or charitable organizations) the legal working hours of employees, whatever the form of work performed, cannot exceed 45 hours per week or 8 hours per day. Working hours are calculated from the moment when the employee is at the workplace at the employer's disposal, until the moment when the services cease, in accordance with the schedules set by the employer and reproduced in the regulations of the organization. Working hours do not include the time necessary for the employee to get to or from the workplace unless this time is inherent in the work. Unfortunately, the Labor Code does not further define what it means for commuting time to be "inherent in the work." Hours worked beyond the legal working time are considered overtime and give rise to an increase in pay.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), legal public holidays are determined by decree of the President of the Republic and the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, after consultation with the National Labor Council. Employees are entitled to holiday pay on nationally recognized holidays and a day off. The DRC has eight national holidays and one religious holiday each year. The following are recognized as public holidays in the DRC: New Year's Day – January 1 Martyrs' Day – January 4 Heroes' Day Laurent Kabila – January 16 Heroes' Day Patrice Lumumba –  January 17 Labor Day – May 1 Liberation Day – May 17 Independence Day – June 30  Parents' Day – August 1 Christmas Day – December 25

• Paid Annual Leave

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo, all employees are entitled to paid annual leave after completing a year of service with the same employer. The amount of annual leave depends on the employee’s age and seniority in the company, as follows: 1.5 days per month of service for employees under the age of 18 1 day per month of service for employees over the age of 18 An additional day is added to the total amount for every 5 years of service with the same employer. Additionally, industry standards suggest a minimum of 26 days of annual leave provided between the 0 to 1 year mark of service.  When calculating service with an employer, days of work, weekly rest, paid leave, sick leave, and statutory holidays are all included as service time. Periods of incapacity for work due to a workplace injury are also considered service time, up to a maximum of 6 months per year. 

• Sick Leave

The Labor Code provides that, in the case of illness or accident preventing the worker from performing his regular duties, the contract of employment may be suspended.  During this period of suspension due to illness or accident, the worker is entitled to the following: Two-thirds of the cash remuneration during the period of sickness Family allowances Benefits in kind or their equivalent in cash, upon the employee’s request Employees lose the right to all of these allowances and benefits if the illness or accident is caused by a risk they took that voluntarily exposed them to danger, or the illness or accident resulted from excessive drinking or use of drugs. During the first 6 months of suspension due to illness or injury, employers are not allowed to terminate employment contracts. After that period, however, they may do so upon notifying employees. Work accidents and occupational diseases are an exception to this provision.

• Maternity Leave

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo, female employees are entitled to 14 consecutive weeks of paid maternity leave that can be split into a maximum of 6 weeks before childbirth and 8 weeks after. An employer cannot dismiss an employee during maternity leave. The Labor Code does not provide for an extension of maternity leave due to complications. However, the right to compensation and benefits does not change, whether the child lives or not. During maternity leave, female employees are entitled to: Two-thirds of the normal remuneration they should have received had they not been on maternity leave. The same benefits in kind they received before maternity leave

• Paternity Leave

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo does not specifically provide for paternity leave; however, it allows an employee to take special leave in certain circumstances, including 2 working days of special leave in case of childbirth.  If the employee takes no more than 15 working days of leave in that year, these days will be paid by the employer. Employees must take special leave all at once: it may not be split.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

According to the Labor Code in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), both the employer and the employee must give notice of dismissal before terminating an indefinite contract of employment, as follows: If notice is given by the employer, the minimum period is 14 days, and it increases by 7 days for each year of service. If notice is given by the employee, the required notice period is equal to half of the period the employer should give in that situation. During the notice period, employees are entitled to 1 paid day of leave per week to look for a new job. In case employees find another job, they may leave their current position before the end of the notice period, if both parties agree.

• Severance Benefits

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo mandates employees' entitlement to severance benefits if they are terminated without cause. There is no statutorily prescribed amount of severance pay. Termination without cause may entitle employees to severance benefits of up to 36 months of their last salary, as determined by the Labor Court. In case of termination of an indefinite contract without notice, employees are entitled to severance benefits equal to the remuneration and benefits they would have gained during the period of notice.