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Congo, Democratic Republic
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Labour Code [LC] (Loi n° 015/2002 du 16 octobre 2002 portant Code du Travail)
    Date: 16 Oct 2002 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Ministerial Order regulating dismissal (Arrêté ministériel n° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/116/2005 du 26 octobre 2005 fixant les modalités de licenciement des travailleurs)
    Date: 26 Oct 2005; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Ministerial Order regulating the notice period (Arrêté Ministériel n° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/117/2005 du 26 octobre 2005 fixant la durée et les conditions de préavis)
    Date: 26 Oct 2005; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Ministerial Order regulating the procedures for reporting hiring and termination of a worker (Arrêté ministériel n° 006/CAB/PVPM/ETPS/2010 du 1er avril 2010 fixant les modalités de déclaration d'embauche et de départ d'un travailleur)
    Date: 01 Apr 2010 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Ministerial Order laying down procedures for renewals of fixed-term contract (Arrêté ministériel n°063/CAB/PVPM/ETPS/2011 du 22 juillet 2011 fixant les modalités de renouvellement des contrats de travail à durée déterminée)
    Date: 22 Jul 2011; view website »
  • Ministerial Order laying down the form, proof and visa of employment contracts (Arrêté ministériel n° 062/CAB/PVPM/ETPS/2011 du 22 juillet 2011 fixant la forme, la preuve et le visa du contrat de travail
    Date: 22 Jul 2011; view website »
  • Act No.16/010 amending and supplementing the Labour Code (Loi modifiant et complétant la Loi n° 015-2002 du 15 juillet 2016 portant Code du travail)
    Date: 15 Jul 2016 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Act No. 016/2002 on the establishment, organisation and functioning of labour tribunals (Loi n° 016/2002 du 16 octobre 2002 portant création, organisation, et fonctionnement des tribunaux du travail.)
    Date: 16 Oct 2002 (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; police; army; judiciary
Remarks:
  • Art. 1 LC.
    According to art. 1 LC, the LC applies to seafarers only when specific rules applicable to them are silent, or expressly state so.

Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Art. 43 LC: the probationary period cannot exceed 1 month for unskilled blue-collar workers and 6 months for the other categories of workers.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 and 42 LC.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 2
    Remarks:
    • Art. 41 LC.
      Except for seasonal work and other types of work to be determined by the Ministry of Labour.
      The Ministerial Order n°063/CAB/PVPM/ETPS/2011 provides a list of activities for which the statutory limitation on the number of successive FTCs (max. 2) does not apply (see art. 2 of the Order). These include seasonal work such harvest, farming activities, plant weeding and watering, fishing, activities undertaken on a rotating basis in the mining, oil and hotel industries. This exclusion also covers: work performed for the construction of structures (bridges, roads, railways, roads, hospital. runways), work performed for a specific program or project with a fixed-term, humanitarian work, part-time and temporary work to add to the working hours of an employee who is unable to work full time for one reason or another, work to be performed temporarily until the effective starting date of a newly recruited employee, and work to be performed in case of temporary increase of activity.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 48 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • Art. 41 LC.
      Maximum duration of 1 FTC (2 years) renewable once.
      Note: The maximum duration of a FTC is 1 year for workers with family responsibilities living away from their family.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 76 LC.
    Art. 62 LC as amended by Law No. 16/010 of 2016 provides that when the employer envisages a dismissal for reasons related to the worker's aptitude or conduct, the employer shall, before taking any decision, allow the worker to defend himself/herself or to explain himself/herself about alleged grounds for termination.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 62 LC: dismissal shall be based on fair reasons ("motifs valables") related to the worker's conduct, worker's capacity or operational requirements of the undertaking.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; HIV status
Remarks:
  • See Art. 62 LC on invalid grounds for dismissal.
    See also Art. 1 LC: general provision on non-discrimination and Art. 234 LC on trade union activities.

    On HIV status, see Act no 08/011, 14 July 2008 on the protection of persons living with HIV/AIDS and affected persons (Loi n° 08/011 du 14 juillet 2008 portant protection des droits des personnes vivant avec le VIH/SIDA et des personnes affectées available at: http://www.leganet.cd/Legislation/Droit%20Public/SANTE/L.08.011.14.07.2008.htm) : HIV/AIDS status cannot be a cause for terminating an employment contract (Art. 21).
    The 2016 Law No. 16/010 amending the Labour Code explicitly includes HIV/AIDS status in the list of prohibited grounds for termination (Art. 62 LC).


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • - Workers' representatives:
    Mandatory approval by the Labour Inspector is required for any dismissal of a workers' representative ( full or alternate member): see Art. 258 LC.
    In addition, if such approval is granted, the notice period is twice the statutory notice period and cannot be less than 3 months.

    - Pregnant women /women on maternity leave: no special protection for pregnant women during the entire period of pregnancy (other than the prohibition of dismissal on the ground of pregnancy). However, dismissal is "per se" prohibited during maternity leave: Art. 130 LC.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 76 LC.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Under the LC, the statutory minimum notice period is 14 days, increased by 7 days for each year of service (Art. 64).
    However, the Ministerial Order no 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/117/2005 dated 26 October 2005 sets out notice periods which vary according to the category of workers concerned.
    - For workers belonging to categories 1 to 5 (ranging from unskilled to highly skilled workers), the notice period is the same as the one set out in art. 64 LC (minimum 14 days, increased by 7 days for each completed year of service) (Art. 6 MO no 12).
    - For first-line supervisors ("agents de maîtrise"), the notice period is minimum 1 month, increased by 9 days for each completed year of service (Art. 7 MO no 12).
    - For managerial positions ("cadre de direction et cadre de collaboration"), the notice period is minimum 3 months, increased by 16 dyas for each completed year of service (Art. 8)
    [Note for the purpose of the calculation 1 month was considered as 30 days].
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • managerial and similar positions - 3 month(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • managerial and similar positions - 3 month(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 14 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • managerial and similar positions - 122 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 48 day(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 28 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • managerial and similar positions - 154 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 66 day(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 42 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • managerial and similar positions - 170 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 75 day(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 49 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • managerial and similar positions - 250 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 110 day(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 84 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • managerial and similar positions - 410 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors, technicians, engineers, executives - 210 day(s).
      • worker's categories 1 to 5 - 154 day(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 63 LC.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • The LC only requires the employer to notify the administration in event of an economic dismissal (art. 78 LC).
      New in April 2010:
      However, the new Ministerial Order No. 006/CAB/PVPM/ETPS/2010 regulating the procedures for reporting hiring and termination of a worker of 1 st April 2010 provides that the employer shall report any termination of a worker for whatever reasons to the regional office of the labour inspection and the regional office of the national employment agency within 48 hours (art. 1). Note that the same procedure applies to hiring a worker.

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in case of economic dismissals (art. 78 LC).

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2019    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    *Art. 1 of Ministerial Order N° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/116/2005 defines collective dismissals ("licenciements massifs") as those concerning:
    - 3 workers in undertakings with not more than 10 workers;
    - 4 workers in undertakings with 11 to 20 workers;
    - 10 workers in undertakings with 21 to 100 workers;
    - 30 workers in undertakings with 101 to 500 workers;
    - 50 workers in undertakings with 501 to 1000 workers;
    - 100 workers in undertakings with 1001 to 2000;
    - 200 workers in undertakings with 2001 to 4000 workers;
    - 250 workers in undertakings with 4001 to 6000 workers;
    - 300 workers in undertakings with more than 6000 workers.
    Mass dismissals are prohibited unless authorization is granted by the Ministry of Labour.

    *The law authorizes dismissals for economic reasons or based on operational requirements of the undertaking of one or more employees but which do not fall within the definition of mass dismissal (see above).

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC: Mass dismissals are prohibited, except in certain cases to be determined by the Ministry of Labour.
      The Ministerial Order N° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/116/2005 of 26 October 2005 provides a definition of mass dismissal (Art. 1) and specific procedure to be followed in the event of termination of one or more employees for economic reasons or based on the operational requirement of the undertaking (see Art. 5 to 8).

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC.
      See also Art. 4, 5 and 7 of the Ministerial Order no n° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/116/2005 dated 26 October 2005:
      - Mass dismissals based on the operational requirement of the undertaking must be authorized by the Ministry of Labour (Art. 4).
      - Dismissals connected the operational requirements of the enterprise which do not amount to mass dismissal as defined in Art. 1 (see definition above) must be notified to and authorized by the labour inspector (Art. 5).
      - Dismissals based on economic reasons of one or more workers which do not reach the required numbers for mass dismissal shall be notified to and approved by the labour inspector (Art 8).

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: Yes

    Remarks:
    • See also Art. 4, 5 and 7 of the Ministerial Order no n° 12/CAB.MIN/TPS/116/2005 dated 26 October 2005:
      - Mass dismissals based on the operational requirement of the undertaking must be authorized by the Ministry of Labour (Art. 4).
      - Dismissals connected the operational requirements of the enterprise which do not amount to mass dismissal as defined in art. 1 (see definition above) must be notified to and authorized by the labour inspector (Art. 5).
      - Dismissals based on economic reasons of one or more workers which do not reach the required numbers for mass dismissal shall be notified to and approved by the labour inspector (Art 8).

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC. Criteria to be considered are: professional skills, job tenure, family responsibilities.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 78 LC: preferential right to re-employment for 1 year.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • No general right to severance pay.

      However commercial workers may be entitled to severance pay.
      See, the Observation made by ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in 2008 under the Termination of Employment Convention No. 158:
      "The Government indicated that the provisions of this Article of the Convention are given effect to only by a Memorandum of Understanding concluded in October 1999 between company heads of the commerce sector represented by the Congolese Federation of Enterprises (FEC) and various trade union organizations, which provides for payment of a severance allowance, the amount of which depends on the length of service. The Committee noted that the Memorandum of Understanding was concluded under section 49 of the Labour Code which provides that a worker whose employment has been terminated may also be paid a termination allowance if the contract or collective agreement so provides. In this respect, the Committee recalls, once again, that under Article 1 of the Convention, where the provisions of the Convention are not made effective by means of collective agreements, arbitration awards or court decisions or in such other manner as may be consistent with national practice, they shall be given effect to by laws or regulations. The Committee also recalls that under Article 12, paragraph 1, a worker whose employment has been terminated is entitled to a severance allowance or any other form of income protection or benefit, and trusts that the Government will take the necessary steps to give effect to this provision of the Convention for workers who are not covered by the Memorandum of Understanding in the commerce sector or any other collective agreement, and that it will provide this information in its next report. The Government is also requested to indicate the manner in which it gives effect to Article 12, paragraph 3, under which, in the event of termination for serious misconduct, provision may be made for loss of entitlements or allowances by the methods of implementation referred to in Article 1 of the Convention".

      NOTE: No information was found as whether this 1999 Memorandum of Understanding, which provides for severance pay for commercial workers upon termination, is still in force.
      NOTE: The provision concerning severance pay on which the Memorandum of Understanding was based (Art. 49 LC) refers to the former 1962 Labour Code and has been repealed in the 2002 Labour Code.

      Notes / Remarks
      No statutory severance pay or redundancy payment foreseen by the LC.

      Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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      Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

      Remarks:
      • Art. 63 LC.

      Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
      Dismissal with no valid reason: compensation is fixed by the court, but shall not exceed 36 months.

      Remarks:
      • Art. 63 LC.

      Reinstatement available: Yes

      Remarks:
      • Art. 63 LC.

      Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

      Remarks:
      • Mandatory preliminary extra judicial conciliation before the Labour Inspector: Art. 300 LC and Art. 25 of the Act No. 016/2002 on the establishment, organization, and functioning of Labour Tribunals.

      Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

      Remarks:
      • Art. 63 LC.

      Existing arbitration: No

      Source of additional information - 2019    

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      Links

      ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158, (from 1990) »