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Niger
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Labour Code [LC], 25 Sep. 2012
    (Loi n° 2012-45 du 25 septembre 2012 portant Code du travail de la République du Niger - available in French)
    Date: 25 Sep 2012 (view in NATLEX »)
  • DECRET N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS du 10 août 2017 portant partie règlementaire du Code du Travail.
    Voir en particulier les articles 472 et s. portant sur le licenciement des représentants du personnel.
    Date: 10 Aug 2017; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants
Remarks:
  • Art. 2 of the Labour Code (LC): For the purposes of this Code, a worker should be understood as any person, regardless of sex and nationality, who undertakes to place his professional activity, for remuneration, under the direction and authority of another person, whether moral, public or private. In determining the status of worker, neither the legal status of the employer nor that of the employee is taken into account. (...)
    Art. 3 LC: For the purposes of this Code, an employer shall be understood as -- and shall constitute an entreprise subject to the LC -- any natural or legal person, whether under public law or private law, employing one or more workers, whatever his activity or status: commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprise or services, liberal profession, charitable institution, non-governmental organization, religious association or brotherhood, as well as any other institutions with or without profit.


Collective agreements
Inter-occupational Collective Agreement, 15 December 1972


Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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

Remarks:
  • Art. 52 of the Labour Code (LC):
    The probationary period is optional. It must be established in writing and cannot be concluded or renewed for a period longer than the time required to test the worker's skills, given the technology and practice of the profession. The maximum duration of trial period and its renewal is set by collective agreements, or in their absence, by Ministerial orders.
    The maximum probationary period for permanent contracts cannot exceed 6 months, including renewals. It is is extended to one year for workers hired outside of Niger.

    For fixed-term contracts (FTCs): Article 60 LC provides that FTCs may include a probationary period (not mandatory). The duration of probationary periods for FTCs cannot exceed one month. Renewed FTCs cannot include any probation.

    The 1972 Inter-occupational Collective Agreement in appendix No 1. establishes the duration of the probationary period according to the worker's category:
    - 8 days for hourly, daily or weekly paid workers;
    - 1 month for monthly paid workers;
    - 1 to 3 months for first-line supervisors ("agent de maîtrise") and technicians;
    - 3 months for engineers, and executives
    - 6 months for senior executives.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • Rules on the use of FTCs are included in Articles 47 and 58-63 LC.
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • No list of specific reason for resorting to fixed-term contract. However, the use of FTC to fill in, on a lasting basis, positions connected with the normal and permanent activity of an undertaking is prohibited and such contracts would be deemed concluded for a indefinite period. (see art. 58 and 63 LC).

      Art. 61 LC regulates FTCs concluded for an unspecified duration: these are permitted if they are concluded for the replacement of a temporarily absent worker, for the length of a season, for an occasional increase in workload or for work that does not form part of the customary activities of the enterprise.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 2
    Remarks:
    • Art. 60 LC does not refer to an unlimited number of renewals and limits to two the maximum number of successive FTCs in providing that "fixed-term contract with a specified duration can be concluded for a maximum period of 2 years, renewable once".

      Contracts of a limited duration but with an unspecified term (seasonal work, temporary replacement of a worker, temporary increase volume of work) can however be renewed without any limitation (art. 62 LC).

      Before 2012, under the former LC, Article 53 provided that FTCs (with a specified duration) could be renewed without any limitation provided that the total duration of the fixed-term employment relationship did not exceed the maximum duration of 2 years.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 48 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • Art. 60 LC provides for a maximum cumulative duration of 2 years, renewable once (= in total 48 months).
      However, Art. 61 LC provides that the maximum cumulative duration does not apply to contracts concluded a limited but unspecified duration (seasonal work, temporary replacement of a worker, temporary increase volume of work).

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

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Article 79 LC: When the employer contemplates a dismissal for reasons related to the employee's conduct or his/her ability/capacity, the employer must, before taking any decision, offer to the interested party to defend himself/herself. In case of dispute, the court assesses, on the basis of the circumstances, including the size of the enterprise, the extent to which the employer has fulfilled this obligation.

    Dismissal on economic grounds: Need for substantiated written notification to the labour inspection (Article 84 LC).


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Art. 78 LC: Valid reasons ("motifs légitimes") connected with the worker's conduct, capacity or operational requirements of the undertaking.

    [Note: the article number has changed in the new 2012 LC (former art. 71, now art. 78), but its content has remained unchanged]


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; HIV status
Remarks:
  • See Art. 5 LC: general prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex, age, national origin, race, religion, colour, political or religious opinion, social origin, disability, trade union membership or non-membership, with respect to hiring, training, wages... disciplinary sanctions and termination of employment.
    New in Sept. 2012: New grounds were introduced in the 2012 LC: HIV-AIDS and sickle cell disease (drepanocytosis). In addition a new provision expressly provides that HIV-AIDS and sickle cell disease cannot, in any way, justify the dismissal of an affected worker (Art. 152 new LC).
    Art. 78 LC lists unfair reasons for dismissal, namely:
    - the above-mentioned prohibited grounds of discrimination (Art. 5 LC);
    - seeking office as, or acting or having acted in the capacity of, a workers' representative;
    - the filing of a complaint or the participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violation of laws or regulations or recourse to competent administrative authorities;
    - marital status, pregnancy, temporary absence from work because of illness or injury.
    Art. 111 LC: prohibition of dismissal during maternity leave (no reference to pregnancy).
    See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • * Workers' representatives: Art. 227-228 new LC: prior authorization of the labour inspectorate required before any dismissal of a workers' representative.
    New in Sept. 2012:
    The LC introduced new provisions to further protect workers' representatives. Any dismissal of a workers' representative carried out without the prior consent of the labour inspector or despite the application for authorization being rejected /dismissed is null and void and will therefore entail reinstatement of the worker. Under the previous LC reinstatement was not available in such cases.
    In addition, the new law establishes a time frame for the authorization procedure: 8 days for the labour inspector's decision after the filing of the application, extended to twenty one (21) days where expert evaluation is required.
    Lastly, the labour inspector's decision can be appealed before the Minister of Labour and then further before an administrative tribunal.
    Article 228 LC: Under certain conditions, this protection extends up to 6 months after the expiration of workers' representatives' mandate; the protection also applies to candidate workers' representatives (under certain conditions).
    * See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.

    * Pregnant women and women on maternity leave: No prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy, but only during maternity leave (14 weeks, incl. 8 weeks after giving birth) under Article 111 LC.
    Prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy is included under Article 78 LC (last point).


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • See Art. 84 LC (economic dismissals) and Art. 90 (2) LC (summary dismissal). No such specific requirement for any other dismissal in the LC (except as concerns workers' representatives, see above)
    However, Art. 28 of the 1972 Inter-occupational Collective Agreement specifically requires that notification be written.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • No specified duration in the LC (see Art. 88 LC).

    However,the 1972 Inter-occupational Collective Agreement in Appendix No 1. establishes the duration of the notice period according to the worker's category, as follows:
    - 1 month for monthly paid workers;
    - 8 days for hourly, daily or weekly paid workers;
    - 1 month for first-line supervisors ("agents de maîtrise") and technicians;
    - 3 months for engineers, executives and senior executives.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • monthly paid workers - 1 month(s).
      • hourly, daily or weekly paid workers - 8 day(s).
      • first-line supervisors and technicians - 1 month(s).
      • engineers, executives and top executives - 3 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 90 LC

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in case of a dismissal of a workers' representative (Art. 227 and 228 LC) and of an economic dismissal (Art. 80 LC).

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in case of an economic dismissal (Art. 80 LC).

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Remarks:
    • Except in case of a dismissal of a workers' representative: Art. 227 and 228 LC.
      * See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.

    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):
    No definition of collective dismissal.
    The LC regulates economic dismissals of one or more employees.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 80 LC: The entrepreneur who plans to dismiss one or more employees for reasons of economic, technological or organizational nature, must, prior to the implementation of the
      decision, convene and consult staff representatives within the meaning of Article 211. He shall inform the labor inspector, who participates in the meeting.

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

    Remarks:
    • Art. 80 to 83 LC.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Notification to the Labour Inspector: Art. 80 and 84 LC.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 80 LC.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Remarks:
    • However, approval is mandatory in the event of a dismissal of a workers' representative: Art. 227 LC.
      * See also: Articles 472-475 of the Implementing Decree N° 2017-682/PRN/MET/PS of August 2017 concerning the dismissal of workers' representatives.

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

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

    Remarks:
    • Art. 81 LC: professional skills, length of service and family responsibilities.

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

    Remarks:
    • However, Art. 82 LC gives the possibility to each participant in the consultation meeting to formulate proposals aiming at avoiding dismissals or mitigating their adverse effects.

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 87 LC: priority right to re-employment for 2 years.

    Notes / Remarks
    These procedural requirements apply to any dismissal (individual or collective) based on economic grounds.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • No provision in the LC. However, severance pay is governed by art. 34 of the Inter-occupational Collective Agreement:
      A worker is entitled to severance pay provided he has been employed continuously for a period of at least one year and he has not committed any serious misconduct. Severance pay corresponds to a percentage of the monthly overall wages per year of service and is set according to the length of service as follows:
      *20% per year during the first 5 years
      *30% per year from the 6th to the 10th year
      *35% per year after the tenth year.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 0.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 2.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 6 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • Severance pay + specific additional payment of 1 month's gross wages for individual and collective dismissals on economic grounds (Art. 86 LC).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 1.2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 1.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 1.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 3.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 7 month(s)

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

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 91(2) and 92 LC: The amount of damages for unfair dismissal is fixed by the Court, in light of any circumstances establishing the existence and the extent of the harm incurred, including the local custom, the type and importance of the services rendered, the employee's seniority and age, any deductions or payments made to a retirement plan, and other established right.

      Art. 475 Implementing Decree of August 2017: The amount of damages in case of unfair dismissal of a workers' representative can reach 36 months of salary.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • The LC does not contain any provision on reinstatement and only provides for the payment of damages in the event of unfair dismissal (Art. 91(2) LC).However, in practice, reinstatement seems to be ordered by the labour courts. See, e.g. Direct Request by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) on the application of Convention No. 158 (2011) [link available under "Scope of additional information"] :
      "The Government indicates that the labour tribunal has the power to declare the termination invalid and to propose reinstatement should it identify any irregularity in the grounds and procedure for termination. The Government also indicates that, if the employer rejects the request for reinstatement, it is required by law to pay the worker compensation"

      New in Sept. 2012:
      Art. 227 LC: Any dismissal of a workers' representative carried out without the prior consent of the labour inspector or despite the application for authorization being rejected /dismissed is null and void and will therefore entail reinstatement of the worker. Under the previous LC, reinstatement was not available in such cases.

      Art. 475 Implementing Decree of August 2017: Reinstatement possible in case of unfair dismissal of workers' representatives.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 305 LC: Conciliation shall be part of the procedure before the labour court.
      In addition, before starting any judicial proceedings, the parties can resort to extra-judicial conciliation before the Labour Inspectorate (Art. 317 LC).

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

    Remarks:
    • Art. 289 LC.

    Existing arbitration: No

    Remarks:
    • In the LC, arbitration is only foreseen for the resolution of collective labour disputes.

    Burden of proof: both

    Remarks:
    • Economic dismissal - Art. 85 LC: In the event of litigation, the burden of proof of the economic nature of the dismissal and of the respect of the order of dismissals is the responsibility of the employer.

    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) »