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The Republic of Benin is a French-speaking West African country. Benin is a member of both the United Nations and the African Union. Some of Benin’s major exports are cotton, cashews and textiles. The country’s strategic location in West Africa, combined with its political and economic stability, offer advantages to companies looking to expand in West Africa.

Employers use employment contracts in Benin for permanent employment for indefinite periods, for a fixed-term period linked to a specific task, part-time employment, temporary agency work where the employee is sent to a client for a specific project, and subcontracting where a company uses another business to complete a project. The fixed-term contracts can be renewed indefinitely, and employers can use them for projects longer than one month, apprenticeships, work outside a place of residence and migrant workers. Expat employment is subject to an application to, and a decision by, the Council of Ministers.

The standard workweek in Benin is 40 hours over six days. Overtime is paid at specific percentages above the regular rate, depending upon the time worked. Overtime is capped at 240 hours per year. Employees receive at least 24 hours of rest a week, typically on Sunday.

Employees receive one month of sick leave in Benin with less than a year of service. Those with tuberculosis, mental illnesses, AIDS, cancer, central nervous system diseases and leprosy receive six months of fully paid leave after one year of service. Employees’ contracts are protected while they are unwell, but they can be dismissed if they are declared unfit for work after their sick leave ends.

Female employees receive 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave in Benin with six weeks to be taken before the due date. The cost is split equally between the employer and social security. Paternity leave is usually three days of paid leave. Female employees are protected during pregnancy and maternity leave and they are forbidden from working in dangerous environments.

Benin has a minimum wage. Bonuses often are a 13th or 14th month of pay.

Employees in Benin receive two working days of leave per month after a year of service. After 20 years of service, employees receive an extra two days of vacation each year. After 25 years, they receive a further four days of vacation and after 30 years of employment, they receive an extra six days of vacation. Employees choose when to take their vacation, but they must take 14 consecutive days.

In Benin, the public holidays are:

  • New Year

  • Vodoun Festival

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Korité

  • Ascension Day

  • Whit Monday

  • Tabaski

  • Independence Day

  • Assumption of Mary

  • Maouloud

  • All Saints' Day

  • Christmas Day

Employers are required to provide and pay for private health insurance in Benin.

The notice period in Benin for terminating hourly staff is 15 days. Other employees receive a month of paid notice while supervisors and managers receive three months of paid notice. Employment contracts must be terminated in writing, but employers must provide a reason. Employees can defend themselves and if the dismissal is unfair, the labor court can award compensation to the employee, if they have a year of service. Severance pay depends on years of service. An employee who has been terminated for gross misconduct is not entitled to any severance pay.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Benin can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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