Country Information

Burkina Faso is a French-speaking, landlocked West African country. The Mossi language is spoken throughout the country. A staple of the economy is agriculture, specifically the rearing of livestock. The economy is extremely favourable to trade and is seeing an influx of foreign investment. The strategic location and economic potential are considerations for businesses considering expansion into Africa.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts may be verbal or written, but best practice is to execute a written contract in the local language. All employment contracts should include:

  • Address of the employee and employer
  • Salary
  • Payment method (check, bank transfer)
  • Payment duration
  • Benefits
  • Sick leave days
  • Probation period (if applicable)
  • Working hours
  • Date of commencement (and end date if applicable)
  • Time of notice period
Working Hours

Standard hours in Burkina Faso vary by industry, but a 40 hour workweek is common. Individual employment contracts or collective agreements typically define work hours and days, including provisions related to overtime. Special rules and limitations apply to young workers.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to sick leave. Generally, an employer cannot terminate an employee absent from work because of an illness for one year. Employees are entitled to a payment while out on sick leave based on years of service:

  • For less than one year of seniority, paid sick leave is two months (full salary for one month, and half salary for the following month)
  • From one to five years of service, paid sick leave is four months (full salary for one month, half salary for the following three months)
  • From six to 10 years of seniority, paid sick leave is five months (full salary for two months, and half salary for the following three months)
  • From 11 to 15 years of service, paid sick leave is six months (full salary for three months, and half salary for the following three months)
  • Beyond 15 years of service, paid sick leave is eight months (full salary for four months, and half salary for the following four months).
Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave after three months of employment, which begins as early as eight weeks before but no later than four weeks before the expected due date. The leave can be extended by three additional weeks if there are complications during the birth, or any other health-related problems. Eligible female employees receive 100% of their gross covered earning while on maternity leave through Burkina Faso’s social security program, as well as a family allowance. Male employees receive a three-day paid paternity leave without requiring notice for the birth of a child. He is also entitled to a six-month unpaid leave in the case of a sick child, which requires one month’s notice and can be extended to a maximum of one year.


Employers are not required to pay employees bonuses but may elect to do so as part of their compensation package. Employers in Burkina Faso commonly pay bonuses employees at the end of the year.

Vacation Leave

An employee is entitled to 22 days of paid leave after one year of service, which does not include personal days, sick leave, or maternity leave. This leave increases by two days after 20 years of service, four days after 25 years, and six days after 30 years of service. The employer and employee must agree on the start date for the leave. The employer must pay the employee the entire duration of the leave before it begins.

Public Holidays

The following holidays are observed in Burkina Faso:

  • New Year
  • Revolution Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day
  • Ramadan or Aïd El Segheir
  • Feast of Ascension
  • Tabaski or Aïd El Kébir (Feast of Sacrifice)
  • Independence Day
  • Assumption Day
  • Anniversary of the 1987 Coup
  • Mouloud (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)
  • All Saints Day
  • Proclamation of the Republic
  • Christmas Day
  • Dates for Muslim holidays are subject to the appearance of the moon and may therefore change. Legal holidays are paid following current legislation.
Health Insurance Benefits

The labour code does not require that employers provide health benefits to their employees. Further, due to complications in the healthcare system it is recommended that both employers and employees purchase private insurance.

Employment / Termination / Severance

An employment contract may be terminated by either the employer or the employee for misconduct, for social or economic reasons or at the end of the contract term. Initiating termination requires a written notice period of eight days for part-time definite contracts, one month for full-time regular employees, and three months for managers, supervisors, and technicians. No termination notice is required during the probation period, or in the event of a serious fault on the part of the employee. A compensatory notice indemnity may be required in some instances. An employee is entitled to severance pay after one year of continuous service, unless the employee is dismissed for misconduct.

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.

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Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Burkina Faso, 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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