Country Information

The State of Eritrea features a breath-taking Red Sea coastline and is located in Eastern Africa. Nine national languages are spoken, including English. Eritrea hosts a robust mining industry. Eritrea’s advantageous access to the Red Sea provides direct access to one of the world’s busiest shipping ports making it an ideal destination for all industries looking to establish a foothold in the African, Asian and European markets.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Eritrea may be verbal or written but must be in writing if the duration is more than one year. Generally, an employment contract requires two witnesses to the signature. The employment contract must contain the following:

  • Duration of the contract
  • Date of employment
  • The type and place of work
  • Rate of wages and other remuneration
  • Payment methods
  • The rights and obligations of the employer and employee
  • Any provisions within applicable collective bargaining agreements that benefit the employee are deemed to be an integral part of the contract
  • Work rules
Working Hours

The standard work week in Eritrea is 48 hours a week and eight hours a day for full time employees. Overtime work may not exceed two hours unless there is written consent of the employee. Employees are entitled to at least one day, 24 hours, of rest per week. This is generally a Sunday but can be a different day.

Sick Leave

Employees receive six months of sick leave, after completing the probation period. Employees receive full or partial payments for the first two months and no pay in months three to six. Employees may need to provide a medical certificate validating their illness.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 60 consecutive days of fully paid maternity leave. The maternity leave generally starts after the birth, but a portion may be taken prior to the birth. An employer cannot terminate the employment of a woman on maternity leave.


Bonuses are not required but some employers provide performance-based awards.

Vacation Leave

In addition to public holidays, employees receive 14 days of paid annual leave after one year of service. This increases by one day for each year of service up to 35 working days. Employers are required to pay any accrued but unused days upon separation of service.

Public Holidays

Eritrea observes the following public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Orthodox Christmas
  • Orthodox Epiphany
  • Fenkil Day
  • Women’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Eid al Fitr
  • Independence Day
  • Martyrs Day
  • Eid al Adha
  • Revolution Day
  • Milad un Nabi
  • Christmas Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Eritrea’s healthcare system is a pay-for-services system. Benefits are not generally provided by the government, so private insurance is recommended. Employers are required to pay for medical expenses for work-related injuries, including first aid, transport to medical facilities, hospital and pharmacy expenses, surgical care, prosthetic and orthopedic care and reasonable funeral expenses.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Termination of an employment contract can occur during the probationary period, at the end of a fixed-term contract, by mutual consent, by the employer (with or without cause) and by the employee. Employers can dismiss employees without providing notice at the end of a fixed-term contract, during the probation period, due to the death of the employee, failure of the employee to perform or for misconduct. Misconduct includes falsifying documents, theft or breach of trust, missing work for five consecutive days or 10 days in one year without justification, disclosure of confidential information or violating the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. The probation period should be defined in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement but cannot exceed 90 days. Absent cause or a fixed-term contract and outside the probation period, employers must provide notice of termination.

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 Eritrea, 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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