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This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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Br (ETB)

Work Hours


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in Eastern Africa. Ethiopia is a diverse country with over 90 spoken languages, although Amharic is considered the “business language.” The top industries in Ethiopia are agriculture, construction and manufacturing. With one of the world’s fasted growing economies, Ethiopia is an excellent destination for expansion, especially for companies in infrastructure.

Employment contracts in Ethiopia may be verbal or written but a written employment contract that details the terms and conditions of employment is recommended. The written employment contract should include:

  • the workplace location,

  • salary,

  • contract duration, and

  • other details related to employment.

If the contract is unwritten then the employer must provide the employee with a signed letter containing the details of the employer, name, and work card of the employee and both parties’ signatures within 15 days of the employment start date.

The standard workweek in Ethiopia is 48 hours. Employees typically work eight hours a day, six days a week. Overtime work is limited to two hours a day, 20 hours a month or 100 hours annually. Overtime is paid at 125% of the basic wage but can be more. Weekend overtime is paid at double the standard rate and at 250% on a public holiday.

Employees in Ethiopia receive six months of sick leave. Employees receive 100% of their pay for the first month and 50% for the following two months. After that, sick leave is unpaid.

Female employees receive 120 days paid maternity leave in Ethiopia with 30 days taken before the expected due date and the remaining taken after the birth. Male employees receive three days of paid paternity leave.

There is no statutory minimum wage in Ethiopia. Employers are not required to pay employees bonuses.

Employees in Ethiopia receive 16 days of paid annual leave after one year of service. Employees then receive one additional day per year for every two years of service.

In Ethiopia, the public holidays are:

  • Ethiopian Christmas Day

  • Timkat

  • Adwa Victory Day

  • Good Friday (Eastern)

  • Orthodox Easter

  • Labor Day

  • Patriots’ Victory Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Derg Downfall Day

  • Eid al-Adha

  • Enkutatash

  • Meskel

  • Mawlid

Ethiopia has mandatory community-based health insurance called CBHI.

Employers in Ethiopia can terminate an employment contract by providing advance notice to the employee. The notice period is one or two months depending on the employee’s length of service. No notice is required if the employee is dismissed for misconduct. Severance pay in Ethiopia is one month for the first year and then increases by a third for each year of service but cannot exceed the total annual wage. Special rules apply to redundancy dismissals.

  • 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 Ethiopia 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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