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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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ع.د (IQD)

Work Hours


Iraq is officially known as the Republic of Iraq. Located in Western Asia, Iraq is home to an incredibly diverse group of people, cultures, religions and languages. The official languages are Arabic and Kurdish. Iraq is known for its vast oil reserves.

Employment contracts in Iraq are required to be in the Arabic language. The use of Kurdish is also recognized for business entered in the autonomous area of Kurdistan. Salaries and wages are to be paid in Iraqi dinars (IQD) unless the contract stipulates otherwise. Contracts are either made orally or in writing. However, the employer is advised to put any oral agreement into writing because, in the absence of one, both the employer and the employee bear the burden of proving an agreement exists.

There are four types of written contracts: a definite period contract, an indefinite contract, a performance-based contract and a part-time contract. The contract should include:

  • name of the employer,

  • type of project,

  • address of the employer,

  • name, date of birth, qualifications, profession, residence and nationality of the employee,

  • nature, type of work, duration and the date of starting the job,

  • basic wage,

  • methods of payment (checks, bank transfers),

  • payment dates (end of the week or month),

  • place of payment,

  • benefits and bonuses,

  • working hours and their determination method, and

  • probation period, which must not exceed three months.

The employer is required to make three signed copies of the contract, one for each party and a third to send to the Department of Employment and Loans at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The standard workday in Iraq is capped at eight hours per day and 48 hours per week. Every employee is entitled to receive 24 consecutive hours of rest, usually on Fridays. Generally, overtime is capped at four hours per day, eight hours per week, 40 hours every 90 days, and 120 hours per year. The wage must increase by 50% per hour during the workday and 100% per hour during evenings and holidays. An employer who has more than one female employee is required to keep a copy of the provisions governing the protection of female workers at the workplace and establish a nursery at the expense of the employer or jointly with other employers.

Employees are entitled to 30 days of sick leave in Iraq for every year of work to a maximum of 180 days. An employee who is sick for more than eight days must have a doctor’s note to qualify to receive pay from the Pension and Social Security Fund. If the insured employee exhausts all of their paid sick leave and remains sick, the Pension and Social Security Fund will reimburse the employer for the wages paid after the 30 days, provided there is a medical certificate for the diagnosis.

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave in Iraq. Leave can be extended for up to nine months due to complications or for multiple births. This, however, requires a medical note from the competent authority. Female employees can also take up to 12 months of unpaid leave to care for a child who is less than one year old. In such cases, the employment contract is considered suspended. There is no paternity leave in Iraq, but either partner can take up to three days of unpaid leave to care for an unwell child under six years old.

Employees are entitled to a monthly minimum wage in Iraq. Bonuses based on performance are common but not mandatory.

Employees in Iraq receive at least 21 days of leave per year after one year of service. The leave increases by two days after the first five years, another two days after the following five years and another three days for each subsequent five-year period. In the case of dangerous work, the annual leave is 30 days. For part-time work, days of annual leave are calculated pro-rata to the hours and wage the employee receives. Employees in Iraq also receive leave for a marriage, the employee’s child’s wedding, a death in the family, or to fulfill official or public duties. Widowed or divorced female employees also receive time off. Employees can take unpaid leave for compelling personal reasons and for a one-time leave to conduct a religious pilgrimage.

In Iraq, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Iraqi Army Day

  • National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence

  • Festival of Spring (Nowruz)

  • Labor Day

  • Eid AI-Fitr

  • Republic Day

  • Eid AI-Adha

  • Islamic New Year

  • Ashura

  • Iraqi Independence Day

  • The Prophet's Birthday

  • Anniversary of Victory of ISIS

  • Christmas Day

There is no health insurance system in Iraq, so residents are dependent on the Iraqi central government-run public health care system.

Both the employer and employee have the right to terminate an employment contract in Iraq. There are two types of terminations: automatic or manual. An employment contract will automatically terminate in instances such as the death of an employee or employer, if the enterprise is liquidated, or the end of a fixed-term contract. Employment contracts can be manually terminated if both parties terminate the contract in writing, the employee is ill and unable to work for more than 6 months, the employee reaches retirement age or a breach of contractual obligations. Employers are required to provide at least 30 days advance notice in writing to employees and pay an end-of-service gratuity that ranges from the equivalent of two to 20 weeks of service depending on length of employment. Terminations are not allowed on the grounds of discrimination, medical leave, filing a complaint or belonging to a trade union. An employee may resign at any time provided that they give the employer at least 30 days advance notice. If the employee quits without notice, or before the expiration of the notice period specified in the contract, they must compensate the employer with a financial equivalent to the fraction of the notice period.

  • 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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