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Sierra Leone

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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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Le (SLL)

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Sierra Leone is a developing country of nearly 8 million in West Africa. Freetown is the capital of Sierra Leone. English is the official language, and Krio, an English-based creole, is spoken by most Leoneans. Sierra Leone’s primary exports are fish and seafood. The country also exports minerals, cocoa, wood for machinery, food products, as well as minerals and precious stones such as gold, diamonds and iron.

In Sierra Leone, employment contracts can either be verbal or in writing. Verbal contracts cannot exceed six months and the employee must understand the terms of the contract in their local language. Employment contracts can be for a definite (fixed) or an indefinite term. A fixed-term contract cannot exceed one year.

A written employment contract should include the identity of the parties, the place of work, job description, starting date of employment, duration of the contract, remuneration and working hours. In a written contract the employee must be able to read and understand the terms. Alternatively, the contract terms can be read to the employee and attested to by a magistrate. If the contract does not specify a duration or end date, it will be deemed to be an employment contract for an indefinite period.

The standard workweek in Sierra Leone is 40 hours and eight hours a day. Overtime is limited to 10 hours a week and is paid at a rate of 25% over the standard wage. Overtime performed during rest days and holidays will be paid at 50% over the standard wage. Women and employees less than 18 years old are prohibited from working at night.

Entitlement to sick leave in Sierra Leone is governed by collective agreement or the employment contract. Employees generally receive at least five paid sick leave days annually.

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave in Sierra Leone. The employer pays the leave unless otherwise agreed in a collective agreement. There is no paternity leave in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone has a minimum wage. Bonuses are not required.

Employees are entitled to 19 days paid annual leave in Sierra Leone, which increases to 22 days after five years of service and then 28 days after 10 years.

In Sierra Leone, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Armed Forces Day

  • International Women's Day

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Independence Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Tabaski

  • The Prophet's Birthday

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

Private healthcare insurance is recommended in Sierra Leone.

An employment contract in Sierra Leone can be terminated at the end of the contract period (if for a fixed term) by the employer or the employee. Fixed-term employment contracts terminate at the end of the term. An employer and employee can terminate an employment contract without providing notice during the probation period unless there is an individual or collective agreement that requires notice. The notice period for indefinite contracts is between one week and one month. Severance is generally determined by individual and collective bargaining agreements.

  • 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 Sierra Leone 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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