Engage In Benin

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About Benin

Capital City

Porto-Novo

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Benin is 13.7 million.

Currency

The currency in Benin is the West African CFA franc (XOF). The currency symbol is Fr.

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Overview

Benin, a small country located in West Africa, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse geography. Situated on the coastline of the Bight of Benin, the country shares borders with Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. The geographical landscape of Benin is predominantly flat, with occasional sandbanks along the coast that pose challenges to accessing the sea. Benin operates under a republic government system, with the president holding the chief of state and head of government positions. The economy of Benin is a mix of traditional and modern sectors, with prevalent subsistence farming and underdeveloped industries. In terms of international relations, Benin is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), enabling it to engage in regional economic cooperation and integration. As a country with a fascinating history, diverse cultures, and a commitment to regional collaboration, Benin offers a unique experience for visitors and a promising future for its citizens.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

The labor law of Benin acknowledges employment contracts for an indefinite term that may be written, verbal or tacit. If the job requires the employee to be outside his or her usual place of residence, the contract must be made in writing. Employees whose contract does not explicitly mention the duration of work are considered to have a contract for an indefinite term.

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Written contracts may not extend beyond a period of 2 years, and are renewable once. A contract for seasonal, temporary, or occasional employment does not exceed 6 months in duration and can be renewed. After 6 months of continuous employment, an employee is entitled to a contract of an indefinite term.

Temporary Employment Contratcs

Seasonal, temporary, or casual workers engaged for short term employment not exceeding 1 day cannot receive a fixed-term contract until they have completed a period of continuous employment of more than 6 months.

Probationary Period

The probationary period for indefinite contracts must be included in a written agreement and may not exceed 15 days. This probationary period can be renewed only once for indefinite contracts and must be done in writing. For fixed-term contracts, the trial period must be equal to 1 day per working week and cannot exceed a total period of 1 month for employees, workers, or laborers and 3 months for supervisors or managers. The trial period cannot be extended or renewed in the case of fixed-term contracts.

Working Hours

The maximum working time is 40 hours per week, with the exception of agriculture, where the legal limit is 2,400 hours per year. Workers employed for only part of the year may not work more than 50 hours per week.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

  • New Year’s Day - January 1
  • Traditional Day - January 10
  • Labor Day - May 1
  • Independence Day (National Day) - August 1
  • Assumption Day - August 15
  • All Saints’ Day - November 1
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • Easter Monday - date subject to change every year
  • Pentecost Monday - date subject to change every year
  • Ascension Day - date subject to change every year
  • Ramadan - date subject to change every year
  • Tabaski - date subject to change every year 
  • Maouloud - date subject to change every year

Paid Annual Leave

All workers are entitled to 24 working days of paid annual leave, at the rate of 2 days per month, upon completion of 1 year's service. Annual leave increases with the length of service, at the following rate: By 2 working days after 20 years of continuous service in the same company By 4 working days after 25 years of service By 6 working days after 30 years of service The cumulative duration of leave may not exceed 30 working days for 12 months of work. The leave has to be taken in the following 12 months. Young employees under the age of 18 are entitled to 30 days, and those under 21 years are entitled to 24 days of paid annual leave, irrespective of the length of service.

Sick Leave

Employees in Benin are entitled to paid sick leave, depending on the length of service: Under 1 year of service – 1 month leave with 100% salary 1 to 5 years of service – 3 months leave with 100% salary and 3 months with 50% of salary More than 5 years of service – 6 months' leave with 100% salary  

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave with full pay 6 weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth. It can be extended by 4 weeks in the case of a duly diagnosed illness resulting either from pregnancy or from birth. All employed women and spouses of employed men are entitled to prenatal allowance and childbirth allowance paid by the National Social Security Fund of Benin. Employers cannot dismiss pregnant employees, except for gross misconduct and under circumstances in which it is impossible to maintain the contract. Any dismissal in violation of this rule will lead to damages worth 12 months' salary to be paid to the employee.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is not clearly provided under the Benin Labor Code, but the Collective Labor Agreement provides for 3 paid leave days for birth at home, which can be taken as paternity leave by fathers. Employees must notify their employer in advance for taking this leave.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

The Labor Code of Benin states that if a contract of employment is being terminated, notice must be given as follows by the party who initiates it: 15 days for employees paid by the hour 1 month for other employees and workers 3 months for supervisors and managers Employees can be dismissed without notice in case of gross misconduct. Employees who are dismissed without notice for valid reasons are entitled to receive their remuneration including benefits in kind for the duration of notice.

Severance Benefits

Severance pay for individual dismissals is paid at the following rate: 30% of overall average monthly salary for each year of the first 5 years; 35% from the sixth to the tenth year inclusive; 40% per year beyond the tenth year. For collective dismissals, the rate of severance pay is 35%, 40%, and 45%, respectively, for tenure, as above. Employees dismissed due to gross misconduct are not entitled to receive severance benefits.

Social Security

Pension

To qualify for a full pension, an employee must be at least 60 years of age and have at least 180 months of contributions. The amount of monthly pension is 30% of the employee's average monthly remuneration. The percentage is increased by 2% for each year of insurance beyond that. Insured employees who have reached the retirement age and do not meet the condition for contributions, but have paid contributions for at least 12 months are eligible for receiving a one-time old age allowance.  The amount of the old-age allowance is equal to 12 times the average monthly remuneration over the last 5 years. If the service is under 5 years, the average remuneration is calculated on the insurance period.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

The National Social Security scheme of Benin provides survivors benefits in case of death of an insured individual. Dependents must meet entitlement conditions to qualify for survivors pension and include widow, widower, children, and dependent parents of the insured deceased person (only in case of work-related death).  If the deceased person had less than 180 contributions, survivors receive an allowance paid in a lump sum amount equal to monthly remuneration for the months they had contributed to Social Security Insurance. The compensation is distributed equally among the surviving spouse and children. These benefits are paid from the Pensions branch of Social Security.

Invalidity Benefit

Benin's National Social Security Scheme covers disability benefits for employees who become disabled before the age of 60 and have paid contributions for at least 60 months. They must have completed 6 months of insurance in the 12 months immediately preceding the onset of disability. The amount of disability pension is 30% of the average monthly remuneration of the employee for 180 months of contribution. The percentage is increased by 2% for each year of insurance beyond that. The holder of a total permanent disability pension or an invalidity pension who continually needs the help and care of a third party to accomplish the everyday acts is entitled to a supplement equal to 40% of the amount of their pension. This supplement may not be lower than the legal minimum remuneration or higher than 3 times this minimum.

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The laws of Benin indicate a progressive tax on income from salaries, emoluments and public and private wages, as well as accessories payments of any kind. Tax rates vary from 0% to 30% of the total employment income.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Long-stay visa – issued to persons who wish to settle in Benin; valid for six to 12 months Short-stay-visa – issued for a short-term stay; valid for three months Long-term or short-term business visa – issued to persons who wish to stay in Benin for business activities; valid for three to 12 months  Tourist visa – issued to persons visiting Benin for tourism; valid for three months Nationals of the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the eight member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) can enter and travel in the country freely for three months. 

Work Permit

According to the labor laws of Benin, a visa agreement with a foreign employee or immigrant is subject to the submission of a work permit issued by the Minister of Labor. The work permit is temporary, is valid for 12 months, and can be renewed several times. It must be presented by foreign employees when employed. A work permit can be denied, or its renewal can be refused when the professional qualification of the employee does not meet the needs of the national economy.

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