Engage In Democratic Republic of Congo

Table of Contents

About Democratic Republic of Congo

Capital City

Kinshasa

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of The Democratic Republic of Congo is 104.5 million.

Currency

The currency in the Dem. Republic of Congo is the Congolese Franc (CDF). The currency symbol is FC.

Exchange Rate Calculator

USD

Overview

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a country located in central Africa. Bordered by nine neighboring countries, the DRC has a 25-mile coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked, making it the second largest country on the continent after Algeria. Its capital, Kinshasa, situated on the Congo River, serves as the administrative, economic, and cultural center of the country. With an estimated population of over 111 million people, the DRC is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and a rich cultural heritage. The country gained independence from Belgium in 1960 and was then known as the Republic of Zaire from 1971 to 1997. The name “Zaire” was chosen by then-ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, who aimed to give the country an authentically African identity. However, following the overthrow of Mobutu, the country’s original name, the Democratic Republic of Congo, was reinstated. The DRC has faced significant challenges, including a devastating civil war, but it continues to work towards stability, development, and the preservation of its unique history and cultural heritage.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

The  Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo recognizes permanent employment in which the employment contract must be concluded for an indefinite period. If a contract violates the labor legislation by being concluded for a determinate period, it will automatically be considered to be for an indefinite period. Also, in case of the absence of a written contract or written proof of employment, the agreement is considered to be concluded for an indefinite period, until proven otherwise.

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

The Labor Code in the Democratic Republic of Congo allows fixed-term contracts for a predetermined period, a specific job, or the temporary replacement of another employee. Generally, the maximum term of employment may not exceed 2 years. In some situations, however, the maximum term may be 1 year. Employees cannot conclude more than 2 fixed-term contracts with the same employer or renew a contract more than once, with the exception of seasonal work. If any Labor Code provisions regarding fixed-term agreements are violated, the employment contract is automatically considered to be for an indefinite period.

Temporary Employment Contratcs

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo does not explicitly define temporary employment or its terms. However, the law exempts seasonal workers from the maximum term length and renewal requirements for fixed-term contracts. Additionally, the Labor Code allows daily labor agreements if they do not exceed 22 days over a period of 2 months. Beyond that, the daily labor agreements are treated as a contract for an indefinite period.

Probationary Period

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo allows the use of probationary periods in employment contracts. The probationary period must be evidenced in writing. Its duration may not exceed 1 month for unskilled laborers or 6 months for other employees. If the probationary period exceeds the maximum limit, it will be automatically reduced to a maximum of 1 month or 6 months (depending on whether the worker is an unskilled laborer).

Working Hours

In all public or private organizations (including educational or charitable organizations) the legal working hours of employees, whatever the form of work performed, cannot exceed 45 hours per week or 8 hours per day. Working hours are calculated from the moment when the employee is at the workplace at the employer's disposal, until the moment when the services cease, in accordance with the schedules set by the employer and reproduced in the regulations of the organization. Working hours do not include the time necessary for the employee to get to or from the workplace unless this time is inherent in the work. Unfortunately, the Labor Code does not further define what it means for commuting time to be "inherent in the work." Hours worked beyond the legal working time are considered overtime and give rise to an increase in pay.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), legal public holidays are determined by decree of the President of the Republic and the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, after consultation with the National Labor Council.

Employees are entitled to holiday pay on nationally recognized holidays and a day off.

The DRC has eight national holidays and one religious holiday each year. The following are recognized as public holidays in the DRC:

  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Martyrs' Day - January 4
  • Heroes' Day Laurent Kabila - January 16
  • Heroes' Day Patrice Lumumba -  January 17
  • Labor Day - May 1
  • Liberation Day - May 17
  • Independence Day - June 30 
  • Parents' Day - August 1
  • Christmas Day - December 25

Paid Annual Leave

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo, all employees are entitled to paid annual leave after completing a year of service with the same employer. The amount of annual leave depends on the employee’s age and seniority in the company, as follows: 1.5 days per month of service for employees under the age of 18 1 day per month of service for employees over the age of 18 An additional day is added to the total amount for every 5 years of service with the same employer. Additionally, industry standards suggest a minimum of 26 days of annual leave provided between the 0 to 1 year mark of service.  When calculating service with an employer, days of work, weekly rest, paid leave, sick leave, and statutory holidays are all included as service time. Periods of incapacity for work due to a workplace injury are also considered service time, up to a maximum of 6 months per year. 

Sick Leave

The Labor Code provides that, in the case of illness or accident preventing the worker from performing his regular duties, the contract of employment may be suspended.  During this period of suspension due to illness or accident, the worker is entitled to the following: Two-thirds of the cash remuneration during the period of sickness Family allowances Benefits in kind or their equivalent in cash, upon the employee’s request Employees lose the right to all of these allowances and benefits if the illness or accident is caused by a risk they took that voluntarily exposed them to danger, or the illness or accident resulted from excessive drinking or use of drugs. During the first 6 months of suspension due to illness or injury, employers are not allowed to terminate employment contracts. After that period, however, they may do so upon notifying employees. Work accidents and occupational diseases are an exception to this provision.

Maternity Leave

According to the Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo, female employees are entitled to 14 consecutive weeks of paid maternity leave that can be split into a maximum of 6 weeks before childbirth and 8 weeks after. An employer cannot dismiss an employee during maternity leave. The Labor Code does not provide for an extension of maternity leave due to complications. However, the right to compensation and benefits does not change, whether the child lives or not. During maternity leave, female employees are entitled to: Two-thirds of the normal remuneration they should have received had they not been on maternity leave. The same benefits in kind they received before maternity leave

Paternity Leave

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo does not specifically provide for paternity leave; however, it allows an employee to take special leave in certain circumstances, including 2 working days of special leave in case of childbirth.  If the employee takes no more than 15 working days of leave in that year, these days will be paid by the employer. Employees must take special leave all at once: it may not be split.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

According to the Labor Code in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), both the employer and the employee must give notice of dismissal before terminating an indefinite contract of employment, as follows: If notice is given by the employer, the minimum period is 14 days, and it increases by 7 days for each year of service. If notice is given by the employee, the required notice period is equal to half of the period the employer should give in that situation. During the notice period, employees are entitled to 1 paid day of leave per week to look for a new job. In case employees find another job, they may leave their current position before the end of the notice period, if both parties agree.

Severance Benefits

The Labor Code of the Democratic Republic of Congo mandates employees' entitlement to severance benefits if they are terminated without cause. There is no statutorily prescribed amount of severance pay. Termination without cause may entitle employees to severance benefits of up to 36 months of their last salary, as determined by the Labor Court. In case of termination of an indefinite contract without notice, employees are entitled to severance benefits equal to the remuneration and benefits they would have gained during the period of notice.

Social Security

Pension

If an employee meets the conditions for an old-age pension (retirement age must be met – 65 for men and 60 for women and must have been covered for at least 180 months), they are entitled to 40% of their insured average monthly earnings in the last 60 months plus 2% of average monthly earnings for every 12 months of coverage exceeding 180 months. An employee ineligible for an old-age pension may still qualify for an old-age settlement. For those who are eligible for an old-age settlement, a lump sum of twice the insured's last monthly covered earnings is paid for every 12 months of coverage.  Employer contributions to overall social security are as follows: The insured person pays 5% of monthly earnings or 10% of average annual declared earnings for the voluntarily insured. The employer pays 5% of monthly payroll. A self-employed person is to pay 10% of the average annual declared earnings for the voluntarily insured. The government pays subsidies as needed and covers the pensions of public sector employees.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Invalidity Benefit

Insured employees who become disabled due to a non-occupational disease before reaching age 60 are entitled to a disability pension (pension d’invalidité) if they meet the necessary qualifications. The monthly disability pension is calculated in the same way as the old-age pension. It is equal to 40% of the insured’s average monthly earnings in the last 60 months, plus 2% of average monthly earnings for every 12 months of coverage exceeding 180 months. The constant-attendance allowance is a supplement equal to 30% of the pension. Employers must contribute 1.5% of monthly payroll to workplace injury insurance (up to 3% for high-risk industries and employers found in violation of workplace safety laws). Self-employed persons can voluntarily insure themselves by contributing 1.5% of their average annual declared earnings. Workplace Injury insurance covers industrial accidents at the workplace, commuting accidents between the insured's home and workplace, and certain occupational diseases.  The care provided to the victim is fully supported by the CNSS (direct payment of the amount of care costs by the CNSS to medical establishments under contract with the fund).

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, employers are obligated to remit employee taxes to the authorities. The progressive tax rates on individual income range from 3% to 40%. The income of residents (persons who spend more than 6 months in a year in the country) and non-residents is taxable on employment income derived from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Individuals engaged in a business (e.g., independent contractors) are taxed under the rules governing companies.

Immigration

Types of Visas

The Democratic Republic of Congo offers the following main types of non-immigrant visas: Tourist visa – grants tourists and visitors the authorization to enter the country for 3 months (90 days) and for multiple entries. Business visa – issued for professional and business purposes, a business visa is for 30 days and allows for multiple entries. If a business applicant plans on staying in the DRC for more than 30 days, they must extend their visa at the nearest Office of Immigration. Official or diplomatic visas – diplomatic or official visas are granted to diplomatic passport bearers, official passport bearers, or United Nations Laissez-Passer bearers who intend to travel to the Republic of Congo on official business matters. A 1 year visa with multiple entries is issued for diplomatic passports if the application includes a diplomatic note.  Visitors must obtain a visa unless they come from a visa-exempt country (nationals can obtain a visa on arrival), or are arriving from a country with no DRC embassy, in which case they can receive a visa confirmation followed by a 7-day visa on arrival (extendable in the DRC).

Work Permit

Foreign nationals looking to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may apply for two types of work visas: Specific work establishment visa – not renewable and may not exceed 1 year Work establishment visa – valid between 1 and 2 years depending on the nature of the foreigner's work card   In order to receive either visa, the foreign worker's employer must apply for and receive a work card (carte du travail) from its regional Congolese employment office. The foreign worker's employment contract must also be submitted and approved by the government employment office. The employees are required to submit a service certificate and provide proof of their qualifications. The National Commission for the Employment of Foreigners in the DRC is responsible for ruling on the issue of work cards for foreign nationals and deciding on the renewal of work cards.

I'm ready to hire in Democratic Republic of Congo

Get in touch!

Contact us for a free consultation

By submitting this form, you acknowledge that you have read our Privacy policy