Engage In Liberia

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About Liberia

Capital City

Monrovia

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Liberia is 5,418,377.

Currency

The currency in Liberia is the Liberian Dollar (LRD). The currency symbol is $.

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Overview

Liberia, situated in West Africa, is a nation with a rich and complex history. It was founded in 1820 by free people of color from the United States who sought a land of their own, away from the racial discrimination they experienced in America. The emigration to Liberia was organized by the American Colonization Society (ACS). However, the settlement of Liberia was not without its challenges. The mortality rate among the early settlers was alarmingly high, making it the highest among settlements recorded during that time. Despite the difficulties, Liberia declared its independence on July 26, 1847, with Joseph Jenkins Roberts becoming the country’s first black governor and later the first president. Throughout the years, Liberia maintained its independence during the Scramble for Africa, but also stayed under the influence of the United States. The economy of Liberia revolved around the exploitation of natural resources, particularly the rubber industry dominated by the Firestone Company. Additionally, the country experienced political control by the Americo-Liberians, the descendants of the original African-American settlers, until 1980 when a violent overthrow led to two devastating civil wars. Today, Liberia stands as a nation in the process of reconstruction and progress under the leadership of its current president, George Weah.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

Liberia's Decent Work Act defines full-time employees as those who work 5 days a week for 40 hours or 6 days a week for 48 hours. Employment contracts of an indefinite duration are considered permanent contracts.  Employers are not to hire employees on a fixed-term contract for tasks of a permanent nature. Both the employer and employee may end employment contracts after giving notice. Employers can terminate permanent employees' contracts for just cause based on ability and conduct of the employee, or operational requirements of the business.

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Liberia, a contract can be oral or written and can last for a certain period of time, depending on what is arranged between the employer and the employee. Fixed-term contracts can be made for a specific duration or specific task. Employers must specify the duration of employment in the contract. A fixed-term contract can only be terminated at the end of its duration or in case of gross misconduct.  

Temporary Employment Contratcs

Casual employees are differentiated from full-time, part-time, or fixed-term employees, as they are hired on an hourly basis. If a casual employee is regularly hired by the same employer for several employment periods over 6 months, they become entitled to be hired as a full-time or part-time employee, depending on the number of hours the employee is usually engaged to work. All casual employees have the right to receive minimum wage.

Probationary Period

The probationary period can last a maximum of 3 months. An employee can be dismissed without notice during probation.

Working Hours

Liberia's labor law states that the standard workweek is limited to 48 hours and that workdays are limited to 8 hours per day. Under exceptional circumstances, employees may be required to work overtime for up to 5 hours a week, averaged out over a period of 4 months. An employee who has not yet attained the age of 16 years cannot be employed for more than seven hours in a day or for more than 42 hours in any working week.  

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day (January 1st), Armed Forces Day (February 11), Decoration Day (Second Wednesday of March), J.J. Roberts’ Birthday (March 15), Fast and Prayer Day (Second Friday of April), National Unification Day (May 14), Independence Day (July 26), Flag Day (August 24), Thanksgiving (First Thursday of November), William Tubman’s Birthday (November 29), Christmas Day (December 25)

Paid Annual Leave

Every employee is entitled to paid annual leave as follows: During the first year of employment with an employer – 1 week During the second year of employment with an employer – 2 weeks After 36 months of employment with an employer – 3 weeks After 60 months of employment with an employer – 4 weeks Weekly rest days and public holidays are not considered a part of annual leave. Employees under the age of 18 years are granted an extra week of annual leave.  The annual leave of employees in Liberia may accumulate from year to year, yet the total accumulation may not exceed 3 years’ accumulation of unused leave. 

Sick Leave

In Liberia, employees are entitled to ten days of annual sick leave for every year of continuous service to their employer. An employee’s sick leave entitlement accumulates in the same way as their general annual leave; however, they cannot receive compensation at the end of their employment contract for sick days accumulated but not taken. Sick leave provisions dictate that employees are required to give as much notice as is reasonably possible of their intention to exercise their entitlement to paid sick leave. They must also provide a medical note. Employees are eligible for a maximum of 3 unverified sick days within a 12-month period if they are unable to obtain medical documentation corroborating their illness or injury. Sick leave is paid in the same way as a normal workday.  

Maternity Leave

Employed women in Liberia are entitled to a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, provided that they take a minimum of 6 weeks immediately following the birth of their child. Employees on maternity leave are compensated at the same rate at which they would have been paid during their normal working hours. Pregnant women cannot be employed to perform work that is hazardous to their health or their child's health. Employment continues unbroken during any period of maternity leave.  Employees are also entitled to an extended unpaid maternity leave of up to one month if any complications arise from the pregnancy or delivery, as certified by a medical practitioner.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are given 5 unpaid days leave upon the birth of a child, which must be taken within 1 month from childbirth.  As polygamy is legal in Liberia, an employee will have to indicate to which of his wives' children the paternity leave will apply before claiming entitlement to his paternity leave. He cannot leave for the birth of children born to more than 1 wife.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

Under Liberia's labor law, any employee who has completed their probationary period is entitled to a certain period of notice from their employer before their employment contract is terminated. The provisions for the length of notice vary depending on the amount of time an employee has continuously worked for the employer as follows: Less than 3 months of employment – 1 week 3 to 6 months of employment – 2 weeks 6 to 12 months of employment  – 3 weeks More than 12 months of employment – 4 weeks Notice period can be waived by paying regular wages equivalent to the duration of notice period.

Severance Benefits

In Liberia, employees are entitled to severance pay if they are dismissed due to economic reasons. Severance pay is paid as 4 weeks' salary for each completed year of service. The law does not provide for severance pay in case of termination due to other reasons. 

Social Security

Pension

Employees who retire at the age of 60 and have paid at least 100 (for employees born before 1980) or 144 (for employees born after 1980) monthly contributions are eligible for a retirement pension. The amount of retirement pension is 25% of the average salary, increased by 1% for every ten months of contributions paid in addition to 100 or 144 months. The maximum monthly pension amount is 40% of the average salary. The maximum pension amount is the equivalent of USD 5,000 (American dollars) per month in Liberian dollars.  If a person fails to make the 100 monthly contributions but paid at least 12 monthly contributions, they are entitled to a lump sum Retirement Grant equal to the total amount of contributions made plus accrued interest.  The sources of funds include contributions made by employers and employees. 

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Liberia's National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) is responsible for providing benefits to survivors of a deceased insured employee who had paid at least 50 monthly contributions. The benefits are paid to the deceased member's widow or widower and to their children under 21 years of age. Benefits are paid as a lump sum. A widow or widower receives an amount equal to 50% of the total annuity value of the pension that the deceased was entitled to at the time of death, based on their life expectancy, whereas 10% is paid to a child (a maximum of 50% is paid to all children). The sources of funds include contributions made by employers and employees. If there are no surviving spouse and children, parents of the deceased become entitled to the spouse's benefits. The total benefits paid to survivors are equal to 100% of the pension that the deceased was entitled to at the time of death.  In case of death due to work accidents or diseases, the widow or widower receives 20% of the deceased insured person's average monthly earnings, and children receive 10% of the average earnings each, not exceeding 30%. In the absence of a spouse and children, parents of the deceased receive 20% of the earnings. These benefits are paid by contributions made by employers.

Invalidity Benefit

Liberia's National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) covers disability benefits for insured members who become permanently incapable of work before age 60 because of a disease or disablement that is not job-related. To be eligible, the member must have paid at least 50 monthly contributions during the 60 months preceding the month of disability or at least 2/3rds of the number of months from their date of joining to the accident date. The disability pension amount is equal to 25% of the average salary, increased by 1% for every ten months of contributions paid in excess of 50 months. The monthly pension amount is limited to a maximum of 40% of the average salary. The sources of funds include contributions made by employers and employees.   Employees who suffer disability due to work-related accidents or diseases are eligible to receive temporary disability or permanent disability pensions of 65% of their average earnings. An additional allowance is paid to persons requiring constant attendance. These benefits are paid through contributions made by employers. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The fiscal year in Liberia runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Residents are taxed on global and Liberian income, while non-residents only pay tax on the income received from sources in Liberia. Income tax rates for residents are progressive from 0% to 25%, while non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 15%.

Immigration

Types of Visas

The following types of visa are applicable in Liberia: Visitor's visa – issued to foreign nationals who wish to enter Liberia for tourism, family visits, non-business purposes; valid for three months. Immigrant visa – issued to foreign nationals who wish to enter Liberia for long term for business purposes; valid for four months. Diplomatic visa – issued to foreign nationals with diplomatic status; there is no fee for this type of visa. Visa on arrival – issued to persons who fulfill certain requirements, including holders of any other official travel documents of recognized international organizations and members of government delegations, to name a few. Persons from countries other than ECOWAS (Economic Community of Western African States) must obtain a visa to enter Liberia.

Work Permit

Foreign nationals can only work in Liberia if they have a local sponsor and work permit. Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Labor once it is determined that there is no suitably qualified Liberian available to carry out the work. The employer is responsible for the expense of the employee traveling to the place of work in Liberia from their country of origin or residence, depending on whichever is closer. 

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