The employment relationship

Country specific laws

What laws and regulations govern the employment relationship?

Several regulations govern employment relationships, including: 

  • Act 97-17 of 1 December 1997, which constitutes the Labour Code;
  • the National Interprofessional Collective Agreement; and
  • the collective agreements specific to the various sectors of activity.

Who do these cover, including categories of worker?

These laws and regulations cover all categories of:

  • employer;
  • employee;
  • union; and
  • protected employee (eg, disabled workers and staff representatives).

Misclassification

Are there specific rules regarding employee/contractor classification?

The abovementioned laws and regulations provide specific rules regarding employee classification.

Contracts

Must an employment contract be in writing?

In principle, only fixed-term contracts must be in writing. However, in practice, contracts cannot be registered unless they are in writing and registration of all employment contracts is mandatory under Senegalese law. 

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

Yes, some terms are implied into employment contracts. Under Senegalese law, contracts need not mention all of the terms that bind the parties. For example, a fixed-term contract need not mention that it cannot be renewed more than once. Parties should know that even though such provision is not mentioned in the contract, they must comply with the laws and regulations governing the conditions and duration of fixed-term contracts, which are mandatory under the Labour Code.

Are mandatory arbitration/dispute resolution agreements enforceable?

Under Senegalese labour law, disputes arising from employment contracts are not subject to arbitration. Consequently, arbitration agreements are not enforceable. However, no dispute can be resolved by a court without a preliminary step of conciliation.

How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements?

Any substantial change to an employment agreement by the employer requires the employee’s consent (Article L 67 of the Labour Code).  

Foreign workers

Is a distinction drawn between local and foreign workers?

Yes, a distinction is made between local and foreign workers under Articles L 33 and L 34 of the Labour Code, which include provisions concerning the contracts of foreign workers. These provisions set out specific rules and processes with which an employment contract with a foreign worker should comply.

Employers should send any employment contract with a foreign worker to the Department of Labour for approval.