The employment relationship

Country specific laws

What laws and regulations govern the employment relationship?

Several regulations govern employment relationships, including:  

  • Act 2015-532 of 20 July 2015, which constitutes the Labour Code; and
  • the Interprofessional Collective Agreement 1977.

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?

Act 2015-532 of 20 July 2015 (which constitutes the Labour Code) and the Interprofessional Collective Agreement 1977 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 Ivorian law.

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

Yes, some terms are implied into employment contracts. Under Ivorian 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 a 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?

Yes. Under the Labour Code, any arbitration clause in an employment contract binds the parties and is consequently enforceable (Article 82.10 of the Labour Code).

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 16.16 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. For example, Articles 7 and 8 of Decree 96-287 of 3 April 1996 on the Employment Contract include specific provisions on the contracts of foreign workers.

Notably, employers should send any employment contract with a foreign worker to the Minister of Labour for approval.