Practice Area Articles
February 05, 2024
By Paul Hastings Professional
Back to International Employment Law
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2024
Recently adopted labour legislation
A new Labour Law was recently enacted and will come into force on 21 February 2024, revoking the Labour Law currently in force (Law No. 23/2007, of August 2007). It will bring about several relevant changes to employment relationships and new rules such as: new work models, including intermittent work, seasonal work, and telework; the extension of maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days; the extension of paternity leave from one to seven days; changes to employees’ minimum vacation leave entitlements; and new employer categories (including a (i) micro employer, who employs up to 10 employees; (ii) small employer, employing between 11 to 30 employees; (iii) medium employer, employing between 31 to 100 employees; and (iv) large employer, employing more than 100 employees). Further, fixed-term employment contracts will only be permitted to be concluded for a period not exceeding two years and may be renewed twice. However, micro, small, and medium-sized employers may freely enter fixed-term employment contracts in the first 8 years of their activities. Under the new Labour Law, employees subject to abusive disciplinary proceedings will be entitled to receive compensation and may be reinstated in the event of dismissal. The new Labour Law also makes provision for the suspension of the employment relationship in the event of force majeure.
Many employers have maintained teleworking after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the legislature has not included the regulation of telework in the new Labour Law, we expect remote work to be regulated during 2024 in special legislation. Employers should keep a look out for any future special legislation and ensure appropriate compliance with the applicable policies as and when might be necessary.
We anticipate that more employers will be exploring, developing, or adopting AI-powered technology to improve their HR processes in 2024. While AI remains unregulated in Mozambique, employment duties such as confidentiality and data protection must be considered when using AI.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2023
Short-term work regime
Decree No. 43/2022, of 19 August 2022, amended the Regulation governing the Mechanisms and Procedures for Employment of Foreign Nationals (enacted by Decree No. 37/2016, of 31 August 2016) and as of 19 August 2022, hires of foreign individuals under the short term work regime last may now last up to 120 days per year (instead of 90 days), whether consecutive or not.
Launch of E-Visa portal
The E-Visa platform (https://evisa.gov.mz/) is available in Portuguese and English languages and consists in an online service which aims to ease up the overall procedure of obtaining a visa as it allows to handle pre-approval procedures without the need for physical submission of visa application documents. The platform allows to candidates to apply directly on the website for the following visas:
sport and culture visa,
humanitarian assistance visa,
investment visa, and
Applicants need to register themselves, fill up a form and upload the mandatory documents according to the type of visa to which they are applying for and submit the request – to the National Migration Service ("SENAMI") - in order to get an answer within 5 business days.
Being the request approved, the applicant receives an email with a digital pre-approval (in PDF) which must be presented to SENAMI immigration officer at the point of entry in the country. A physical visa will issued upon payment of the corresponding fee.
Although the platform was launched on the beginning of the month, there are currently some shortcomings in its functioning and operation.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2021
Measures to contain the COVID-19 virus
Decree No. 110/2020, of 18 December 2020 (the "Decree"), sets forth measures to contain the spreading of the COVID-19 virus while the Public State of Calamity is in force. Among other general prevention measures, the Decree sets forth the following: (a) use of masks and/or visors; (b) frequent hand washing with soap and water or ash; (c) interpersonal distance, minimum one and one-half metre; (d) cough etiquette; and (e) non-sharing of items of personal use. The Decree also sets forth that individuals aged 65 and above, who are carriers of high risk diseases and pregnant women have priority regarding their release from the performance of on-site work while the Public State of Calamity is in force. In addition, the following measures apply: (a) body temperature to be measured before the start of the working period; (b) disinfection of facilities and equipment with recommend products; (c) ventilation of facilities; and (d) reduced capacity at meetings and places of agglomeration; in these cases, interpersonal distance of at least two metres should be guaranteed; and (e) people with fever or flu symptoms should not show up at the workplace.
Suspension of employment contracts for economic reasons
The Labour Law, enacted by Law No. 23/2007, of 1 August 2007, allows employers to suspend employment contracts for economic reasons, market and/or technological reasons, disasters, and other events that affect or may foreseeably come to affect the normal business of the company. During the first three months of the suspension period, the employees are entitled to a percentage of their respective remunerations which may not be lower than the applicable national minimum wage as follows: (i) first month of suspension 75% of the remuneration; (ii) second month of suspension 50% of the remuneration; and (iii) third month of suspension 25% of the remuneration. Should the reasons for suspension of employment contracts remain after this three-month period, the payment of the remuneration of the affected employees will be suspended and parties may agree to terminate the employment contract, in which case employees are entitled to the compensation set forth in the law. This is a measure that companies may resort to and is expected to continue in Mozambique this year.
Supreme Court's decision disciplinary procedure information and consultation duties
Article 67 (2) of the Labour Law sets forth the duty of the employer informing or consulting the company's Trade Union Committee or Union Delegate (depending on the type of company) regarding several phases of the disciplinary procedure. The Labour Law also sets forth that non-compliance with said information and consultation duties entails the invalidity of the disciplinary procedure. For several years the courts labour courts and Maputo's High Court of Appeal were practically unanimous in considering that, in the absence of a company's Trade Union Committee or Union Delegate, those information and consultation duties should be fulfilled before the Employees Committee or the Trade Union of the employer's sector of activity. This understanding became local practice. However, the Supreme Court has issued a decision that contradicts said courts' understanding and the local practice. Indeed, the Supreme Court has taken the view that, in the absence of a Trade Union Committee, Union Delegate or Employees Committee, the employer does not need to comply with information and consultation duties before the Trade Union of its sector of activity and thus that the disciplinary procedure is not invalid.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2020
Preventive labour measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak during the State of Emergency
Through Decree No. 36/2020 of 2 June 2020 (the "Decree"), the Council of Ministers has approved a set of measures to be adopted by public and private institutions working during the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. These measures include social distancing between employees, mandatory frequent hand washing and disinfection of common areas. The Decree also reduces the number of employees physically present at the workplace to at least 1/3rd of the total number of employees, and requires a mandatory rotation of these employees every 15 days. To help safeguard employment, the Decree also expressly prohibits the termination of employment based on the absence of employees from their workplace due to preventive measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2019
New legislation regarding private employment agencies
The Government of Mozambique approved a new Decree No. 16/2018, of 23 April 2018, establishing the rules and procedures for the licensing of Private Employment Agencies.
New legislation regarding the mandatory social security regime
The Government of Mozambique approved Decree nº 51/2017, of 9 October 2017, which came into force in January 2018, which implements the Law No. 4/2007, of 7 February 2007. This new regulation establishes the new mandatory social security regime for employees and self-employed contractors.