Given Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, the Liberian labour force is predominantly illiterate and unskilled. An overwhelming majority of the workforce is engaged in the informal sector, contributing to family businesses or small-scale farms.
Employment in Liberia is mainly governed by the Liberia Labour Practices Law, 1956.
Liberian employment law recognises both fixed-term and indefinite duration contracts.
The maximum duration permitted for an oral fixed term contract is 6 months and 2 years for a written fixed-term contract. Fixed term contracts are deemed to automatically terminate at the end of the specified period, unless stated otherwise. Renewals may not exceed 18 months.
Employment contracts may either be written or oral. However, all fixed term contracts exceeding 6 months must be in writing.
Under Liberian employment law, probationary periods may not be less than 1 month and cannot exceed 3 months.
An employee may be dismissed if he or she is guilty of a “gross breach of duty” or a “total lack of capability to perform”.
Examples of “gross breach of duty” include:
An employer may terminate the employment contract provided he or she gives at least 2 weeks written notice (casual employee) or 4 weeks (salaried employee). Compensation in lieu of notice may be given. However, employees guilty of a gross breach of duty may be terminated without notice or severance pay.
Unless guilty of a gross breach of misconduct, employees are entitled only to severance payments equivalent to their remaining wages due.
Employees may also be entitled to redundancy/severance payments in cases where the company is bankrupt, in liquidation etc.
Working hours cannot exceed more than 8 hours per day or 48 hours a week. Employees are also entitled to an uninterrupted period of 24 hours rest per week.
Workers who have been with the same employer for 3 years are entitled to 2 weeks leave (by number of working days), increasing to 3 weeks for 4 years of service.
Employees in 5 years of service with the same employer are entitled to 4 weeks leave.
Not provided for in the law.
As one of the most generous policies in the world, female employees are entitled to 3 months paid maternity leave.
All Liberian companies and employees are required to participate in the national social security scheme.
Both the employee and employer’s monthly mandatory social security contribution is 3% of gross monthly remuneration.
Only the employer is required to contribute to workmen compensation, equal to 1.75% of the gross monthly remuneration.
Compliance with local employment requirements is just one of the issues foreign companies face when employing staff in Liberia. For companies which intend to employ their staff directly through their incorporated Liberian entity, professional legal advice is recommended. Shield GEO provides an alternative path for companies to outsource the employment of their staff in Liberia.
As a Global Employer Organization (GEO), Shield GEO acts as the Employer of Record and ensures the employment is compliant with host country regulations regarding employment. In addition Shield GEO will handle payroll processing, tax and immigration. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Liberia.
The Shield GEO solution is an attractive alternative where
– the company is looking to employ staff quickly
– the company doesn’t have an appropriately incorporated entity in Liberia
– the company wants to work within a defined budget
– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Liberia
– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Liberia