Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Eritrean Nakfa
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is an East African country with Asmara as its capital. Ethiopia is to the south, Sudan is to the west, and Djibouti is to the southeast. Eritrea's coastline along the Red Sea stretches for miles in the northeast and east. The Dahlak Archipelago and numerous Hanish Islands make up the nation's total area of approximately 117,600 km2. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic nation with nine ethnic groups recognized within its population of about 6.5 million people. The nine recognized ethnic groups speak nine different languages, with Tigrinya being the most commonly spoken, followed by Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Arabic, and Saho. The three working languages are Tigrinya, Arabic, and English. The majority of the population speaks Afroasiatic languages, either Ethiopian Semitic or Cushitic branches. The Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population in these communities, with the Tigre people accounting for around 30%. There are also many Nilotic ethnic groups who speak Nilo-Saharan. The Kingdom of Aksum, which covers most of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established in the first or second century AD and adheres to Christianity or Islam, with a small minority adhering to traditional faiths. Around the middle of the fourth century, it converted to Christianity. Much of Eritrea was ruled by the Medri Bahri kingdom in medieval times, with a smaller area belonging to Hamasien. The incorporation of separate, distinct kingdoms ultimately resulted in the establishment of Italian Eritrea, which gave rise to modern-day Eritrea. Eritrea was ruled by the British Military Administration until 1952 after the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942. Following a UN General Assembly resolution in 1952, Eritrea would rule itself with a local Eritrean parliament, but would have a ten-year federal status with Ethiopia for foreign relations and security. In 1962, however, Ethiopia's government dissolved the Eritrean parliament and officially annexed Eritrea. The Eritrean Liberation Front was established in 1961 by the Eritrean secessionist movement, and it fought the Eritrean War of Independence until Eritrea achieved de facto independence in 1991. After an independence referendum in 1993, Eritrea achieved de jure independence. Eritrea is a unitary one-party presidential republic that has never held national legislative or presidential elections. Since the country's official independence in 1993, Isaias Afwerki has served as President. According to Human Rights Watch, Eritrea's government has one of the worst human rights records in the world. These charges have been rejected by the Eritrean government as politically motivated. Eritrea's press freedom is severely limited, and it is regularly ranked among the least free countries in the world by the Press Freedom Index.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

After one year of service, employers are entitled to 14 days of paid regular leave in addition to public holidays. For each year of operation, this changes by one day, up to 35 working days. Upon separation of work, employers must pay any accumulated yet unused days.

Public holidays

New Year’s DayDay of the MartyrsHeroes’ DayLabour DayLiberation DayIndependence DayParents’ DayChristmas Day

Sick days

While sick leave is not mandatory, some employers can provide paid sick time.

Maternity leave

Female employers are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, with six weeks available prior to the birth and up to eight weeks available following the birth. Maternity leave pays about 66 percent of the employee's minimum wage.

Paternity leave

There is no statutory paternity leave in Eritrea.

Parental leave

Other than the already mentioned terms regarding maternity and paternity leaves, there are no other provisions in the law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employment contracts may be terminated during the probationary period, at the end of a fixed-term contract, with mutual consent, by the employer (with or without cause), or by the employee. Employers may terminate employees without notice at the end of a fixed-term contract, during the probationary period, or for cause other than the employee's death, inability to perform, or misconduct. Falsifying documents, theft or breach of trust, being absent from work for five consecutive days or ten consecutive days in a calendar year without explanation, disclosing confidential information, or violating the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement constitute misconduct. Employers are required to offer notice of termination in the absence of cause or a fixed-term contract and outside of the probation period.

Notice period

The notice period in Eritrea ranges from seven to thirty days.

Severance pay

Severance pay is typically between two and four weeks' pay for each year of service.

Probation period

The probation period should be defined in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement but cannot exceed 90 days.

07. Working hours


The standard workweek is 40 hours at an hourly rate of eight hours per day, excluding overtime. Unless the Minister of Labor specifies otherwise, every worker is entitled to a 24-hour rest period on Sundays.


Without the employee's consent, an employer may only require up to two hours of overtime. Above two hours of overtime per day, consent from the employees must already be necessitated. Overtime wages vary according to the time of day when overtime work is performed.

Employers must pay 125 percent of regular wages for overtime hours worked between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Wages should equal 150 percent of standard pay between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. If an employee is required to work on their rest day, the employer is required to compensate them at double their regular rate of pay.

08. Minimum wage


Eritrea has no national minimum wage, but the minimum wage in the public sector is 360 Eritrean nakfa ($24) per month.

09. Employee benefits


Employee health insurance schemes are not mandated by employment regulations. Employers have the option of offering these plans.

The employment laws of the country make no provision for mandatory bonuses for employees. Beyond the standard sick and annual leave provisions, employees are entitled to additional leave. Workers may take unpaid leave for family reasons, such as marriage or the death of a family member, and this leave may last up to five consecutive days in severe cases.

Additionally, association leaders are entitled to paid leave from their organizations. This time off period is applicable to labor disputes, collective bargaining agreements, seminars, and training courses.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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