Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in

Sierra Leone

Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for

Sierra Leone

01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Sierra Leonean Leone
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in

Sierra Leone

with Rivermate

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

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone, formally the Republic of Sierra Leone and colloquially Salone, is a country on West Africa's southwest coast. It is bordered on the southeast by Liberia and on the northeast by Guinea. Sierra Leone has a warm climate, a varied landscape ranging from savanna to rainforests, and a population of 7,092,113 people according to the 2015 census. Freetown is the country's capital and largest city. The country is split into five administrative regions, each of which is further divided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone is a federal republic with a unicameral legislature and a president who is directly elected. Sierra Leone has a Muslim majority (approximately 78%), but a significant Christian minority (approximately 21%). Sierra Leone's Muslims and Christians are highly accepting of one another, and all of the country's main Muslim and Christian holidays are recognized as national holidays. On April 27, 1961, Sierra Leone declared independence from the United Kingdom, and Milton Margai became the country's first Prime Minister. On May 27, 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general election as an independent country. Siaka Stevens, a strongman president, ruled Sierra Leone from 1968 to 1985. Sierra Leone was a one-party state from 1978 to 1985, with President Stevens' political party, the All People's Congress, being the only legal political party in the country. President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked alternative, re-adopted Sierra Leone's multiparty democratic constitution in 1991. From March 23, 1991, to March 23, 2002, a coalition of ex-Sierra Leone soldiers waged a violent civil war in an unsuccessful effort to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone. The APC's 24-year rule in Sierra Leone came to an end on April 29, 1992, when the country was overthrown by a military coup, and a junta government headed by Captain Valentine Strasser, 25, governed the country from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, the Sierra Leone People's Party's Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was sworn in as president after winning the election that year. On May 25, 1997, the Sierra Leone military overthrew President Kabbah in a coup. In February 1998, President Kabbah was restored by a coalition of West African ECOWAS armed forces headed by Nigeria. President Kabbah declared the civil war officially over in January 2002. From 1998 to the present, Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democratic government. Sierra Leone is home to sixteen ethnic groups, the Temne and Mende being the two largest and most dominant. Krio, descendants of freed African American and West Indian slaves, make up about 2% of the country's population. Although English is the official language of schools and government administration, Krio is the most widely spoken language in Sierra Leone, with 97% of the population speaking it. Sierra Leone has an abundance of natural resources, including diamonds, gold, bauxite, and aluminum.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Employees are entitled to 19 days of paid annual leave, which increases to 22 days after five years and 28 days after ten years of service.

Public holidays

New Year’s DayInternational Women’s DayGood FridayEaster MondayIndependence DayEid al-FitrEid al-AdhaMawlidChristmasBoxing Day

Sick days

Sick leave is usually managed by a collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract. Employees typically get at least five paid sick days each year.

Maternity leave

Employees who give birth to a child are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Unless a collective bargaining agreement specifies otherwise, the employer pays for the leave.

Paternity leave

There is no paternity leave in Sierra Leone.

Parental leave

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

In Sierra Leone, an employment contract can be canceled by either the employer or the employee at the conclusion of the contract time (if the contract is for a specified term). Contracts for fixed-term employment expire at the end of the period.

Unless an individual or collective agreement mandates notice, an employer and employee may cancel an employment contract without providing notice during the probation period. Employees may be terminated for cause, and after receiving two written warnings, they may be terminated without pay.

Notice period

According to Sierra Leonean labor laws, the notice period can range from one week to one month.

Severance pay

Severance is generally determined by individual and collective bargaining agreements.

Probation period

Probation periods of up to six months are permitted in Sierra Leone.

07. Working hours


Sierra Leone's work week is typically 40 hours long.


Women and employees under the age of 18 are not permitted to work at night. Overtime is compensated at a rate of 50% more; work on rest days is compensated at 100% more.

08. Minimum wage


The government-mandated minimum wage in Sierra Leone is 500,000 Sierra Leonean leones per month.

09. Employee benefits


Pregnant women, children under the age of five, and nursing moms are all eligible for free health care. The government is trying to provide access to free health care for all people.

Mandatory benefits postulated by law include a probationary period, pay on annual leaves, public holidays, sick leaves, maternity leave, paternity leave, and overtime pay. Statutory benefits also include social security benefits.

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

Establishing an entity in

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone

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

Sierra Leone

via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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