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Termination and Severance Policies

Learn about the legal processes for employee termination and severance in Congo

Notice period

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), specific notice periods are required for both employers and employees initiating employment termination. These periods are stipulated in the Labor Code (Article 64) and depend on the employee's category and length of service.

Notice Periods for Employers

The minimum notice period an employer must provide an employee upon termination is 14 working days. This base period increases by 7 days for each year of continuous service rendered by the employee. For example, if an employee has worked for a company for 5 years, the employer must give them written notice at least 49 days before their official termination date.

However, a Ministerial Order establishes differentiated notice periods for specific employee categories:

  • Workers in Categories 1-5: The standard Labor Code notice period applies (14 days + 7 days/year of service).
  • First-line Supervisors: The minimum notice period is 1 month, increasing by 9 days for each completed year of service.

Notice Periods for Employees

An employee wishing to resign must also provide written notice to their employer. The required notice period for employees is half the period the employer would be required to give for termination of the same contract by the employer. However, the employee's notice period cannot exceed the employer's mandated notice period. For instance, an employee with 3 years of service would be required to provide 28 days' notice.


  • Employers in the DRC must provide written notice to employees before termination, with the minimum period varying based on the employee's length of service.
  • Specific employee categories may have different notice period requirements.
  • Employees must also provide written notice for resignation, with the duration being half of the employer's required notice period, capped at the employer's notice timeframe.

Severance pay

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), employees are entitled to severance pay under certain circumstances as per the DRC Labor Code and subsequent Ministerial Orders.

When is Severance Pay Required?

Severance pay is required in the following situations:

  • Termination for Economic Reasons: If employees are dismissed due to layoffs, business closure, or other economic reasons.
  • Termination due to Force Majeure: If termination is necessitated by circumstances beyond the employer's control, such as natural disasters or war.
  • Involuntary Termination for Other Reasons: If dismissals are not considered to be the result of employee misconduct.

When is Severance Pay Not Required?

Severance pay is not required in the following situations:

  • Employee Resignation: If the employee voluntarily chooses to terminate their employment.
  • Termination for Serious Misconduct: If the termination is due to gross misconduct by the employee.
  • Fixed-Term Contracts: Generally, severance pay is not required for employees on fixed-term contracts that expire. However, specific employment contracts may have different provisions.

Calculation of Severance Pay

Severance pay in the DRC is calculated based on the employee's basic salary and their length of service as per Article 71 of the Labor Code. The factors used to determine severance pay include:

  • Years of Service: For each year worked, the employee is entitled to severance based on a percentage of their monthly salary. The percentage increases over time.
  • Employee Category: Ministerial Order No. 12/CAB. MIN/TPS/117/2005 may stipulate different severance pay calculations for specific employee categories.

Please note that the specific calculation of severance pay may vary depending on an individual employment contract or collective bargaining agreements applicable to the company.

Termination process

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Labor Code provides the framework for how employers should handle employment termination. It outlines specific permissible grounds, required procedures, and employee rights.

Types of Termination

  • Termination by Employer: This includes dismissals due to economic reasons, involuntary redundancies, or in some cases, employee performance or capacity.
  • Termination by Employee: An employee may choose to resign from their position.
  • Termination by Mutual Agreement: Both employer and employee can reach an agreement to end the employment relationship.
  • Expiry of Fixed-Term Contracts: These contracts naturally conclude at the end of the agreed term.

Valid Grounds for Employer-Initiated Termination

The Labor Code (Article 62) permits employer-initiated termination in the following circumstances:

  • Serious Misconduct: Grave breaches of obligations or behavior incompatible with job continuation.
  • Repeated Misconduct: Lesser offenses that persist despite warnings.
  • Economic, Technical, or Structural Changes: Justified workforce reductions due to business necessity.
  • Force Majeure: Unforeseeable events outside the employer's control making job continuation impossible.
  • Worker Incapacity: When the employee is unable to perform their job duties effectively.

Prohibited Grounds for Termination

The DRC Labor Code (Article 63) protects employees from unfair dismissal based on:

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Political opinion
  • Nationality
  • Trade union affiliation
  • Filing a good-faith complaint against the employer

Termination Procedure

  1. Written Notice: The employer must provide written termination notice, stating reasons and date of termination.
  2. Employee Response: The employee has the right to provide an explanation or defense.
  3. Workforce Reduction Consultation: In cases of economic redundancies, the employer may need to consult with the Labour Inspectorate or relevant worker representatives.
  4. Certificate of Service: The employer is legally obligated to issue a certificate of service to the terminated employee.
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