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Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Djibouti


The Djiboutian Labor Code outlines the lawful grounds for terminating an employment contract. These include economic reasons such as company restructuring or closure, disciplinary grounds like serious misconduct, repeated negligence, or breach of contractual obligations, and mutual agreement between the employer and employee.

Notice Requirements

The Labor Code of Djibouti stipulates specific notice periods for the termination of employment, which vary depending on the employment status and type of the contract. For fixed-term contracts, no notice is necessary if the contract naturally expires. However, if termination occurs before its agreed end-date, notice is required as per the terms established in the contract. For indefinite-term contracts, general employees and laborers require one month's notice, while supervisors, managers, and similar positions require three months' notice.

Severance Pay

Djiboutian law mandates severance pay for employees whose employment is terminated for certain reasons. The amount of severance pay depends on the employee's length of service. Employees with less than one year of service receive one month's salary, those with one to five years of service receive two months' salary, and those with more than five years of service receive three months' salary. Severance pay is not typically required if the employee resigns voluntarily, unless there is a case of constructive dismissal.


Djiboutian law provides protection against discrimination in employment based on several characteristics. These include gender, origin, religion, and social status. The Constitution of Djibouti guarantees equality between men and women, and the Labor Code further reinforces this. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or national origin is prohibited by the Constitution. The Constitution declares Islam the state religion, but it also protects the freedom to practice other religions. The Constitution also prohibits discrimination based on an individual's social background.

Redress Mechanisms

Djibouti's mechanisms for addressing workplace discrimination are not as robust as in some other nations. Options available to employees who experience discrimination include the Labor Inspectorate, courts, and trade unions and civil society. Employees may file complaints with the Labor Inspectorate within the Ministry of Labor. In some situations, employees may seek redress through the Djiboutian court system. Trade unions and civil society organizations may offer support and advocacy, although their effectiveness can be limited.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Djibouti have a general obligation to uphold the principles of non-discrimination. They are responsible for developing and publicizing policies that emphasize equal opportunity based on the protected characteristics. They should also sensitize employees, especially managers, on discrimination-related issues and foster an inclusive workplace culture. Ensuring that hiring, promotion, and disciplinary processes are conducted fairly and without bias is also a part of their responsibilities. They should establish internal mechanisms for employees to report instances of discrimination and ensure complaints are investigated.

Authoritative Sources

The Constitution of Djibouti and the Labor Code of Djibouti are the primary authoritative sources for these policies. The U.S. Department of State's 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Djibouti also provides valuable information.

Working conditions

In Djibouti, there is no legally established standard workweek. Working hours are typically determined by employment contracts and negotiated between employers and employees. The maximum legal working hours are not explicitly defined in Djiboutian law. However, some sources suggest a possible limit of 48 hours per week, similar to neighboring countries.

Rest Periods

There is no legal requirement for a mandated daily rest period within the workday. Friday is the official day of rest in Djibouti.

Ergonomic Requirements

Djibouti lacks national regulations concerning ergonomics in the workplace. While the legal framework might be evolving, some Djiboutian companies, especially those with international partnerships, may implement their own ergonomic standards to ensure worker safety and well-being.

Health and safety

In Djibouti, the Labor Code outlines some general employer obligations regarding worker health and safety. Employers have a general duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees. They are also responsible for providing a safe work environment and taking necessary precautions to minimize risks. While specific regulations might be lacking, some Djiboutian companies, particularly those in high-risk industries, may implement their own safety protocols.

Employee Rights

Djiboutian employees have certain rights regarding health and safety in the workplace. Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable hazards. This right is implied but not explicitly mentioned in Djiboutian law. Employees may have the right to refuse work they believe poses a serious risk to their health and safety, although this right is not explicitly enshrined in Djiboutian law.

Enforcement Agencies

The primary agency responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations in Djibouti is the Ministry of Labor (Ministère du Travail). The Ministry enforces labor laws and might intervene in cases of egregious safety violations. However, enforcement mechanisms might be limited due to the evolving nature of health and safety regulations in Djibouti.

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