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Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Guinea-Bissau

Mandatory benefits

In Guinea-Bissau, employers are legally obligated to provide certain benefits to their employees, which can be broadly divided into leave and compensation benefits.

Leave Benefits

  • Probationary Period: A legal framework exists for probationary periods, which typically last between 1 and 3 months. In exceptional circumstances, this can be extended up to 6 months.
  • Annual Leave: Employees accrue paid annual leave at a rate of 2.5 days per month worked, equating to 21 days per year.
  • Public Holidays: Employees are entitled to paid time off for all nine national holidays.
  • Sick Leave: Employees can receive up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave, with specifics determined by employment contracts.
  • Maternity Leave: Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • Paternity Leave: Paternity leave is also mandated by law, though specific details are not readily available.
  • Notice Period: Both employers and employees must provide a notice period before termination. The specific length is determined by the employment contract.

Compensation Benefits

  • Overtime Pay: Overtime work is permitted up to a maximum of 100 hours per year and must be compensated at an increased rate. The first four hours receive a 30% premium, while any hours beyond that are paid at a 60% premium on top of the normal wage.
  • Severance Pay: Severance pay is required by law under certain circumstances, though specifics depend on the reason for termination.
  • 13th Month Pay: A mandatory 13th-month payment is also required by law.

Employers are also obligated to contribute to the national social security system (CNaPS) on behalf of their employees. The employer contribution rate is 7% of the employee's gross salary. There might be a minimum salary threshold for these contributions, but current information is unavailable.

Optional benefits

In Guinea-Bissau, many employers offer additional benefits to attract and retain top talent. These optional benefits often go beyond the mandatory baseline level of security for employees.

Health and Wellness Benefits

  • Private Health Insurance: Some employers provide supplemental private health insurance plans that offer broader coverage compared to the national health insurance.
  • Wellness Programs: On-site wellness programs or gym memberships might be offered by companies to promote employee health and well-being.

Financial Benefits

  • Meal Vouchers or Subsidies: To help ease the burden of meals, some employers offer subsidized meals at cafeterias or provide meal vouchers.
  • Transportation Allowances: To offset commuting costs, some companies offer transportation allowances or provide shuttle services.
  • Performance Bonuses: Performance-based bonuses might be offered by employers to incentivize productivity and achievement of set goals.

Family and Personal Benefits

  • Life Insurance: Life insurance coverage can be provided as a benefit to financially protect employee families in case of death.
  • Daycare Assistance: Childcare subsidies or on-site daycare facilities might be offered by companies to support employees with young children.
  • Educational Assistance: Tuition reimbursement or educational assistance programs might be offered by some employers to help employees pursue further education.

For more specific insights into current employee benefit trends in Guinea-Bissau, consulting with recruitment agencies or professional employer organizations (PEOs) with experience in the country can be beneficial. Reaching out to companies of interest directly can also offer valuable details about their specific benefit packages.

Health insurance requirements

In Guinea-Bissau, employers are legally obligated to contribute to the National Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie - CNAM) on behalf of their employees. The exact contribution rate is not readily available online, but it is likely a percentage of the employee's gross salary.

Private Health Insurance

While not mandatory, some employers in Guinea-Bissau might offer private health insurance plans. These plans can provide broader coverage compared to the basic benefits offered by CNAM.

Current Information Gap

There seems to be a lack of publicly available, up-to-date information regarding the specific details of CNAM contributions and coverage.

Additional Considerations

Private health insurance plans offered by employers can vary significantly. When evaluating such plans, it's important to consider factors like:

  • The scope of coverage offered (inpatient care, outpatient care, medication coverage, etc.)
  • Network of healthcare providers covered by the plan
  • Any employee contribution requirements
  • Deductibles and co-pays involved

Retirement plans

In Guinea-Bissau, the primary retirement plan for employees is provided by a public social security system. This system is managed by the National Social Security Institute, known locally as Instituto Nacional de Segurança Social or INSS.

Public Social Security System

The public social security system offers retirement benefits based on the contributions made throughout an employee's working life.


The eligibility criteria for the retirement benefits include:

  • Age Requirement:
    • Old-age pension: The age requirement is 60 years.
    • Early retirement with reduced benefits may be possible under specific circumstances.
  • Contribution Requirement: A minimum of 10 years of contributions is required.


The benefits provided by the system include:

  • Old-age pension: The pension amount is calculated based on a formula that takes into account the employee's average earnings during their highest earning years and the total contribution period. The maximum benefit is capped at 80% of the average monthly earnings.
  • Old-age settlement: A lump sum payment is available for those who don't meet the minimum contribution requirement for a regular pension.
  • Disability pension: This is available for employees with a minimum of 10 years of contributions who become disabled before reaching retirement age and have a certified loss of earning capacity of at least 50%.
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