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Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Guinea


In Guinea, employers can lawfully terminate an employment contract for personal reasons such as ineptitude, professional incompetence, ill health, or misconduct. Economic reasons such as financial difficulties, restructuring, or technological changes can also be grounds for dismissal. However, any staff reductions due to economic reasons must be approved by the trade union.

Before dismissal, employers are generally required to provide a written notice period. The length of this notice depends on the employee's role. Operational staff should receive 2 weeks' notice, while supervisors and foremen should receive 1 month's notice. It's important to note that the employer must hold a pre-dismissal interview with the employee at least 5 days prior to termination, outlining the reasons for the decision.

Employees with at least one year of service are generally entitled to severance pay upon dismissal, unless the termination is due to serious misconduct. For those on indefinite term contracts, the severance pay is at least 50 hours' worth of wages for hourly workers, or 25% of one month's wage for salaried workers. For those on fixed-term contracts, it's 5% of the total wages for the contracted period.


Guinea has established laws to prohibit discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment. These laws, although not as comprehensive as those in some other countries, provide essential protection against unfair treatment.

Protected Characteristics

The primary focus of Guinean law is on the following protected characteristics:

  • Gender: The Guinean Constitution and the Labor Code prohibit discrimination based on sex.
  • Ethnicity: The Constitution and other laws also address ethnic discrimination, although enforcement can be inconsistent.

However, Guinean law does not explicitly extend protections to:

  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity: Discrimination against LGBTQI+ individuals remains a significant problem.
  • Disability: Protections for persons with disabilities are limited.
  • Age: Age-based discrimination is not specifically addressed.

Redress Mechanisms

If you experience discrimination in Guinea, you have the following redress options:

  • Internal Reporting: Companies are expected to have internal mechanisms for handling discrimination complaints.
  • Labor Inspectorate: The Labor Inspectorate can investigate allegations of discrimination in the workplace.
  • Courts: You have the right to bring a discrimination case before the courts, although the process can be lengthy and challenging.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Guinea have the following core responsibilities regarding discrimination:

  • Non-Discrimination Policy: They should develop and implement a clear policy against discrimination based on the protected characteristics.
  • Equal Treatment: They should ensure equal treatment, remuneration, benefits, and opportunities to all employees regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.
  • Complaint Handling: They should establish a system for employees to report instances of discrimination, with prompt and fair investigations.
  • Awareness and Training: They should sensitize the workforce on discrimination issues and foster a culture of respect.

Challenges and Areas for Improvement

  • Limited Scope: The current laws need to be expanded to cover a broader range of protected characteristics, providing stronger support for vulnerable groups.
  • Weak Enforcement: Enforcement of anti-discrimination laws is often inconsistent, undermining their effectiveness.
  • Social Stigma: Societal attitudes and stigma can make it very difficult for victims of discrimination to come forward and seek redress.

Working conditions

In Guinea, the legal standards for working conditions encompass work hours, rest periods, and ergonomic requirements.

Work Hours

The standard workweek in Guinea is 40 hours. Employers can require employees to work overtime, but there are limitations:

  • Maximum daily overtime: 10 hours.
  • Maximum weekly overtime (including regular hours): 48 hours.
  • Yearly limit for unilateral overtime imposition by employer: 100 hours.
  • Overtime exceeding the yearly limit requires authorization from the Labour Inspector.

Overtime work must be compensated at a premium rate:

  • First four overtime hours in a week: 130% of normal hourly rate.
  • Five or more overtime hours in a week: 160% of normal hourly rate.

Rest Periods

Workers are entitled to a daily rest period. The specific duration is not explicitly mentioned. Workers are also entitled to one and a half days of paid leave per month, which translates to roughly 36 days of paid leave per year. Workers are entitled to receive wages at a premium rate for work performed on public holidays:

  • 160% of normal hourly rate for daytime work.
  • 200% of normal hourly rate for nighttime work.

Ergonomic Requirements

While specific ergonomic requirements are not explicitly mentioned, Guinea’s Labour Code likely includes general provisions for workplace safety.

Health and safety

In Guinea, worker well-being is prioritized through a framework of health and safety regulations. These regulations outline employer obligations, employee rights, and the enforcing bodies.

Employer Obligations

Guinea’s health and safety regulations place significant responsibility on employers to ensure a safe work environment. Key employer obligations include:

  • Risk prevention: Employers have a legal duty to identify and mitigate potential hazards in the workplace. This includes implementing preventative measures like providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training for workers.
  • Safe work practices: Employers must establish and enforce safe work procedures to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Workplace maintenance: Employers are responsible for maintaining the workplace in a safe condition. This encompasses regular inspections and upkeep of machinery, buildings, and other worksite elements.
  • Accident reporting and investigation: Employers must report workplace accidents and illnesses to the relevant authorities and conduct investigations to prevent future occurrences.

Employee Rights

Employees in Guinea have fundamental rights regarding workplace health and safety:

  • Right to a safe workplace: Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable risks to their health and safety.
  • Right to information and training: Employees have the right to be informed about potential hazards in the workplace and receive proper training on safe work practices.
  • Right to refuse unsafe work: Employees have the right to refuse work they believe to be unsafe or unhealthy without fear of retaliation.

Enforcement Agencies

The responsibility for enforcing Guinea’s health and safety regulations falls on the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry employs Labour Inspectors who conduct workplace inspections and investigate complaints. These inspectors have the authority to issue citations and impose fines on employers who violate health and safety regulations.

In addition to the Ministry of Labour, social security institutions may also play a role in workplace health and safety by monitoring workplace injuries and illnesses.

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