1. Minimum Working Conditions
Egyptian Law provides various detailed rules on employees’ rights and guarantees; including minimum wages; mandatory social insurance obligations; maximum working hours and limitations on overtime work; special leaves and rights for pregnant women and for childcare; job retention obligations in these cases and in cases of illness, accidents, and military service; quotas for disabled employees; limitations on dismissing employees; and statutory minimum compensation in cases of abusive dismissal.
The employment contract determines the way the salary is communicated (gross or not). There are no legal requirements. Generally, the employer cannot unilaterally reduce the salary agreed between the employer and the employee in the employment contract. Reducing a limited portion of the salary is allowed in case the employer is facing financial crisis and the alternative to making the employees redundant or closing down the establishment is to reduce employees’ salaries. This is provided that the employer obtains an approval from the relevant ministerial committee.
3. Maximum Working Week
Employees must not work more than eight hours per day or 48 hours per week, rest hours are not included. The period from the start of work to its end, and the employee’s presence at work, must not exceed 10 hours, including breaks.
Each employee must have a weekly paid holiday of not less than 24 hours, every six continuous days. In workplaces far from urban areas and in jobs that possess a nature that requires continuance of work without interruption, the weekly holidays may be collected together for a period not exceeding eight weeks.
Senior management, personnel working in preparatory and complimentary jobs, as well as cleaning and security personnel are not governed by the above limitations on working hours. However, they are entitled to overtime, if they work in excess of their contractual working hours.
The working hours of a pregnant employee shall be reduced at least one hour starting from the sixth month of pregnancy.
The female employee, who nurses her child, is entitled to two additional daily breaks, each at least half an hour and she is entitled to join the two breaks into one, during the 24 calendar months following the birth date. These two breaks are counted as working hours and do not lead to a decrease in her salary.
In cases of emergency, where the employer wishes to make the employees work overtime, the law requires that the employer request the written approval of the competent administrative authority to increase working hours. In practice, employers do not obtain such approval without incurring protests from the authorities provided the employer pays the overtime to the employees.
It is prohibited to make the female employee work overtime during pregnancy and during the six months following delivery.
Employees receive up to 14 public holidays a year. These holidays are fully paid.
In all events, the employee may be required to work on these public holidays, if the work conditions require so. In such case, the worker shall be given extra pay equal to two times his salary for that day, in addition to his original salary for the day.