What Types of Visas or Permits for Morocco are there?
Foreigners wanting to enter Morocco require a valid passport or recognised travel document PLUS a valid visa unless they are from visa-exempt countries. However, even if a visa is not required, make sure the passport is stamped on the way in, so there are no problems getting out! Also, some business activities can be carried out under the visa-exempt status but not for payment.
Visas are effectively a ‘short term’ entry and ‘limited stay’ residence permit and those who apply receive a ‘visa sticker’ for between one and 90 days. However, this does not give automatic right of entry until the reason for the visit, duration, funds to cover the stay and guarantee regarding repatriation are verified, which should be done by the responsible authority and approved by the immigration department.
Responsible Authorities for Visas and Work Documentation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates through the diplomatic missions abroad such as embassies, consulates or honorary consuls who issue entry visas.
General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) is the National Police Force of Morocco and issues Residence Permits / Registration Cards for foreigners.
L’Agence Nationale de Promotion de l’Emploi et des Compétences – ANAPEC (or translated as the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Abilities) must certify that there are no local citizens able to fill positions before they can be offered to foreign nationals and issue an ‘activity certificate’.
Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Vocational Training, Employment and Skills (MIEPEEC). Companies wanting to employ foreigners, must first seek approval from this ministry.
Ministry of Labour and Professional Integration issues work permits as a stamp which is fixed to foreigners’ employment contracts. This ministry was also responsible for the foreigners’ employment contract model in 2019 (No. 1356-19).
Main Entry Visas
Visas are divided into four categories:
The Short Validity Visa. Available as a single or multiple entry visa for a limited period of up to 90 days, which can be for tourism or business activities
The Long Validity Visa. Available for trips over three months which is valid for one year and with multiple entry, the trips can be for between one and 90 days. Visa holders who wish to remain in Morocco for longer than three months have to apply for a registration card (residence permit) from the General Directorate of National Security
Transit Visa. For trips across Morocco to enter another country. Allows one or two ‘transits’, each to a maximum of 72 hours
Border Visa. This can be for the short validity visa or transit visa when there is no representation in the country to issue these visas. Applications can be made directly to the Directorate of Consular and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rabat for the visa to be dispensed at the airport upon arrival
Note: There is generally no provision in Morocco for the Visa on Arrival service. Also, visa holders cannot change the type of visa received, once inside the country. A new visa has to be requested in the applicant’s home country.
Important: When applying for visas through embassies or consulates abroad, applicants are expected to register with these diplomatic missions for any services rendered and for this a charge is made separate from the service.
Since July 2022, Morocco introduced an Online E-visa, through for visitors in an effort to re-energise the country’s tourism industry post-pandemic and facilitate issuing visas. Until January 2023, there were 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to apply for the electronic visa. This is valid for 180 days for a 30-day stay. The online visas for ‘Tourism’ and ‘Business’ can be processed within 24 hours for the Express Visa service and 72 hours for their Standard Visa. This can be sent to applicants’ emails and downloaded.
Otherwise, foreigners have to use the diplomatic missions in their home country as they do for other visa types.
These are divided into Ordinary and Official Visas. The latter are for diplomatic passport holders, for official business of embassy staff, and service visas for service passport holders.
The Ordinary Visas for Short Validity:
Tourist Visa can be applied for electronically for a 30 day stay and is valid for 190 days and can be received over email in as little as 24 hours for express service. This visa is also available, for those eligible, from the embassies or consulates (diplomatic missions) abroad and can be for between one to 90-day stays
Business Visa applied for through the electronic visa system can give businesspeople stays of 30 days or through diplomatic missions for up to 90 days. For people who have businesses to monitor, but not employment
Conference Visa allows people to attend seminars, conferences, trade fairs and similar, for those not visa exempt, for up to 90 days
Also, for investors,sporting and cultural events, for journalism, for medical procedures, for sailors and air crew, and more
Ordinary Visas for Long Validity include:
Work Visa for people who want to work in Morocco and have an employment contract. This visa is also for a 90-day period, but it enables people to apply for the Residence Permit, after entering the country, to extend their stay
Reunification Visa allows foreigners to join family in Morocco
Student Visa allows foreign students to study in the country
Visitor Visa which according to the can be used for long-term immigration (but not employment) or retirement
The permit gives people the right to stay in the country. There are two types of residence permits – the Registration Card and the Residence Card.
Categories of Registration Cards are for:
Visitor e.g., retirees
Long-term Medical Care
These are intended for people wanting to stay for a specific reason, and for longer than 90 days, but not permanently. Employees should mention the profession or occupation on the card. The card remains valid as long as the holder is not absent from Morocco for more than six months or it has not expired, it is not withdrawn or denied – at which time, foreign nationals have to leave the country unless they renew the card, or they hold a Residence Card. This card can be renewed annually or for up to 10 years.
This is for people intending to stay permanently. It can be applied for after an uninterrupted four years living legally using the registration card. Other foreigners may be given a Residence Card as their right, including a foreign spouse of a Moroccan citizen, dependents of card holders, refugees etc. Valid for 10 years but expires if holders are out of the country for longer than two years.
Applying for Work Visas and Work Permits in Morocco
Visas are the entry authorisation and short-term residence permit for all travellers to Morocco. Some countries are visa exempt and nationals can enter for 90 days for tourism and some business activities. Other foreigners can apply for the e-visa for stays of 30 days with the remainder having to visit the Moroccan embassies or consulates in their home country.
Important: When applying for visas through embassies or consulates abroad, applicants are expected to register for any services rendered and a fee is levied, separate from the service fee.
To work in Morocco, employees require:
The Work Permit
The Work Visa
The Registration Card or Residence Card
Steps for Work Permit by Employer
This may be a pre-requisite for the work permit i.e., the Labour Market Test through the ANAPEC – The National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Abilities. Most employers require an activity certificate confirming there are no suitable local candidates
Companies wanting to employ foreigners and apply for work permits, must first seek approval from Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Vocational Training, Employment and Skills (MIEPEEC)
Employment Contracts for foreigners to be uploaded along with the work permit application
Both parties have to sign the contract which should follow the template of the Ministry of Labour and Professional Integration (No.1356-19) which issues the work permit as a sticker that is dated and fixed to foreigners’ employment contracts defining when the contract begins
When applying for the work permit, the company may be required to submit their registered company documentation. However, on the Taechir platform, employers need to register and sign in to complete the application and requirements should be listed on the site.
Figures are given in Moroccan dirham (MAD) with equivalents in euros and US dollars.
Personal Income Tax (PIT): Income up to MAD 30,000 (€2,775, US$3,030) is exempt. There are five further bands, from the excess up to MAD 50,000 (€4,625, US$5,056) at 10% to a top rate of 38% on income over MAD 180,000 (€16,650, US$18,200)
Corporate Income Tax (CIT): Taxable profit up to MAD 300,000 (€27,750, US$30,336) at 12.5%; excess up to MAD 1,000,000 (€92,500, US$101,120) at 20%; excess up to MAD 100,000,000 (€9,250,760, US$10,112,330) at 28.25%; excess over MAD 100,000,000 at 32%. Companies involved in industrial activities pay CIT at 24.5% on taxable profit up to MAD 100,000,000 and 32% on amounts above that. A rate of 20% applies to companies with Casablanca Finance Centre (CFC) status; to companies operating in Industrial Acceleration Zones; companies formed since January 1 2023 who meet certain criteria. The rate for finance and insurance operations is due to increase to 40% by 2026. CIT payments are paid in four instalments during the fiscal year, based on the previous year’s accounts
Withholding Tax (WHT): Rate of 5% on remuneration paid to legal entities by the government, local authorities, public bodies and enterprises; 10% when paid to individuals
Capital Gains Tax (CGT): The rate is 20% where individuals sell property. CGT on a variety of financial instruments ranges from 13.75% to 30%
Value Added Tax (VAT): 20% on goods and services; 14% on domestic transportation excluding train travel; 10% on banking and hospitality (excl. alcohol), oil and petroleum; 7% on water and electricity supplies, medicines and pharmaceuticals; 0% on exports and agriculture supplies; exempt categories include basic foodstuffs, books and newspapers
Customs and Excise Duties: Import duty is 20%, with 7%, 10% or 14% assigned to specific categories
Personal Income Tax in Morocco
Figures are Moroccan dirham (MAD), with equivalents in euros and US dollars.
Personal income tax rates for individuals Income | Percentage Tax on Excess
Up to MAD 30,000 (€2,775, US$3,030) | 0%
Excess up to MAD 50,000 (€4,625, US$5,056) | 10%
Excess up to MAD 60,000 (€5,550, US$6,067) | 20%
Excess up to MAD 80,000 (€7,400, US$8,090) | 30%
Excess up to MAD 180,000 (€16,650, US$18,200) | 34%
More than MAD 180,000 | 38%
Individual Tax Rules in Morocco
The tax year is a 12-month period; this can be less than 12 months for the first year, but not greater
Individuals with tax residence in Morocco are taxed on worldwide income
Those without tax residence are taxed only on Moroccan-sourced income
Taxpayers are considered residents if Morocco is their permanent home; their centre of economic interest; if they stay more than 183 days in any 365-day period
Individual income tax from salaries is withheld by the employer and remitted to the authorities
Individuals earning only salaried income need not make a return
Those earning income from abroad or from more than a single employer must file a return by February 28 of the following year
Taxable remuneration includes salaries, professional revenues, agricultural farms; real estate revenue and capital gains from property sales or financial instruments
Employees in the Industrial Acceleration Zones and Casablanca Finance Centre pay personal tax at a flat rate of 20%
Employers’ and Employees’ Social Security and Statutory Contributions in Morocco
Contributions are deducted from payroll by the employer for remittance to the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS).
International companies expanding operations into the Kingdom of Morocco’s promising economic landscape need to establish a subsidiary in the country to be able to efficiently and legally hire staff and run the payroll for their new entity.
Morocco is diversifying from its traditional strengths of agriculture and textiles – which still play a major role – and capitalising on the strength of its relationship with the European Union. The EU trading block lies across the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco’s north coast. Ferry services between Morocco and Spain facilitate easy transport of products by vehicles.
Commerce between the EU and Morocco in 2020 amounted to US$ 38.5 billion (€35.3 billion) and in 2022 Morocco’s exports to the EU were US$22.74 billion (€20.8 billion). The EU provided 65% of Morocco’s imports and took 70% of its exports.
Morocco is proving to be one of Africa’s strongest magnets for Foreign Direct Investment, which the government is attracting by tax concessions and other incentives into its Industrial Acceleration Zones and the Casablanca Finance Centre. The Investment Charter has established new regulations for private funding, with infrastructure and logistics, renewable energy, sustainable development, e-commerce, business and financial services in the front line.
Companies attracted by this potential typically take the option of opening a limited company as a subsidiary. In Morocco, this is the Société à responsabilité limitée (SARL).
But … there is a better choice. The most practical and financially secure route into the Moroccan economy avoids the complexities of opening a subsidiary … and Bradford Jacobs has the expertise to remove any potential obstacles. Our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) teams and Employer of Record (EOR) consultants will guide you from day one – from recruiting staff to managing every legal aspect of compliance. Instead of waiting weeks or months, you and your staff can be up-and-running in days … and you can be assured your employees always remain under your daily operational control.
How to set up a Morocco Subsidiary
Incorporation documentation is filed with the Centre Régional d’Investissement (CRI), which organises and collates the various requirements for registration. Incorporation and registration procedures to set up a limited liability company in Morocco generally include the following:
Obtain online ‘Certificat negatif’ confirming the subsidiary’s unique business name with the Office of Industrial and Commercial Property. Enter the name in the Trade Register
Draw up Articles of Association
Obtain the Indentifiant Commun de l’Entreprise (ICE) number used for administration purposes with the authorities, including tax registration and social security contributions. The ICE number must be used on all company documents
Obtain the Identifiant Fiscal (IF), which is the company tax ID used by the General Tax Administration (GTA) to track payments and check compliance. Companies must obtain the ICE first
Obtain the Numéro de Registre de Commerce (RC) registration number that applies to all Moroccan companies and identifies its legal status and address
Register with the General Tax Administration (GTA)
Register with the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS) to remit deductions on behalf of employees
Once entered in the Trade Register, all documentation is then filed with the CRI
The company must advertise its existence in the Official Journal and the Legal Notices Journal
What are the Benefits of setting up a Subsidiary in Morocco?
The subsidiary operates in Morocco as a legal entity entirely separate from the parent company, which is free from responsibility for any legal or financial liabilities of the subsidiary. Be aware this freedom from liabilities does not necessarily apply to other company structures. The subsidiary can undertake new business initiatives unrelated to the parent company’s activities, operate under Morocco’s laws and embrace its business culture.
Opening a subsidiary in Morocco provides the parent company with the opportunity to explore new markets outside its regular economic orbit. The subsidiary opens the potential to enter into agreements with other registered companies in Morocco, as well as throughout North Africa and to benefit from the nation’s strong relationship with the European Union. Also, the permanency of a subsidiary has greater credibility with clients and suppliers compared with branches. Parent companies are also responsible for the branch’s operations and liabilities.
But … setting up a subsidiary in Morocco is still a long journey compared with taking the most efficient and financially prudent route to starting operations.
Here is the best solution … let Bradford Jacobs locate top-rated talent for your company in Morocco through our in-country Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) specialists. Employees can be working at their desks and screens in days … not weeks, or even longer. We remove all concerns regarding employment laws and compliance. Our Employer of Record (EOR) teams handle the hassle … while you have day-to-day operational control over your workforce.
Subsidiary Regulations in Morocco
Incorporation documentation is filed with the Centre Régional d’Investissement (CRI), which acts as a central service for pulling together the various requirements for registration. Procedures applying to a limited liability company typically include:
Registration and Documentation:
Register the company’s unique business name with the Office of Industrial and Commercial Property by obtaining the ‘Certificat negatif’ and enter it in the Trade Register, Registre de Commerce (RC)
Draw up Articles of Association and the company bylaws
Via the Regional investment Centre (CRI), undertake the following:
Obtain the Indentifiant Commun de l’Entreprise (ICE) number that enables companies to interact with the authorities, for such as tax registration, social security contributions. The number must be used on all company documents and business letterheads
Obtain the company tax ID, the Identifiant Fiscal (IF), which is used by the General tax Administration (GTA) to track payments and check compliance with tax regulations. The ICE must be obtained first
Obtain the Numéro de Registre de Commerce (RC), registration number from the Trade Registry that identifies the legal status of the company and its official address
Register with the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS) to remit social insurance deductions on behalf of employees
Register a lease or title deed for the company’s officially registered office
Once registered in the Trade Register and all documentation is filed with the CRI, the company must also advertise its existence in the Official Journal and the Legal Notices Journal
Accounts and Taxation:
Register with the GTA for income and corporate tax and VAT
There is no minimum share capital required for a limited liability company (although there are requirements for other company types), but if capital exceeds MAD 100,000 (€9,225, US$10,000) it must be placed in a ‘blocked bank account’ and cannot be withdrawn until registration is complete
Shareholders should nevertheless enter the amount of capital in the company bylaws, which is typically MAD 10,000 (€920, US$1,000), 25% of which should be paid up
Accounts must be filed annually with the Trade Registry, within six months of the end of the fiscal year
Financial reports and audited accounts must be filed with the GTA, within three months of the end of the tax year, and the Trade Registry
Prepare subscription forms for shareholders, who can number between one and 50
Provide details of the management board, with IDs and passports
Articles of Association must be certified by shareholders
International companies planning expansion into the Kingdom of Morocco will be entering a country with a fascinating mix of North African, Berber and European cultures. The landscape features rugged mountains and large expanses of desert, while coastlines on both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean make Morocco unique among North African nations. Cities such as Marrakesh, Casablanca and Tangiers hint at the exotic and romantic.
Morocco divides into three main environmental zones – the highland region of the Rif and Atlas Mountains, where a fifth of the population live in villages and preserve the Berber, Amazigh culture; vast deserts south and east of the Atlas; coastal plains and plateau areas where three-quarters of the population live.
During Morocco’s period as a French protectorate the authorities did not compromise the original walled ‘medinas’, but established ville nouveau (new towns). Political and economic life transferred from the interior’s imperial cities such as Fès and Mèknes. The coastal fishing village of Casablanca was transformed into a thriving metropolis and Rabat became the capital and administrative centre.
Starting your business in Morocco
Foreign companies intending to expand into Morocco need to open a subsidiary in order to hire staff, run their payroll and start their business operations. There are a number of options for establishing a subsidiary, including public limited companies and a variety of partnerships. The typical choice, however, is to open a limited liability company. In Morocco this is known as a Société à responsabilité limitée or SARL.
Procedures for a foreign entity registering a SARL as a subsidiary generally include the following, which are pulled together by the Centre Régional d’Investissement (CRI).
Obtain the online ‘Certificat negatif’ that confirms the subsidiary’s unique business name with the Office of Industrial and Commercial Property, and is then lodged in the Trade Register
Draw up Articles of Association
File business creation and registration documents with the Regional Investment Centre (CRI). This long process includes obtaining:
The Indentifiant Commun de l’Entreprise (ICE) number is assigned to all companies operating in Morocco and used for administration, including tax registration, social security contributions. The ICE must be used on all company documents
The Identifiant Fiscal (IF), which is the company tax ID used by the General Tax Administration (GTA) to track payments and compliance. Companies must obtain the ICE first
The Numéro de Registre de Commerce (RC) is the registration number for all Moroccan companies and identifies its legal status and address
Other registration procedures include:
Register with the GTA
Register for social insurance payments to the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS) to remit deductions on behalf of employees
Prepare subscription forms for shareholders, who can number between one and 50
No minimum share capital required for a limited liability company (although there are requirements for other company types). Shareholders should nevertheless enter the amount of capital in the company bylaws, which is typically MAD 10,000 (€920, US$1,000), 25% of which should be paid up. If capital exceeds MAD 100,000 (€9,225, US$10,000) it must be placed in a ‘blocked account’ and cannot be withdrawn until registration is complete
Once registered in the Trade Register and all documentation is filed with the Regional Investment Centre (CRI), the company must also advertise its existence in the Official Journal and the Legal Notices Journal
This incorporation process underlines the importance of taking the best possible advice and exploring the alternatives to opening a subsidiary. By making the right choice now, you can steer a course around these obstacles by working alongside Bradford Jacobs. Our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) specialists and Employer of Record (EOR) experts will source your staff and undertake every step of compliance to have them up-and-running in the shortest possible time. Instead of waiting weeks to complete the process for opening a subsidiary, you can be operational in days.
Expanding your business into Morocco
Expanding business operations into Morocco opens up the potential from the country’s ‘special economic relationship’ with European Union (EU) members across the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, in addition to its North African neighbours. In 2022, Morocco exported US$22.74 billion (€20.8 billion) of goods to the EU trading bloc, primarily featuring electrical machinery, agricultural produce, textiles, clothing apparel and transport equipment.
As the country looks to diversify from its traditional strengths, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is being attracted into the services sector, finance and business services, green energy and energy supply, transportation and logistics, infrastructure and telecommunications.
The government encourages foreign involvement through Industrial Acceleration Zones offering tax breaks, concessions on customs duties and VAT, and a reduced flat income tax rate for those working in the zones.
Expanding business in Morocco offers many options. However, companies aiming to establish their own entity in the country face issues of incorporation, recruitment and contracts, company and employment legislation and much more. By working with Bradford Jacobs as your Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR), we deal with everything on that list. We can ensure that the only item on your list is … ‘Global expansion’.
Advantages and Challenges when entering the Moroccan Market
Access to world trading routes with ports on both its Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines
Varied export portfolio, diversifying from traditional strengths of textiles and agriculture
Investment has improved infrastructure of ports, road and rail links
Free trade agreements with both the European Union and the US
Moving into high value manufacturing in such as the automotive and aeronautic sectors
Disparities in the consumer market between rural poverty and more affluent urban areas
Dependence on agriculture, which employs 30% of the workforce and is subject to climatic conditions such as drought
Comparatively weak productivity alongside regional rivals such as Turkey and Egypt
Lack of transparency in government procurement and slow-moving bureaucracy
Fixed-term contracts and all contracts with foreign employees must be in writing to comply with the Labour Code and the Code of Obligations and Contracts, and be completed on the template provided by the Ministry of Labour. Moroccan employees need not be given a written contract, but must at least have a ‘job card’ detailing their name, the employer’s name, the employee’s designated role and their social security number.
Different types of Employment Contracts in Morocco
Open-ended, indefinite employment contracts: These are the norm and are concluded between the employer and employee for an indefinite period, with a start date but no end date.
Fixed-term employment contracts: Generally, they are for a maximum of one year and can be renewed only once, after which the agreement becomes of indefinite duration. In the agricultural sector, the initial contract is for six months, but can be renewed to a total of two years after which it would also become indefinite. The Labour Code defines the criteria under which these contracts can be used.
Probation periods: These are generally three months for senior positions and executives; six weeks for office or clerical employees; 15 days for on-site manual workers. During the trial period, employment can be terminated with seven days’ notice. However, employers cannot dismiss a probationer on an indefinite contract without a valid reason related to their behaviour or ability. If dismissal is based on operational requirements, it may have to be authorised by a Labour Court.
Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs): Agreements are based on Articles 92 to 103 of the Labour Code and applies to specific sectors, such as transport and construction. CBAs must contain details applying to pay and salaries, hiring and firing. They must be submitted for approval to the relevant labour authority. Only unions with a large number of members can participate in CBA negotiations and appoint workplace representatives. Employee representatives must be elected by the workforce in all establishments employing more than 10 staff.
Laws that regulate the labour relationship in Morocco
Leading pieces of legislation are:
The Labour Code
The Code on Obligations and Contracts
The Penal Code – applies to work-related discrimination and harassment
General requirements for contracts
Contracts must be in writing for fixed-term contracts and foreign employees, using the standard template supplied by the Ministry of Labour. Open-ended contracts need not be in writing, nor do Moroccan employees need a written contract but they must at least be given ‘job card’ providing basic details of the agreement. Regulations governing contracts are set out in the Labour Code and the Code of Obligations and Contracts.
The Labour Code is the basis for employment legislation.
What are the Compensation Laws?
National Minimum Wage (NMW): Effective from May 2022, the monthly minimum in the public sector is MAD 3,500 (€322, US353); in the private sector MAD 2,970 (€273, US$300); in the agriculture sector MAD 2,094 (€192, US$211).
Working Hours and Breaks: The working week should not exceed eight hours per day or 44 a week. The Labour Code makes no provision for meal breaks for individual workers, which are determined by contract or the workplace agreement.
Overtime: Hours worked above the regular week are overtime, which applies at 25% above the normal hourly rate between 6am and 9pm and at 50% between 9pm and 6am. These percentages increase to 50% and 100% for overtime on a rest day, even if the employee is also given a compensatory rest day.
Sick Leave and Benefits: Benefit is paid by the Caisse Nationale Sécurité Sociale (CNSS), and the employee must have paid into the system for at least 54 days in the previous six months. The CNSS pays two-thirds of salary from the fifth day till the 185th The employer must be informed within 48 hours. If leave extends beyond four days, which the employer is not obliged to pay, a medical certificate is necessary and the employer can request a medical examination. If absence extends to 180 consecutive days in a 365-day period, and is not due to occupational illness or injury, the employee is considered to have resigned.
Paid Vacations: Article 231 of the Labour Code provides for employees aged over 18 years having one-and-a-half days’ paid leave per month, 18 days in total for a full year’s service. Under 18s receive two full days paid leave per month, 24 days annually.
Public Holidays: Morocco has a total of 13 paid public holidays. Dates vary for the Muslim holidays of Eid-al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, the Islamic New Year and the Birth of the Prophet.
Probation Periods: Three months for executives; six weeks for general employees; 15 days for on-site manual workers. During the trial period, employment can be terminated with seven days’ notice. If dismissal is based on operational requirements, it may have to be authorised by a Labour Court.
Notice Periods: These vary according to the type of employee. Executives receive one month’s notice for up to one year’s service; two months for between one and five years; three months after working more than five years. Non-executive employees receive eight days’ notice after working up to one year; one month for between one and five years; two months for more than five years.
Termination, Severance and Redundancies: Termination not due to serious misconduct is considered unfair and entitles the employee to severance known as dismissal indemnity. Under Article 53 of the Labour Code: 96 hours salary for the first five years; 144 hours salary for the next five; 192 hours for the next five years, 240 hours salary for subsequent years. Article 66 provides for mass redundancies for technical, structural or economic reasons. They need approval from the governor of the relevant region and employees and their union must be advised beforehand.
Maternity / Paternity Leave and Benefit: The minimum leave under the Labour Code is 14 weeks, with a mandatory seven weeks after the birth. If a medical certificate confirms a health condition due to the pregnancy, leave can be extended to eight weeks pre-natal and 14 weeks post-natal. Benefit from the CNSS is 100% of average wages over the six months before the due date, provided there has been at least 54 days of contributions over the previous 10 months. Fathers are entitled to three days paid paternity leave, not necessarily continuous, take within one month of the birth.
13th Month Bonus: These and other bonuses based on seniority, performance or attendance are common, but not mandatory under the Labour Code.
Pensions: The Moroccan Pension Fund (CMR) administers the system of civilian, military, supplementary and non-contributory schemes in the area of social welfare. The CMR also acts for third parties, by withholding benefits for such as finance and insurance companies and various funds. Deductions from members and contributions from employers represent the bulk of CMR’s financial resources. However, the fund needs reform as Morocco’s Court of Accounts revealed a deficit of 466 million euros, 509 million US dollars by the end of 2022. This extends to the CNSS, which had a deficit of 36 million euros, 40 million US dollars at the end of that year.
Healthcare and Insurance: The Moroccan government committed 2.3 billion euros (2.5 billion US dollars) to the healthcare system in 2018 as part of National Healthcare Plan 2025, but funding is still unbalanced. Public hospitals provide 85 per cent of healthcare services but receive only 40% of funding, with 60% spent on the private sector. There are five university hospital centres in Rabat, Casablanca, Fès, Oujda and Marrakesh and 149 public hospitals as of mid-2023. The private sector has 360 clinics, serviced by around 13,500 physicians, 1000-plus more than in the public sector. Private sector employees contribute to the CNSS through percentage contributions deducted from their salaries, but this accesses only the public healthcare system. Consequently, most expats take out supplementary health insurance.
Foreign companies recruiting staff in Morocco as part of their international expansion need expert guidance. Incoming companies need rapid solutions to hiring staff, but recruiting in Morocco poses issues of availability for foreign companies.
Four out of five employees in Morocco’s workforce of around 12 million work in the services or agriculture sectors. This leaves companies searching a smaller recruitment pool to fill roles in the increasing number of high-value, high-skill roles as the country attracts foreign investment into aeronautics, electric vehicle components in the automotive sector, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure development, renewable energy and environmental sciences.
The universities are a source for recruiters, with the most popular courses providing graduates in engineering, business management, finance and the sciences. In the wider picture however, recruiters face a talent gap at the younger end of the workforce. A lack of transferable and job-specific skills restrict recruiters’ options, according to the International Labour Organisation, which also cites lack of digital awareness.
Expert ‘on the ground’ advice is vital to find the best fit for your expansion … so call Bradford Jacobs. We have the experience and contacts in place in Morocco to provide a direct route for your journey into the economy. The global reach of our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) networks will locate the perfect candidates for your business plan. Then, our Employer of Record (EOR) platforms will have your new employees sitting at their desks and screens in the shortest time possible. This guide highlights the essentials of recruitment and onboarding in Morocco. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put the brightest talent in position for your company – today!
Recruiting in Morocco
When recruiting in Morocco, priority must be given to Moroccans. If companies want to sidestep this condition by importing foreign workers either from outside Morocco or from their home base they must clear other barriers. Offers can only be made to foreigners if no equally-qualified local is available for the same job. In this case, employers must then obtain a foreign workers’ activity certificate from the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC) to be submitted with the work permit application.
Additionally, employers must obtain foreign worker permits, authorised by the Ministry of Labour. Article 516 of the Labour Code states: Any employer wishing to hire a foreign employee must obtain an authorization from the governmental authority responsible for the employment, which is granted in the form of a visa affixed to the employment contract. Approval must be obtained from the Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Vocational Training, Employment and Skills (MIEPEEC).
This process can eat up weeks of your time … time you cannot afford to waste.
Complicated? Yes! This highlights where the global experience and local know-how of Bradford Jacobs is essential. Our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) platforms will bridge the gap between the skills you need and finding the best-qualified talent for your company. We locate the best available candidates … and you are quickly operational in Morocco. This straightforward alternative provides speedy and economical solutions that will have your new staff moving your business forward in just a few days, removing the obstacles surrounding recruitment and other aspects of employment.
Employees’ pre-hire checks in Morocco
General: Requirements include identity and personal information checks and immigration compliance. Employers are permitted to use social media to obtain information regarding applicants.
Medical checks: These can be required to confirm fitness for certain types of employment; drug screening is also permitted.
Criminal Checks: For specified occupations, such as solicitors and chartered accountants, these are required.
Reference and Educational Checks: These are permitted.
Discrimination: Article 9 of the Labour Code prohibits discrimination in employment and recruitment on grounds including: Race, disability, gender, religion or medical reasons.
Basic requirements when recruiting in Morocco
Under the Labour Code and the Code of Obligations and Contracts, employment agreements with foreign employees and fixed-term contracts must be in writing, using the template obtained from the Ministry of Labour. This template will be used for any legal disputes, to which only Moroccan mandatory legislation will apply. Contracts should be signed by employer and employee, with its validity certified by the relevant municipality or city hall. Agreements with Moroccan employees need not be in writing, but they must be given a ‘job card’ detailing the names of both parties, their role in the company and social security number.
Written contracts should contain all essential elements of the employer-employee relationship – full details of both parties; remuneration and payment schedule; vacations; place of work and defined role; termination, notice and disciplinary procedures. Contracts cannot provide benefits less than the statutory minimums of the Labour Code or any applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Moroccan culture and its national identity are hugely diverse. Arab-Islamist, Berber-Amazigh and Sahara-Hassanic elements have absorbed African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean influences. Consequently, Morocco’s cuisine, architecture, music, arts, crafts and landmarks are a fusion of these factors. Moroccans take pride in being open, accommodating, moderate and tolerant and willing to embrace other cultures. Food is one of the delights of the culture … so when invited into a Moroccan home, be ready to eat!
The culture has a strong foundation in the unity of families, both nuclear and extended, and children are expected to care for older family members.
A cultural boom is reflected in global festivals such as ‘Jazzablanca’ and the Marrakesh International Film Festival, while the spectacular landscape has attracted movie companies and directors such as Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese. Moroccan locations were used in Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights, The Mummy, Gladiator and The Bourne Ultimatum.
Nepal Work Culture
Hierarchy: Individuals at the top of the hierarchical business structure make the decisions, but generally like consensus after a great deal of deliberation, so there may be several layers of approval to go through.
Punctuality: Appointments should be made well in advance and confirmed two or three days before the scheduled meeting. Arrive on time, but do not assume the other side will be equally punctual.
Introductions/Greetings: French practices and etiquette have influenced Moroccan attitudes, which emphasize courtesy, politeness and formality. Members of the same sex exchange handshakes; men should wait for women to extend their hand first, while devout Muslims are unlikely to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Use appropriate titles – Mr or Mrs; Monsieur or Madame.
Language: French is generally the business language, although some may conduct them in English. Check whether an interpreter is advised.
Gift Giving: Gifts are not typically exchanged at a first meeting.
Business Cards: Exchanged without being overly formal; print the reverse side in French or Arabic as appropriate. Exchange and receive using only the right hand.
Dress Code: Be smart and well-presented as an individual’s appearance is important to Moroccans. Men should wear smart, dark suits. Women should be covered appropriately bearing in mind the Muslim society, so elegant trouser suits, long skirts or dresses are best with the latter covering the shoulders and knees.
Negotiations and Meetings: Spending time networking and cultivating contacts and relationships is essential as Moroccans prefer to do business with people they know and like to build long-term relationships. Expect to be served mint tea at the start of the meeting, as a display of hospitality. It is not unusual for discussions to be interrupted by others who are not part of the negotiations enter to discuss other issues with colleagues. Wait before steering the meeting back on track. Generally non-confrontational, Moroccans may not openly disagree even if they are not over-impressed with the pitch.
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