dismissal morocco procedure

Redundancy in Morocco: What procedure?

18 July 2021

In Morocco, the law is more or less clear about redundancy. The fact of separating from one or several employees must comply with a strict formalism. Therefore, an employer needs to master all the procedure steps that he must follow to end the employment contract of one or more employees without making any errors.  


The end or termination of an employment contract, between an employee and an employer, according to Moroccan labor law, is strictly regulated and follows a specific formalism clearly defined.  


No one can separate from one or more employees without referring to the Moroccan labor code's norms and rules. 

But before talking in detail about how an employer can terminate a permanent employment contract ("CDI in French"), let's first try to see to what extent it can be released.




Redundancy in Morocco: what are the legal grounds? 




There are several reasons why an employer may decide to terminate the employment of one or several employees. The termination may occur, essentially, in two situations, namely in the case of a serious fault or a non-serious fault.  



A- Serious misconduct 


Serious misconduct is defined as the following acts committed by an employee in the workplace: grave insult or theft, public drunkenness, consumption of narcotics, bodily assault or any form of aggression directed against an employee, deterioration of the company's equipment by the employee, deliberate refusal to perform a task within his competence.  


If he wishes, the employer can immediatly terminate the employment contract between him and the employee in all these cases.  



B- Non-serious misconduct 


Unlike serious misconduct, non-serious misconduct is more or less a vague term. As a result, employers often find it challenging to justify their decisions. 


Hence the importance of knowing the different steps of the procedure, from beginning to end, regardless of the reason. However, dismissal is never done immediately in the case of non-serious misconduct.  


At least four sanctions must be accumulated over twelve months to justify a layoff. 

By gradually applying several sanctions ranging from a warning to a first and second reprimand or a layoff of fewer than eight days. 

Suppose the employer reaches the stage of a 2nd or 3rd reprimand or a transfer. In that case, he must organize a hearing session with the employee in the presence of a staff representative. 

This meeting must take place within eight days after the misconduct.




Redundancy in Morocco: What procedure?  



Suppose an employer has all the right to dismiss any employee in his company based on valid reasons. In that case, he must not act according to his own will because even if the termination is justified, it must comply with the procedure laid down by the Moroccan labor code.  


The dismissal procedure differs depending on whether the fault is serious or not. 

The first step consists, above all, in summoning the employee from whom you wish to terminate your employment to hear this person during an interview. 



A- The hearing  

Once the employer highlights an act that could justify redundancy and wishes to do so, he has a period of 8 days from the date he noticed the misconduct to summon the employee in question.  


Any measure taken following a hearing organized after this period would be considered abusive. The circular of the Ministry of Labor dated 27/09/2017 on the interpretation of the Labor Code gives the details of the first step of the dismissal procedure.  


Thus, once the employer informs the employee of the procedure of his redundancy by an official letter sent through a bailiff giving details about the facts, the layoff procedure is triggered.   


In this letter, the employer must, of course, mention the reasons for the termination and the time and date of the employee's hearing. 


A physical meeting between the employer and the employee must take place on the company's premises.  



B- Who can attend the hearing?  


Among the persons who can attend the hearing, we can naturally mention the employee, the employer or his representative, a staff representative or union representative, a bailiff in the case of a purely material observation, freely chosen by the employee concerned by the hearing.  


Witnesses may also attend the meeting if the employee and the employer do not contest their presence.  


In the spirit of the law, the employee must defend himself before the employer breaks the contract with him.


At the end of the hearing, a report is drawn up and signed by both parties. If one party refuses to continue with the redundancy procedure, recourse is made to the labor inspectorate.  


The last step of the hearing procedure is the recourse to the Moroccan labor court if the employer takes a sanction against the employee who refused to continue the process.  


Without waiting for the labor court's decision, the sanction is considered abusive. Therefore, the injured employee can expect compensation in the case of non-serious misconduct.


In the case of serious misconduct, there is no obligation to pay redundancy compensation if the redundancy procedure has been adequately followed.  



dismissal in morocco




Redundancy in Morocco: What compensation?    



To claim compensation, the employee, at the time of the termination of his contract, must be bound to his employer by an employment contract for an indefinite period, following the provisions of articles 52 and 53 of the Labor Code.  


In the same case, the reason for the termination of the employment contract must not be motivated by severe misconduct. The employee must also have worked for at least six months in the same company where he was dismissed.


As for the amount of damages, it is not up to the employer to set it arbitrarily. The amount is determined according to an instead learned calculation, which considers several parameters, such as seniority and gross salary level, for example.  


According to article 53 of the Labor Code, it is, for example, 96 hours of salary per year for the first five years of actual work. Beyond five years of work, the amount is higher. It is necessary to count 192 hours between the 11th and 15th years and 240 hours per year beyond 15 years.  





Redundancy in Morocco: Some practical advice 




Dismissing an employee is not a fun step. It is a decision that can have severe consequences for the company's image. 


There are practical and emotional considerations to take into account. Suppose a worker is dismissed for poor performance. In that case, it should not come as a surprise, even though redundancy is not always the most appropriate solution. 


It often doesn't cost much to empower an employee to improve. Hold regular performance reviews and competency assessments to review areas that need improvement.  


If termination is necessary, try to give as much notice as possible to the workers involved. Don't make your employees future bad ambassadors. An abrupt departure can cause a wave of negative emotions of shock, grief, and sometimes anger.  


Some companies offer their employees a long delay to give them a chance to find a new job or offer counseling services to the employees involved to help make the departure as smooth as possible.  


Avoid using harsh words at the time of separation. Be empathetic while remaining firm and careful. In addition to the emotional side, you also need to be prepared on a technical level. So make sure you know exactly why you are dismissing an employee, have specific concrete examples, and bring appropriate documentation if necessary.    

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