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  • Legal system, currency, language

    Constitutional. Kwanza Portuguese.

  • Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

    A foreign entity can engage employees in Angola with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Angolan Social Security. The level of income tax is defined by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary.

  • Pre-hire checks

    Required

    Immigration compliance and pre-hire medical examinations.

    Permissible

    Reference and education checks are permissible.

  • Immigration

    Criminal and medical checks must be issued by competent authorities and a criminal record issued by the home country and a medical certificate issued by a doctor in the home country.

    The visa/work permit requirements for overseas nationals to work in Angola are: having a recognized travel document valid for the Angolan territory for at least 6 months; being of legal age; not being included in the national list of undesirable persons prohibited from entering into the national territory; not constituting a danger to public order or to social security interests; complying with all health regulations established by the Ministry of Health for entry into the national territory; having an employment contract or promissory employment contract; having a certificate of professional and educational qualifications and curriculum vitae;  and obtaining a positive opinion of the competent Ministry.

  • Hiring options

    Employee

    Indefinite term contract (which is the rule), fixed-term or open-term (i.e., a term contract whose termination date has not yet been defined, but that will be terminated as soon as the underlying need for contracting is no longer verified: e.g., as a contract to cover absence), part-time contract, telework contract and contract under service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination - not common). There are no restrictions or requirements for a fixed or open-term contract. Part-time, fixed-term and open-term employees may not be discriminated against due to their status.

    Independent contractor

    Independent contractors can be engaged directly by the company or via a personal services company. Engagement may be subject to misclassification exposure.  The factors that will tend to indicate an individual is an employee (rather than e.g., a self‑employed independent contractor) are:  Existence of a work schedule, scheduling of vacation, the worker’s legal subordination to the company, the company’s authority, direction and disciplinary powers, and control of punctuality and attendance over the individual; integration in the structure of the company, and use of work tools belonging to the company, etc.

    In the event of misclassification, is the relationship can be converted into an employment relationship on a permanent basis and the employer could be liable to pay a fine for non-compliance.

    Agency worker

    Agency workers can only be engaged to fulfil a temporary need for work. The agency work contract duration depends on the underlying reason for hiring (typically not exceed 12 months). Agency workers have the right to equal treatment to employees in relation to pay and other regular benefits.

  • Employment contracts & policies

    Employment contracts

    Written employment contracts are common, but not mandatory, except for fixed-term, part-time, telework, and service commission regime contracts, and contracts with foreign employees and  under-age employees,. Employment contracts cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to employees than mandatory employment legislation.

    Probationary periods

    Permissible.

    Employment contracts for an unlimited period of time may be subject to a probation period corresponding to the first 60 days of performance of work; the parties may, by written agreement, reduce or waive this period.

    The parties may extend the probation period, in writing, to up to 4 months, in case of employees who perform highly technical, complex work that is difficult to evaluate, and to up to 6 months in case of employees who perform management duties.

    In an employment contract for a limited period of time, the parties may set forth a probation period, in writing, and its duration cannot exceed 15 days in case of non-qualified employees or 30 days in case of qualified employees. Angolan law does not define qualified and non-qualified but the common practice is that qualified employees correspond to positions that involve technical complexity, a high degree of responsibility or special qualifications, as well as those carrying out functions of trust.

    Policies

    Employers with more than 50 employees must, in order to organize the work and labour discipline, draft and approve employee handbooks, guidelines, instructions, service orders and work rules defining rules for the technical organization of work, performance of work and work discipline, delegation of powers, employee job descriptions, safety, hygiene and health protection of work, performance indicators, remuneration system, working hours for the several sections of the company or work centre, control of entrances and exits and circulation within the premises of the company, and surveillance and control of production.

    Employer with 50 or fewer employees may, but are not required to, implement employee handbooks on the matters described above.

    Third-party approval

    Whenever the employee’s handbook or any other rules and regulations establish any rules on performance and discipline, remuneration systems, work performance or safety, hygiene and health protection at work, the employer must forward such regulations for information and registration purposes to the General Labour Inspectorate.

  • Language requirements

    Portuguese. Nevertheless, the employment contracts/other documents can be drafted in a bilingual template.

  • Minimum employment rights

    Employees entitled to minimum employment rights

    All employees are entitled to minimum employment rights.

    Working hours

    Maximum daily and weekly working hours are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. Overtime pay is required for hours worked in excess of these limits. These limits are inapplicable to employees who perform direction and leadership duties, duties of inspection, or provide direct support to the employer. In case the employee usually performs his/her work outside the company's premises, an exemption regime may also be agreed upon by the parties, in which case those limits shall not apply. Typically, employees under the exemption regime are entitled to an exemption bonus.

    Overtime

    Overtime is allowed to deal with an extraordinary increase in workload, or to prevent serious damage, or if due to majeure force. It is subject to maximum limits: (a) 2 hours per day; (b) 40 hours per month and (c) 200 hours per year.

    Overtime must be compensated with additional payment (increase of hourly rates) up to 30 hours per month: 50%. 30%, 20% and 10% depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company dependent on number of employees and turnover. A company which is a subsidiary or branch in Angola of a company with headquarters abroad will always be qualified as a large company. Overtime that exceeds that limit is paid for each hour at an additional: 75%, 45%, 20% and 10% depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company.

    Wages

    The minimum wage is established by Presidential Decree. It is set out as a general minimum wage, but there is also a minimum wage for trade and extractive industry groups, transport services and manufacturing groups and agriculture groups. Under the Decree currently in force, the general minimum wage is Kz 21,454.10. The following sector-specific minimum wages also apply:

    • trade and extractive industry groups: Kz 32,181.15;
    • transport services and manufacturing groups: Kz 26,817.63; and
    • agriculture groups: Kz 21,454.10.

    Vacation

    Minimum 22 working days per year (plus 12 public national holidays).

    Sick leave & pay

    Employees are entitled to take off as much time as they need for sick leave. For large and medium companies: In case of incapacity to work due to illness or common accident, pay is required, in the amount corresponding to 100% of the base salary for a period of 2 months. For as long as the employee is not entitled to protection in case of illness or common accident from the social security authorities, the employer must pay to the employee 50% of salary from the third to the twelfth month.

    In case of small and micro companies: The employee is paid, in case of illness or common accident, the amount of 50% of the base salary, within 90 days, after which the contract is terminated by expiration if the condition of illness remains.

    Maternity/parental leave & pay

    A pregnant employee is entitled to a paid maternity leave of 3 months. The amount of the maternity allowance is equal to the average of the two best monthly salaries from the 6 months preceding the commencement of the maternity leave. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the employer to the employee and, subsequently, the Social Security services reimburse the employer in full. Fathers are not entitled to any leave on the birth of a child; it is only considered as a justifiable reason for absence from work for one day.

  • Discrimination

    Discrimination based on the following protected characteristics is prohibited: race, colour, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, origin or social rank, religious beliefs, political opinion, union affiliation and language.

  • Benefits & pensions

    Both employer and employee have to pay contributions to Social Security in Angola to cover various employee benefits (e.g., maternity leave payment and retirement pension). The employer must withhold the contribution due by the employee and deliver both contributions (employer and employee) to Social Security every month.

    Current general rates are 3% of the gross wage for the employee and 8% for the employer.

    Employees with a minimum contributory period (35 years) qualify for a retirement pension at age 60 or in cases of total incapacity.

    Employers have no legal obligation to provide complementary/supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme. However, some companies – mostly large companies or multinational companies who have their own schemes worldwide – set up and provide private complementary health and pension schemes to their employees.

  • Data privacy

    The Data Privacy Law No. 22/11, June 17, governs Angolan data privacy and determines, in general terms, how to collect, use, disclose, store and give access to "personal information."

    There is no specific regulation on employee data privacy.

  • Rules in transactions/business transfers

    Provided that the same business activity is maintained, the new employer takes the position of the former employer in the employment contracts and takes its position in respect of the rights and obligations arising from the employment relationships This is the case even if the employment contract is terminated before the transfer. The new employer takes its position as the employer of such former employees in respect of due and non-paid credits. All credits, rights and obligations of the employer arising from the execution and implementation of the employment contract, its violation or termination, are subject to a statute of limitations of one year starting on the day following the day of termination of the contract.   The employees keep the same seniority and  acquired rights which they had in the service of the former employer.

    The new employer undertakes the obligations of the former employer limited to those incurred during the 12 months prior to the modification, provided that up to 22 business days prior to the modification, the new employer gives notice to the employees that they must claim their credits up to the second business day prior to the date scheduled for such modification. Within 22 business days following the modification of employer, the employees have the right to terminate the employment contract with prior notice, but this does not confer any right to compensation.

  • Employee representation

    Employee representative bodies are permissible, but not mandatory.

    Trade Unions are not common in Angola.

    In order to carry out their duties, trade union representatives are entitled to 4 paid hours a month, but must notify the employer in advance of the date and number of days they require for the exercise of trade union functions. Employers are obliged to provide a suitable place for workers' meetings whenever this is requested by the union representatives.  Special protections against dismissal are granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as Union Representatives, either as leader or delegate, or members of the employees’ representative body performing union related activities.

  • Termination

    Grounds

    Unilateral termination by the employer: dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy reasons); disciplinary dismissal with just cause (based on serious breach of the employee's duties).

    Termination without cause (with notice): only for employees hired under an employment contract of service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination - not common).

    Other termination causes: mutual agreement, termination by the employee (termination with notice or constructive dismissal with just cause), expiration (fixed-term and open-term contracts, retirement).

    Employees subject to termination laws

    All employees.

    Restricted or prohibited terminations

    Special protection against dismissal is granted to: employees who perform, or have performed, duties as Union Representative, either as leader or delegate, or member of the employee’s representative body performing activities; women covered by the regime of maternity protection; war veterans as per the definition provided by the applicable law; employees under the legal age; employees with a reduced work capacity or with a disability degree equal or higher than 20%.

    As a general rule, a copy of the notice served on the employee must be forwarded to General Labour Inspectorate.

    Third-party approval for termination/termination documents

    Except in respect of protected employees, third-party approval is not required to terminate an employment.

    Mass layoff rules

    If economic, technological or structural circumstances occur, which can be clearly demonstrated and which involve an internal reorganization or conversion, or the reduction or the shutting down of activities, which makes it necessary to eliminate or significantly change job positions, the employer may terminate the employment contracts of the employees who perform such job positions.

    Collective dismissal rules will be triggered if the dismissal involves at least 20 employees.

    Information to the General Labour Inspectorate is required. However, there is no need to obtain approval for termination.

    The General Labour Inspectorate may undertake the diligence deemed necessary to a better clarification of the situation and, in case of a collective dismissal, during the period in which the evaluation of the General Labour Inspectorate occurs, the employer may promote a meeting with the representative body or with the Committee appointed for the purpose of exchange of information and clarification, and may forward the conclusions of the meetings to the General Labour Inspectorate.

    Notice

    For individual dismissals based on objective grounds (up to 20 employees): the employer must forward, at least 30 days in advance, prior notice of dismissal to the employee or employees who occupy the job positions to be extinguished or transformed.

    For collective dismissal: the prior notice is 60 days.

    Notice periods in case of term contract: 15 business days if its duration is equal to or higher than 3 months.

    Statutory right to pay in lieu of notice or garden leave

    Payment in lieu of notice is permitted (and required if the notice period is not honoured).

    Garden leave is allowed during the notice period.

    Severance

    Fair dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy/collective dismissal):

    • Large companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 5 and an additional 50% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service that exceed such limit;
    • Medium companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 3 and an additional 40% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed such limit;
    • Small companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 30% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years;
    • Micro companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 20% of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years.

    Fair disciplinary dismissal: no severance.

    Higher severance payments may be agreed and are usual as a way to avoid litigation.

  • Post-termination restraints

    A clause of the employment contract which restricts the activity of the employee for a period of time, which may not exceed 3 years from the termination of the contract, is lawful if the following conditions are met: (a) such clause is included, in writing, in the employment contract, or in its addendum; (b) the activity performed may cause real damage to the employer and may be considered as unfair competition; (c) the employee is paid a salary during the period of restriction of work: the corresponding amount will be included in the contract or its addendum, and it must be taken into account, in its calculation, the fact that the employer may have incurred in significant expenses in the professional training of the employee.

    A clause which requires an employee who benefits from professional improvement or higher level education at the expense of the employer to remain at the service of the same employer for a certain period of time, provided that such period does not exceed 1 year, in case of training of professional improvement and up to 3 years in case of courses of high level education, is also lawful if established in writing. In this case, the employee may release himself/herself from remaining at the employer’s service by repaying to the employer the amount of the expenses incurred by the employer, in proportion to the remaining time until the term of the agreed period. The employer that hires the employee within the period of restriction of activity in the company is jointly liable for the damages caused by the employee or for the amount not returned by the employee.

  • Waivers

    In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

  • Remedies

    Discrimination

    Fine corresponding to 5 to 10 times of the average salary paid by the company.

    Unfair Dismissal

    The employee may challenge the validity of the dismissal before the labour courts.

    If the relevant court declares the dismissal to be unlawful, by final judgment, the employer must immediately reinstate the employee in the same job position and benefiting from the same previous conditions, or, alternatively, shall indemnify the employee (compensation is different depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company and the cause of dismissal).

    In addition to reinstatement or the compensation, the employee is entitled to the base salaries he/she would have received if he/she  had continued to perform work, until the date on which the employee finds a new job or up to the date of final judgment, whichever comes first, with a maximum limit of 6 months of base salary for large companies, 4 months to medium companies and 2 months for small and micro companies.

    Failure to inform and consult

    Not applicable.

  • Criminal sanctions

    Typically, non-compliance with employment laws leads to administrative proceedings which may lead to the payment of fines. If such non-compliance is based on violation of rights that deserve protection under criminal law, it may also lead to this type of judicial proceedings.

  • Key contacts

Waivers

Angola

In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

Argentina

Pursuant to the LCL, any executed agreement that suppresses or reduces rights granted by the LCL, labor laws related to specific industries, collective agreements or individual employment contracts, either at the time of their agreement or execution, or the exercise of the rights arising from its termination, shall be null and void.

Australia

Enforceable to waive contractual rights. Statutory entitlements often cannot be waived or contracted out of.

Austria

Not enforceable for the future with respect to statutory rights. With respect to rights already accrued, Austrian courts usually are of the opinion that employees may not waive them.

Bahrain

Waiver agreements are commonly used but there is no clear data to illustrate their positive effect.

Belgium

Enforceable, but employees can only sign a settlement agreement with regard to acquired rights, and not with regard to future rights.

Brazil

Not enforceable unless in a settlement ratified at court.

Canada

Generally, employees may not waive or contract out of statutory rights or benefits unless they are doing so in exchange for a "greater right or benefit" with respect to the same subject matter of the right being waived.

Chile

While the employment agreement is in force, the employees cannot waive most legal rights. After the termination of employment agreements, rights can be waived by the employee, usually signing a final settlement agreement, known as "finiquito."

China

Enforceable to waive contractual rights. While an employee can be asked to waive statutory rights, there is some uncertainty as to whether such a waiver would be effective to prevent an employee from subsequently bringing a claim for statutory rights. 

Colombia

Enforceable and advisable through a labor settlement before a Labor Judge or the Ministry of Labor. However, employees cannot waive their vested mandatory benefits or rights.

Czech Republic

Waivers of rights stemming from employment law provisions are legally ineffective. 

Denmark

In general, waivers of rights and settlement agreements are enforceable, provided that the terms and conditions are fair and balanced; however, the employee is not bound by agreed terms and conditions deviating from mandatory employment law legislation, in which case a waiver by the employee will not be enforceable.

Finland

A waiver of rights is possible only in exit or settlement agreements and only to a certain extent. According to the Employment Contracts Act, an employee cannot waive mandatory minimum rights provided by the Act.

France

An employee may waive his or her rights in a settlement agreement concluded with his or her employer, after termination of his or her employment contract. Criminal claims are not covered. A settlement indemnity is always paid on top of mandatory severance. A settlement agreement cannot effect a termination (as opposed to a resignation, dismissal, retirement leave, etc.) and is simply a way to obtain a waiver of claims/disputes.

A mutual termination (rupture conventionnelle) does not result in a settlement agreement/waiver.

Germany

Enforceable; subject to legal review if, for instance, employees were not given time to consider.

Hong Kong, SAR

Enforceable to waive contractual rights. While an employee can be asked to waive statutory rights, there is some uncertainty as to whether such a waiver would be effective to prevent an employee from subsequently bringing a claim to exercise his or her statutory rights.

Hungary

Enforceable, if expressed in a written agreement. Waivers cannot be broadly interpreted.

India

The doctrine of waiver is recognized in Indian contract law. A waiver must amount to an unambiguous representation arising as the result of a positive and intentional act done by the party granting the concession with knowledge of all the material circumstances. Though any waiver against statutory entitlements given by an employee is unlikely to be enforceable, a generic waiver of contractual rights may be enforced.

Indonesia

The general freedom of contract provisions of the Indonesian Civil Code will allow parties to waive rights, however the operation of such waiver would not be permitted if it resulted in a violation of public policy or order, or was not being applied in good faith.

Ireland

Enforceable, but employees must have had the benefit of independent legal advice prior to signing a settlement agreement waiving employment rights.

Israel

Generally enforceable, if the employee receives additional benefits in consideration for signing the waiver commensurate with the rights waived. Employees may not waive certain statutory rights and benefits.

Italy

Immediately unchallengeable if signed before a "protected venue" (administrative, union or judicial office), or challengeable within 6 months after termination.

Japan

To be valid, the waiver must be given voluntarily and knowingly by the employee. In order to avoid any claim from an employee that the waiver is not valid because it was given under duress, or as a result of a mistake due to fraudulent representation by the employer, meetings with the employee should be fairly short and attended by only one or two managers. The employee should be given a reasonable amount of time to consider the document containing the waiver, and should not be told that they will be terminated if they do not sign.

Kenya

While a waiver/discharge is legally enforceable provided it is not achieved through intimidation, coercion, inducement or other factor that would vitiate an ordinary contract, it is important to note that it cannot be used by an employer to avoid the liability of paying the employee's statutory and contractual dues. The court would not hesitate to void such waiver/discharge upon evidence that it was intended to deprive the employee of his lawful dues.

Kuwait

Waiver agreements are commonly used, but their enforceability has not been tested by the Kuwait courts and there is no system of precedence in Kuwait.

Luxembourg

Waivers are enforceable if they refer to rights which had arisen at the time of the waivers.

Malaysia

Generally enforceable, but subject to legal review based on the scope and circumstances in which the waiver was given. A waiver by an employee of the employee's right to bring legal action or a claim for unfair dismissal/termination is not enforceable.

Mexico

Enforceable; however, employees cannot waive their right to receive mandatory benefits or rights.

Morocco

Not admitted for all the mandatory statutory provisions contained in the Labor Code and related decrees. When terminating an employee's employment, is it not common to enter into a settlement agreement/waiver. That being said, when the employment contract is terminated by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee, such termination is usually finalized in front of a labor inspector who drafts an agreement between the parties. Once this agreement is signed, the employee automatically waives his rights to claim compensation.

Mozambique

No precedents, but waivers and releases are common, particularly in cases of termination by agreement.

Myanmar

The waiver of statutory rights is not regulated in the labor laws of Myanmar. The enforceability of a waiver of claims by an employee is not addressed by law. Where a waiver is desirable, it is recommended that employers allow an employee a reasonable amount of time to seek legal advice before requiring them to sign the waiver.

Netherlands

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

New Zealand

Statutory rights cannot be waived; however, contractual or common law rights can be waived by the employee.

Nigeria

Settlement contracts agreed upon and executed by the employer and employee are legally enforceable in the courts. Such agreements are common for senior/executive-level positions, but less common with regard to junior or mid-level employees.

Norway

The Working Environment Act is, to a large extent, mandatory. The employer and the employee may not agree on terms and conditions that are less favorable to the employee than those of the Act, if not expressly stated in the Act that the provision may be departed from.

However, employees may waive their rights in relation to termination of the employment relationship in a settlement agreement upon termination of the employment.

Oman

Waiver agreements are commonly used, but their enforceability has not been tested by the courts.

Philippines

Waivers, release and quitclaims are valid and binding on the parties when the agreement is voluntarily entered into and represents a reasonable settlement.

Poland

Waiver of the statutory rights is ineffective and is not enforceable in Poland.

Portugal

In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

Some exceptions apply, such as in respect of vacation entitlement (the employee may waive a part of it).

Qatar

Waiver agreements are commonly used, but their enforceability cannot be guaranteed.

Romania

Under the Romanian Labor Code, employees cannot waive their rights recognized by the law, and any transaction with the purpose of waiving or limiting such rights will be null and void.

Russia

Unenforceable.

Saudi Arabia

Employees cannot waive rights under the Saudi Labor Law.

Singapore

A waiver must be clear, but may be either oral or written. A waiver need not be express, but can be inferred from a course of conduct.

Slovak Republic

Legally possible, unless an employee waives his or her rights prior to their existence. Such waiver shall be invalid.

South Africa

Employees can contract out of common law rights without any formalities. Limited right to waive statutory rights (ie only to the extent that legislation may allow such waiver). No specific requirement that the employee waiving a right must be represented, or for any formalities to be met.

South Korea

Permissible. Terminations are often implemented through mutual agreements.

Spain

In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived, and any waiver of the rights will be null and void. However, some exceptions apply.

Sweden

Enforceable. The employee may sign a settlement agreement waiving statutory rights.

Switzerland

Waivers of mandatory entitlements agreed upon during the employment and the month after termination of employment are only enforceable if the waiver is made against well-balanced concessions.

Taiwan, China

Waivers of statutory claims may not be enforceable in Taiwan.

Thailand

According to the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand, waiver in relation to statutory rights under LPA and LRA will be void as those laws are related to public order and good moral. However, it is enforceable to waive contractual rights or rights under other laws, including a right to bring a claim against the employer for unfair dismissal.

Turkey

A release deed is valid provided that it is executed in written form after at least 1 month has passed since the termination of the employment contract.

Uganda

Enforceable.

Ukraine

Waivers of statutory rights are unenforceable.

United Arab Emirates

Waiver agreements are commonly used, but their enforceability has not been tested by the UAE courts. In theory there is a principle of estoppel issue which can apply, ie, an employee should not be able to deal with a specific issue in a legal settlement or proceeding for a second time around.

United Kingdom

Enforceable, but employees must be represented by counsel to sign a settlement agreement waiving statutory rights. Note that a waiver of contractual and common law rights is possible without formalities.

United States

Waivers of certain rights are generally enforceable in exchange for valuable consideration, though their enforceability and permitted scope will vary from state to state. Waivers of certain statutory rights (such as federal age discrimination claims under the ADEA) are only valid if they meet specific statutory requirements (eg, for a waiver of ADEA claims, they must include certain acknowledgements and a specific consideration and revocation period).

There are certain claims that generally cannot be waived as a matter of law, including workers' compensation claims, unemployment claims, and the right to file or participate in certain administrative claims (eg, a charge of discrimination filed with the EEOC). Additionally, per the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an employer cannot require an employee to waive his or her right to participate in a monetary recovery in connection with a whistleblower claim brought before the SEC.

Venezuela

Enforceable, but employees must be represented by counsel to sign the settlement agreement, and the agreement must be approved by a Labor Judge or Inspector to be enforceable.

Vietnam

The waiver of statutory rights is not regulated by labor laws and may be unenforceable in practice.