Sierra Leone

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Sierra Leone. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

If an employee is hired under an indefinite employment contract, it can be terminated at any time by either party with 1 month's notice or 1 month's wages in lieu of notice. If the employee is a disabled worker, the notice period is increased to 2 months. The notice must be given in writing unless the employee is illiterate. In such cases, the notice must be conveyed to the employee in a manner that can be understood. 

The notice period cannot include time taken for annual leave. If the employee terminates the employment without notice, the employee is not entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

Work Permits

It is mandatory for anyone coming to Sierra Leone for employment to have a resident employment permit. It is the employer's responsibility to regularize their employees' residential status. Where a resident employment permit has been issued for employment, it is usually restricted to a specific job, with a specific employer, and in some cases to a specific location. Resident permits are normally issued for a period of one year and renewed annually.

A resident permit is issued upon request by an employer. This request can come from either a national or international organization or a business entity doing business in Sierra Leone. The employer must first write to the Immigration Department using an authorized letterhead with the organization or business's full details requesting a resident permit on behalf of their employee.

Paid Annual Leave

Sierra Leone requires employers to give at least 14 weeks of maternity leave to their pregnant employers with full remuneration. For this entitlement, pregnant employees must provide their employers with a certificate from a medical practitioner that specifies the anticipated delivery date. Employees must give their employer 7 days' notice before taking maternity leave entitlements.

If illness arises from the pregnancy that makes returning to work inadvisable, the employee is entitled to up to 20 weeks of leave that commences from the period of confinement or miscarriage. The medical practitioner will determine the actual duration required for the employee to return to work.

During the period of maternity leave, employees' normal benefits and entitlements including her contractual rights and the accumulation of pension rights as well as her legitimate expectations to advancement and seniority, shall continue uninterrupted in the same manner. Employee shall have right to return to the job which she held immediately prior to her maternity leave and on terms and conditions not less favorable than those which would have applied had she not been absent unless the job has ceased to exist because of economic, technological or organizational reasons, or she is incapable of continuing to perform that job. 

Working Hours

Sierra Leone's labor law stipulates that working hours cannot exceed 8 per day or 40 per week. A full-time employee may agree to work additional hours but these stipulated hours may not amount to more than 10 hours per day. The weekly limit, including additional hours, is 48 hours per week. 

Any hours over 40 worked in any given week must be compensated as overtime (see Overtime Pay for more details).

Maternity Leave

Sierra Leone requires employers to give at least 14 weeks of maternity leave to their pregnant employers with full remuneration. For this entitlement, pregnant employees must provide their employers with a certificate from a medical practitioner that specifies the anticipated delivery date. Employees must give their employer 7 days' notice before taking maternity leave entitlements.

If illness arises from the pregnancy that makes returning to work inadvisable, the employee is entitled to up to 20 weeks of leave that commences from the period of confinement or miscarriage. The medical practitioner will determine the actual duration required for the employee to return to work.

During the period of maternity leave, employees' normal benefits and entitlements including her contractual rights and the accumulation of pension rights as well as her legitimate expectations to advancement and seniority, shall continue uninterrupted in the same manner. Employee shall have right to return to the job which she held immediately prior to her maternity leave and on terms and conditions not less favorable than those which would have applied had she not been absent unless the job has ceased to exist because of economic, technological or organizational reasons, or she is incapable of continuing to perform that job. 

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Sierra Leone is set by the Sierra Leonean Minister for Industrial Relations in consultation with the Joint National Board. The minimum wage was last raised in April 2023 to SLL 800,000 (Sierra Leonean leones) per month.

The Employment Act prohibits setting the remuneration rate of an employee as less than the national minimum wage. Any employment contract that stipulated remuneration under the national minimum wage will be null and void.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Sierra Leone.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Sierra Leone.