Population: (2022 est.) 1,017,000
Monetary Unit: Djiboutian Franc
Language(s): Arabic; French
Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is a mostly French- and Arabic-speaking country of dry shrublands, volcanic formations and Gulf of Aden beaches. It’s home to one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, the low-lying Lake Assal, in the Danakil Desert. The nomadic Afar people have settlements along Lake Abbe, a body of saltwater featuring chimneylike mineral formations.
The public holidays in Djibouti are as follows;
- 1 Jan New Year’s Day
- 18 Feb Al-Isra al Miraj
- 21 Apr Aid el-Fitre
- 22 Apr Aid el-Fitre Holiday
- 1 May Labour Day
- 27 Jun National Day
- 27 Jun Arafat
- 28 Jun National Day Holiday
- 28 Jun Aid el-Addha
- 29 Jun Aid el-Addha Holiday
- 19 Jul Awal Mouharam
- 27 Sep Mouloud
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
Probationary periods for indefinite-term contracts are allowed as follows: Hourly employees: 15 days; Monthly wage employees: 1 month; Supervisors, executives, and equivalents: 3 months.
Employees are generally eligible for 30 days of paid annual leave.
Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. 8 weeks to be taken before the birth and 6 after.
Fathers are entitled to 3 days of paid paternity leave.
A worker whose illness has been duly established by a certified medical doctor, as provided for in paragraph 12 of Article 41, shall retain his or her salary for the following periods, depending on seniority:
- if the employee has less than twelve consecutive months of service: one half of the salary during the period of notice provided for in section 56,
- if he has more than twelve months and less than five consecutive years of service: half the salary for three months,
- if he has more than five years of seniority: half of the salary for nine months.
The damages and interest payable in respect of a termination of the contract without just reason can be between two- and six-months’ salary depending on the size of the company. Special conditions apply to staff representatives who may be dismissed without the authorization of the labor inspectorate. In such cases, the employer must pay 12 months’ salary. However, if the ground of dismissal invoked constitutes a real and serious reason, even without observance of the usual forms of notice, a labor tribunal may require the employer to pay compensation, which will not exceed one month’s salary
13th / 14th Month Pay: No. There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th or 14th month salary. There is no evidence that it is customary. Employees, however do get a generous leave of 30 days. The employer may nevertheless withhold the leave if they inform the employee that they need them.
Foreign nationals have several options for visas to enter Djibouti, including business visas and tourist e-visas. To live and work in Djibouti, foreign employees will need three documents: Entry visa, residence permit, and the work permit.
The Residence Permit functions as an identity card for foreign nationals. Before traveling to Djibouti, foreign employees will need to obtain an entry visa. Visa requirements vary, but applicants will need a passport that’s valid for at least six months after the planned departure date. Passports must also have a minimum of two blank pages, and applicants will need to be vaccinated for yellow fever.
Type of Visa/Permit
Entry Visa: Foreigners who wish to entry Djibouti must obtain an entry visa. This visa is valid for a month. The documents required for this kind of visa are as follows;
Passport size photos
Completed visa application form
Certificate showing vaccination for yellow fever
Work Permit: Foreigners who wish to seek employment in Djibouti must apply for a work permit. This visa is valid for a year (renewable). The documents required for this kind of visa are as follows;
- A copy of the employment contract with a company based in Djibouti
- A valid passport
- A long-stay visa
- Four passport photos
- A copy of the Free Zone company license
- A written request with the details of the job position and employer
The standard work week is 48 hours.
The employer can, after informing both workers and the labor inspector, require workers to perform overtime work, within a limit of 5 hours per week and per worker. Overtime work is remunerated at an increased rate specified by a collective agreement.
The employer may invoke:
- Personal reasons (e.g. the employee’s state of health).
- Economic reasons (including, among other things, the substantial transformation of a position due to technological change (section 48 of the Labor Code), in which case, the affected employee must be given priority for re-employment during the first year following his dismissal and is eligible for compensation, which is calculated by the labor inspectorate based on the type of contract, salary, and the employee’s seniority.
- Serious misconduct as defined by any of the nine cases clearly stated in article 59 of the Labor Code, or as stipulated in the company’s regulations.
- An element of greater flexibility is open to employers, where the company can resort to utilizing an option for technical unemployment for a period of three months, renewable once (article 41 of the Labor Code), under which minimal compensation is paid, provided any employees so laid off are given priority for re-employment in the first year following dismissal.
Under the Labor Code, the employer must give one month’s notice of termination of a contract to general employees and laborers, and three months to supervisors, managers and those in similar positions of responsibility. The damages and interest payable in respect of a termination of the contract without just reason can be between two- and six-months’ salary depending on the size of the company.
Special conditions apply to staff representatives who may be dismissed without the authorization of the labor inspectorate. In such cases, the employer must pay 12 months’ salary. However, if the ground of dismissal invoked constitutes a real and serious reason, even without observance of the usual forms of notice, a labor tribunal may require the employer to pay compensation, which will not exceed one month’s salary. Under the Labor Code, the employer must give one month’s notice of termination of a contract to general employees and laborers, and three months to supervisors, managers and those in similar positions of responsibility.
Djibouti operates a territorial tax system. Both Djiboutian nationals and non-Djiboutian nationals with Djiboutian-source income are subject to tax in Djibouti. Non-Djiboutian nationals also are subject to tax on salary paid outside of Djibouti for work performed in Djibouti. Individuals are subject to two main taxes on income: the tax on salaries, wages, pensions and ancillary income; and the tax on professional and business profits (the latter is the same tax applicable to companies). Tax rates are progressive up to 30% for employment income. Individuals who derive business and professional income other than from employment are taxable at the standard corporate income tax rate of 25%.
Taxable Income (DJF)
Income – Rate (%)
Up to 30 000 – 2%
30 001 – 50 000 – 15%
50 001 – 150 000 – 18%
150 001 – 600 000 – 20%
Over 600 000 – 30%
The employer is required to pay social security contributions in respect of an employee’s total salary at a rate of 15.7%, including contributions for the family allowance (5.5%), health and professional injuries (6.2%), retirement pension (4%) and mandatory health insurance (2%). The contributions for social security are calculated on the total salary, including fringe benefits, and is capped at DJF400 000 per month. The employee also must contribute 4%.
The standard rate of VAT is 10%
According to the legislation, these benefits are required. These consist of the probationary term, yearly leave, federal holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance compensation. Social Security payouts are statutory benefits as well.