Egypt is one of the most challenging jurisdictions in the world for employers, because of its heavily employee-biased and bureaucratic labour laws.
Dismissals can only be made independently by the company if the employee is guilty of one of a short and specific list of offences, such as assaulting the employer, drunkenness at work or assuming a false identity. Otherwise, dismissals for misconduct, poor performance, or even redundancy, can only be made with the permission of a Labour Office committee. Committees are generally reluctant to grant such applications. The penalties for dismissing an employee without an accepted reason can be high.
The global business will need to be aware of the difficulties of terminating employees and the importance of addressing this issue at the outset of employment, with the appropriate contractual provisions. Businesses will need to understand the complexities of dealing with the special committees and the heavily regulated nature of most elements of the employment relationship, from sick leave to disciplinary procedures.
Global employers with significant expatriate presence will also need to be aware of the stringent rules governing employment of foreign nationals in Egypt.