Payroll & HR Insights From a Global Payroll Outsourcing Provider

This guide is a must read before you either outsource your Egypt payroll or build a local HR and Payroll function. As a Global Payroll Provider, Mercans can guarantee your full compliance with all the applicable regulations.

Investing in Egypt

Egypt is one of the major Oil and Gas producers and investment needs in power infrastructure remain significant.  Vast sectors of trade in Egypt include: Construction, Architectural and Engineering Services, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Water and Waste Water, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Renewable Energy, Education and Training Services, Electric Power Generation, Port and Shipbuilding Equipment, Consumer Goods and Safety and Security Equipment.  Consumer goods provide the highest profit margins.

Political violence and uncertainty have taken a heavy toll, but foreign firms, though wary, have not abandoned Egypt.

The Government welcomes foreign investment and has various tax breaks to encourage foreign investment in the country.

Registrations and Establishing an Entity

The company is required to have a legal entity established in order to process a payroll.

For integrating a company under the Investment Law in Egypt the Investor has to conclude the endeavours of incorporation at GAFI (General Authority for Investment and Free Zones) to establish the Company.  The GAFI is a one-stop Business Services Centre. All business-related Egyptian Government agencies are now located under one roof. GAFI is empowered to negotiate and sign contracts, apply for licenses and approvals on behalf of all parties.

Foreigners may establish or acquire Egyptian companies.

Procedures for Establishing Companies in Egypt

The contract for establishing the company is submitted provided this is in compliance with the fields stipulated in Investment Law in Egypt.

The draft contract should enclose the following:

  • Data form for the company, including purpose, capital, Investment costs, and statement of partners, location, and expected labour.
  • Certificate determining unambiguity of company name, issued from the Commercial Register of Investment (at Ministry of Economy & Foreign Trade).
  • A Bank Deposit Certificate with not less than 25% of the capital of joint-stock companies and 100% of the capital of companies with limited liabilities.

The contract is assessed and authorised within 24 hours from the date of application.  It is mandatory to legalize the signature of the lawyer who prepared the contract from the Bar Association in Cairo.  After legalizing, it is submitted to the Authority in order to issue a licensed decree with the establishment of the company within 24 hours from submitting the completed contract.

The applicant receives an official copy of the decree of the Authority with the license to establish the company, enclosing an official copy of the contract and a letter to the competent commercial register office.  The investor should provide the Authority with a copy of the commercial register of the company after its registration.

Banking

Banking hours are 8.30am to 2:00pm (Sunday to Thursday) in the major towns and cities, with smaller towns and villages operating a more varied timetable.  To open a bank account in Egypt, the Employee will need supporting official documentation, such as a Passport, Work Visa and Residence Certificate, Letter from home bank and some recent bank statements and passport-size photograph to verify identity

Working Week

A full work week is generally considered five 8-hour work days in Egypt, from Sunday through Thursday (to a maximum of six full days, which would generally add Saturday as the sixth).

Basic Facts about Egypt

General

Full name: Arab Republic of Egypt

Population: 95.2 million (UN, 2017)

Capital: Cairo

Major Language: Arabic

Major Religion: Islam followed by Christianity (8% to 10%)

Monetary Unit: “Livres Egyptiennes” (Egyptian Pound) 1 Egyptian Pound (EGP) = 100 piastres

Main exports: Crude Petroleum, Petroleum Gas, Refined Petroleum, Gold and Nitrogenous

International dialling code: +20

How to say: 

Hello                                                                  مرحبا

Good morning                                                صباح الخير

Good evening                                                 مساء الخير.

Do you speak English?                  هل تتحدث الإنجليزية؟

Good bye                                                         وداعا

Thank you                                                       شكرا

See you later                                                   اشوفك بعدين

 

Dates & Numbers

Dates are usually written in the day, month and year sequence.  For example, 1st July 2018 or 1/7/18.

Tax & Social Security

The Tax Year in Egypt is 1st January to 31st December.

It is the Employer’s responsibility to file quarterly tax returns.  The Employer has 1 month after the end of each quarter to file the returns.  Additionally, the Employer is required to file annual salary tax reconciliation outlining salaries paid to each Employee, deductions, exemptions, tax due, and the net salary paid to each Employee.

The penalty of 1% per month is added for the late submission and payment of Tax and Social Security Contributions.

Income Tax

Residents and Non-Residents

All Employers are required to calculate the Salary and Tax on the monthly basis which need to be remitted to the relevant tax offices within the first 15 days of the following month.

An Employee on a Temporary Residence Permit or no citizenship status will be required to file a Tax Return on the 1st of January each year. Additionally the Employer is required to file a quarterly tax return. The Employer has one month after the end of each quarter to file the quarterly tax returns.

At the Year-End the Employer is required to prepare an annual reconciliation of the salary tax to determine whether there are any disparities and to remit such tax disparities, if any, to the competent Tax Office within January of the following year.

Penalties are obligatory in the case of not complying with the due dates at 2% plus the discount rate declared by the Central Bank of Egypt (discount rate currently is 11% approximately)

Social Security

The Egyptian constitution specifies that the state must insure Social and Health Security Services and Retirement, Unemployment and Old Age Pensions for all Citizens.

Employees benefit from the social security system in Egypt which provides insurance for all workers, whether they are subject to the Labour Law, state or public sector Employees.  The legislator did not make any distinction between workers in the government sector and workers in the non-government sector.

The Social Security System shall include the following:

  • Old Age, Disability and Death Insurance
  • Occupational Accidents Insurance
  • Sickness Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Social Care for Pensioners

The current Public Program in Egypt covers approximately 80% of Employees, which is the highest among the developing nations.  Contributions are based on 2 components:

  • Base earnings, or earnings up to 1,510 Egyptian pounds a month
  • Variable earnings or earnings exceeding 3,360 Egyptian pounds a month

Reporting

Monthly contributions should be made to the Tax Authority within 15 days of the following month.

Monthly contributions for social security payments should be made within 15 days of the following month 

Annual salary reconciliation, including the Name of all Employees, Gross Income, and Tax calculation per year, has to be submitted before end of January of the following year

Key Legislative Authorities

  • Investment Authority, Salah sales, Cairo.
  • Tax authority, 5 Hussien Hegazy Street, Cairo.
  • Social Insurance Authority, 5 Lazoghly Sq Monera, Cairo.

New Employees

In Egypt, the Payroll and Registrations of a new employee are the responsibility of employer.  All new employees have to be registered with the local authorities within 15 day of commencing the employment.

Documents required for setting up a New Start include:

  • Employment Contract
  • Personal Id
  • Education Certificates
  • Form (1) for Social Insurance.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Valid Passport
  • Work Permit

Leavers

Payment for leavers is made in the Employee’s last payslip.  An Employee’s final payment must be remunerated by the end of the month and Social Security must be notified of the termination of employment contract.

Payroll

It is acceptable in Egypt to provide employees with online pay slips.

Reports

Payroll reports must be kept for at least 5 years.

Employment Law

Holiday Accrual / Calculations

In accordance with the Labour Law, the amount of holiday allowance should be equivalent to 50% of the employee basic salary. The same applies to the Christmas allowance.  The employer may grant the employee a percentage higher than the one quoted in the law.

Maternity Leave

A woman who has worked for 10 months for her employer is entitled to a Maternity Leave of 90 days with full salary.

Entitlement is up to 90 days after the birth.  The salary is maintained and the employer pays 100% of the salary.

Paternity Leave

There is no Paternity Leave in Egypt.

Sickness

The Labor Law in Egypt proposes that an employee with an identified sickness by an approved Medical professional is entitled to up to 6 months of paid Sick Leave annually, paid at the rate between 75% and 100% of the total wage.

National service

In Egypt Military Service is for males and all the wages are paid by the Egyptian Armed Forces during the Military Services.

Employee Benefits

Expenses

In relation to general expenses, car mileage and company cars, expenses will only be included in the payroll if they are considered part of the employee’s income.

Each company must adhere to their individual expenses policy.

For Example – car mileage is usually included in the payroll but each company holds their specific reimbursement policy per mile.

Visas & Work Permits

In many countries, there is a separate Work Visa category.  In Egypt, however, foreigners who intend to work just apply for a work permit.  The application process for obtaining an Egyptian work permit has to go through a few stages and it may sometimes take a few months.

The application form can be collected from the nearest Ministry of Manpower and Training Office (in Cairo this is located within the Mugamma in Tahrir Square).

Other important documents required for making the application are as follows-

  • A Valid Passport (With Valid Egyptian Residence Status)
  • 7 Passport-Size Photos
  • 2 Copies Of Employer’s Incorporation Contract
  • 2 Copies Of Tax ID
  • 2 Copies Of Academic
  • A Copy Of The Commercial Register From Your Employer
  • Any Licenses Required For Practicing Your Profession
  • A Memorandum From Your Employer Explaining Why It Is Necessary To Hire A Foreigner Rather Than A Qualified Egyptian Citizen
  • Approval From The Authority Related To Employee’s Profession
  • A Representative From Employer Who Will “Sponsor” Work Permit
  • Proof Of Test Showing Employee Is Free Of HIV/Aids
  • Approval From Egypt’s State Security Service Showing That Employee Is Not A Threat To National Security Or Public Safety

The Registration fee is LE2500 to complete the process.