Labour market trends

The labour market faces significant challenges: low labour force participation, underemployment, unemployment and informality affect both men and women but hurt particularly women and youth.

Labour market legislation

Several mechanisms aim to reduce distortions in the labour market. The most important is the labour code. The 2004 Labour Code introduced significant changes to individual labour relations (Kingdom of Morocco, 2004). These are as follows: the prohibition of forced labour, the elimination of all forms of discrimination between men and women in accordance with the principle of “equal work, equal pay,” the increase in the age of admission to employment from 12 to 15, the prohibition of discrimination in employment, improvement of the legal and social situation of women, children at work and persons with disabilities, prohibition of unfair dismissal and determination of cases representing valid reasons for dismissal, the determination of the list of serious misconduct and the introduction of the obligation of the procedure of listening to the employee to enable him to defend himself in case of serious misconduct. The Labour Code provides in Sections 356 and 357 for the legal minimum wage, which may not be lower than the amounts fixed by regulation for agricultural and non-agricultural activities.

In addition to the labour code, the international conventions and charters ratified by the Kingdom are also a source of this law. In case of conflicts of laws, priority is given to the most advantageous provisions for employees. Morocco’s labour regulations provide for different provisions for some sectors of activity. Employment in the public sector is governed by a 1958 decree specifying the general status of the civil service. Some sectors such as fisheries and public works have their own statuses.

The Labour Code does not cover domestic workers, who are covered by a law published in 2016 and implementing decrees published in 2017 that set out the model contract of employment and the list of prohibited tasks for domestic employees under 18 years of age. This law is discussed in more detail below. Workers in the informal sector are not covered by the provisions of the Labour Code. In the formal sector, hiring and firing procedures are relatively restrictive. Companies cannot terminate an employee’s contract for economic reasons. The possibility of dismissing an employee exists only in the case where the worker commits a fault. The complexity and difficulty of dismissal has been advanced as one of the reasons for the low demand for labour.

The Moroccan system of labour inspection covers both the formal and informal employments. Labour inspectors are public officials who are responsible for monitoring the application of labour laws and regulations, providing information and technical advice to employers and employees, to bring to the attention of the governmental authority responsible for labour the shortcomings or overruns of legislative and regulatory provisions in force and to make attempts at conciliation in matters of individual and collective labour disputes. The labour inspectorate is part of the administrative structure of the deconcentrated and central services of the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training. The Ministry of Labour is the central authority responsible for supervising the control of the labour inspectorate.

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