Women and active employment programmes
A government national plan for gender equality called Ikram has been adopted by the government. It is declined in two phases. The first phase of the plan (Ikram 1) lasted between 2012 and 2016 and the second one (Ikram 2) is to be conducted between 2017 and 2021. These plans for gender equality are the framework of the different initiatives aiming at gender equality. The objectives of Ikram 1 were to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against women, to fight women poverty' and precariousness, to promote the rights of older women and women with disabilities, to promote equitable access to decision-making positions and equal opportunities in the labour market. Ikram 2 emphasises women economic empowerment in order to promote women’s rights and equal opportunities for men and women in the labour market.
Wad3eyati is a project aiming at gender equality in the workplace. It is a project funded by the Office of Trade and Labour Affairs of the Department of United States Work (USDOL). The project spans over the 2013-16 period. The overall objective of the project is to help improve the equality' of men and women in the workplace in Morocco in terms of hiring, promoting and training in companies and communities targeted. It also aims to improve the conditions for women’s access and retention at work. The objectives of the project are to provide support to enterprises in order to improve gender equality in the workplace with respect to hiring, promotion and training and to facilitate women’s economic participation by improving infrastructure in selected communities.
Laws aiming at formalisation in specific sectors
1. The domestic employment law
The Moroccan Law on domestic workers, Law 19-12, sets the conditions of work and employment of domestic workers and was adopted in August 2016 and entered into force in August 2017. An application Decree of the Law (Decree n° 2- 17-356) was adopted in September 2017. It completes the list of jobs in which it is forbidden to employ domestic workers between 16 and 18 years of age. Another Decree (Decree n° 2-17 355) published in August 2017 specifies the model of the contract of employment of the domestic worker.
The number of domestic workers in Morocco is not known with precision. Some institutions estimate the domestic population between 100,000 and 200,000 employees, others speak of a million or even 2 million domestic employees. Morocco has more than 7 million households and the use of domestic workers does not apply only to wealthy families. Domestic employment in Morocco is highly feminised.
The Labour Code, which came into force in 2004, does not cover domestic workers. Entry into force of Law 19-12 in October 2018, published in the Official Bulletin in August 2016. The law deals with domestic workers but also drivers, caretakers, gardeners, etc. The three decrees of application published in the Official Bulletin in October 2017 provide that their entry into force will take place one year after their publication. They set the model of employment contract and the list of tasks prohibited to those under 18 years.
An employment contract must be signed and legalised by both parties in triplicate, including one for the labour inspector. For workers under 18, a written authorisation from the guardian must accompany the contract. The work of persons between the ages of 16 and 18 is authorised by law for a transitional period of five years. The contract must specify if it is a fixed-term contract or one with unlimited duration. It also must state the nature of the work (cleaning, childcare, home help for the elderly, sick or disabled, driver, gardener, caretaker, etc.) and it must stipulate the trial period which is fixed at 15 days for both types of contacts. It must give the number of weekly hours of work which according to the law have to be limited to 48 hours per week maximum for the over 18 years of age, and to 40 hours per week maximum for those whose age varies between 16 and 18 years. The contract has to state the salary which must be equal to at least 60 per cent of the minimum wage (which is 13.46 dirhams per hour). That’s about 1,550 dirhams per month for a full-time employee.
Under the law, the domestic employee is entitled to a minimum of 24 continuous hours weekly rest ever)' week. In the case of an employee who continues to work after a period of pregnancy, a daily rest of one hour for 12 consecutive months is added to the weekly rest. The employee is also entitled to annual leave after six months of work and to holidays and leave for family reasons. The annual leave is calculated at the rate of one and a half days per month worked.
In the event of dismissal, the worker is entitled to compensation if he has worked for at least one continuous year on behalf of the same employer. The amount of the indemnity increases according to the duration of the work on behalf of the same employer, which is equivalent to: 96 hours of remuneration, for the duration of the actual work recorded during the first five years; 144 hours of remuneration, for the actual working hours recorded during the period from the 6th to the 10th year and 192 hours of pay, for the actual working time recorded during the period from 11th to 15th year.
Sanctions are provided if the employer does not respect the signed contract. If the employee is deprived of his/her leave and rest periods, the employer risks paying a fine ranging from 500 to 2,000 dirhams. Any breach of the employment contract gives rise to a fine of 3,000 to 5,000 dirhams for the employer. The contract must clearly include the employee’s declaration of willingness to perform domestic duties on behalf of the employer. The employer faces a fine of 25,000-
30.000 dirhams if he forces a person to work for him and a prison sentence of one to three months if there is a second offence.
A number of tasks deemed dangerous are prohibited to persons under 18 years of age. For example, it is prohibited that a domestic employee under 18 handle household products and other detergents containing hazardous chemicals, use electrical or cutting equipment, iron the clothes; provide care and handle medicated products, to remain close to a family member suffering from a contagious disease, drive any machine, even those that do not require a license, handle chemicals, insecticides and other products considered dangerous and keep the house. Failure to comply with these provisions exposes the employer to 25,000-
- 30.000 dirhams of fine. In the event of a second offence, the penalties are either doubled or converted to prison term (one to three months).
- 2 The law on self-entrepreneurs
The Moroccan Law no. 114-13 dealing with the status of the self-entrepreneur was adopted in March 2015. It is accompanied by three application decrees. These are Decree No. 2-15-263 of April 2015 fixing the list of professions excluded from the statute of the auto-entrepreneur, Decree No. 2-15-257 fixing the composition and functioning of the national committee of the auto-entrepreneur, Decree n°2-15- 258 of 10/04/15 relating to the modalities of registration in the national register of the self-entrepreneur and Ministerial Decree no. 151809 and 151810 June 2015 dealing with the time taken to examine applications for registration and the models of registration forms. Other legislative document dealing with this statute include article 5 of the Budget Law No. 43-06 for fiscal year 2007 establishing the General Tax Code and Article 6-1 of the Budget law for the year 2015.
The creation of a legal and fiscal statute dedicated to self-entrepreneurs aims to reduce informal activities, develop the entrepreneurial spirit and facilitate access to the labour market through employment. The status of self-entrepreneur is open to any individual exercising an industrial, commercial or craft activity or service provider, whose annual turnover received does not exceed 500,000 dirhams for industrial, commercial and craft activities and 200,000 for sendee providers (the turnover should not exceed the above threshold for two consecutive years). It is accessible to both self- employed entrepreneurs who belong to the social security system and to self- employed persons registered in the national register of the self-entrepreneur.
The law gives a number of advantages to self-entrepreneurs. To begin with, they are exempt from the obligation to register in the commercial register and from the requirement to keep an extensive accounting. They have the possibility of domiciling their business in their residence or in premises operated jointly by several companies, they obtain social coverage from the date of registration to the National Register of the Auto-entrepreneur (NRAE) and they receive a number of fiscal advantages. For the self-entrepreneur, the value added tax does not apply. The income tax is only applicable to the turnover received but at very low rate (Direction Generale de l’lmpot 2018, Regime Fiscal de l’Auto-entrepreneur, Direction generale des Impots Edition 2018) 1 per cent on the amount not exceeding 500,000 dirhams for commercial, industrial and artisanal activities and 2 per cent on the amount not exceeding 200,000 dirhams for services). The selfentrepreneur is also exempt from business tax for five years from the date of the beginning of activity. The net capital gains are taxable according to the terms and the rates of the general tax code. The amount of tax payable by self-employed taxpayers is paid at the level of one of Barid Bank’s branches before the end of the month following the quarter in which the turnover has been cashed.
The self-entrepreneurs also benefit from procedures that are significantly simplified. The self-entrepreneur needs to register at the NRAE. The registration procedure only includes three steps. The self-entrepreneur needs to complete the registration request via the NRAE portal, remove and sign the application and deposit it at Barid A1 Maghrib’s partner bank counter (within 30 days of the application on the portal). Once registered with the NRAE, the self-entrepreneur is given a common company identifier, the tax identifier and the identification number to the business tax.
The radiation or the write-off from the self-entrepreneur scheme is also kept very simple. It occurs on request of the interested party and deposited at the Barid A1 Maghrib counter, in case of non-declaration of turnover, in case of transformation to another regime or status or in the event of non-payment of social and tax contributions.