Termination of employment in Morocco

Termination of employment in Morocco
This is a translation and summary of an original article in French: Licenciement au Maroc

In Morocco, the process of dismissal, known in french as “licenciement”, is governed by specific legal frameworks and procedures. These include:

Termination of employment in Morocco – Reasons for Termination

Termination can occur for various reasons but must be legally justified and follow certain procedures.

For example, if an employee commits a major or serious fault, the employer can proceed with disciplinary dismissal. In the case of a serious fault, immediate dismissal is justified​​.

Otherwise, if the fault is not indicated as a major fault in the labor law, an indemnity is due to the employee.

Termination of employment in Morocco – Serious Faults

Article 39 of the Labor Code lists behaviors considered serious faults justifying dismissal. These include crimes affecting honor, trust, or morals, revealing trade secrets, theft, abuse of trust, public intoxication, drug use, physical assault, serious insult, refusal to perform work, unjustified absence, deliberate or negligent damage to company property, material damage to the employer, and inciting debauchery or violence. A serious fault is so grave that it endangers the employer’s interests or constitutes a severe violation of the employee’s contractual obligations, making it impossible to keep the employee in the company, even for a limited notice period​​.

Disciplinary Dismissal

This type of dismissal involves a series of gradual disciplinary sanctions for non-serious faults. According to Article 37 of the Labor Code, these sanctions can include a warning, reprimand, second reprimand or suspension for up to eight days, and a third reprimand or transfer to another service or establishment, considering the employee’s place of residence. Once all disciplinary sanctions have been exhausted within a year, dismissal is considered justified​​​​.

Procedure for Disciplinary Dismissal

The employer must follow a specific procedure, which includes informing the employee of the infraction in detail, allowing the employee to explain and provide evidence of innocence, and then making a decision. If the decision is to dismiss, the employer must provide a written warning with reasons, evidence, and potential consequences of recurrence​​.

Invalid Reasons for Sanctions

Certain actions are not valid grounds for disciplinary sanctions. These include union affiliation, participation in union activities outside work hours or with employer consent, candidacy for employee representative positions, filing a complaint or participating in legal actions against the employer, and personal situations like race, color, religion, or non-impairing disabilities​​.


Other Personal Grounds for Dismissal

Employers may also dismiss employees for personal reasons unrelated to fault or behavior. Those could be incompetence, inability to perform tasks, or unsuitability for communal life. However, they must follow appropriate procedures and respect existing laws and rules​​.

This overview highlights the importance of legal compliance and procedural adherence in the process of employment termination in Morocco.

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