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Mozambique's New Labour Law

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On 7 August, the Parliament approved Law no. 13/2023, which introduces the new Labour Law and repeals the current Labour Law approved by Law no. 23/2007 of 1 August.

This approval arises from the necessity of adjusting the Labour Law to the dynamics of the country's socio-economic development, taking into account the emergence of new sectors of activity on national territory, such as mining and oil.

It is also understood that the approval of this new law will guarantee greater protection for the rights of workers and employers insofar as it will establish greater stability in labour relations and the pursuit of the public interest, given that the occurrence of cyclones, pandemics, require the creation of a new regime on the suspension of employment contracts for reasons of force majeure and unforeseeable circumstances.

1. Scope of the law

Unlike the current law, the scope of the new law covers diplomatic and consular missions in relation to locally hired workers, international organisations and other natural or legal persons governed by private law.

2, Special regime

Regarding the special regime, article 3 of the new law now distinguishes between the type and type of work.

As for the type of work, in addition to those provided for in the Law in force, 3 (three) new types of work are introduced which are the subject of specific legislation, namely the mining, fishing and oil sectors.

In terms of the type of work, the law enshrines the following regimes: freelance, contract and free regime, which were already enshrined in the Labour Law in force, and the intermittent, teleworking, seasonal and private employment agency regimes, which were introduced in the new Labour Law.


3. Guiding principles

The Labour Law establishes that in the context of legal-labour relations the following must be respected:

  1. The right to work;

  2. Workers' personality rights;

  3. Protection of personal data; and

  4. Right to confidentiality of correspondence.


4. Main amendments

In addition to the changes mentioned above, the following amendments can also be highlighted:

  1. Introduction of a provision on harassment - its concept, characterisation and penalties;

  2. Existing small and medium-sized companies will now be able to freely enter into fixed-term contracts for the first 8 (eight) years of their activity;

  3. With regard to maternity and paternity leave:

  • Increases the period of maternity leave to 90 (ninety) days;

  •  Increases the period of paternity leave to 7 (seven) days; and

  • The employment contract of a pregnant or breastfeeding worker cannot be terminated during her pregnancy and up to 1 (one) year after the end of maternity leave, except in cases of expiry or dismissal.

4. Introduction of a provision on the abuse of disciplinary power and its effects;

5. With regard to the taking of evidence:

  • A deadline is set for carrying out evidentiary proceedings, which is five (5) calendar days; and

  • Any evidence obtained by means of remote surveillance in the workplace and of which the worker does not have written knowledge, and which is not intended for the protection and safety of persons and property, or which is not part of the employer's or its sector's normal production process, shall become null and void;

6. Causes of invalidity can no longer be remedied once the disciplinary procedure has been closed; Any employer who employs up to 10 (ten) workers becomes a micro-employer;

7. Presumption of the existence of a labour contract;

8. Conversion of fixed-term contracts into open-ended contracts whenever:

  • There is no indication of the reason justifying the conclusion of the fixed-term contract; and

  • The maximum duration of fixed-term contracts is not set.

9. Legal provision on the limit on the conclusion of fixed-term contracts by micro, small and medium-sized employers;

10. Legal provision on notice periods for non-renewal of fixed-term employment contracts, and the respective legal consequences in the event of non-compliance;

11. Legal provision for new grounds for suspending the statute of limitations on rights arising from employment contracts;

12. Amendment to the probationary period regime;

13. Guardians and foster carers now have special rights relating to the care of minors under their guardianship and fostered by them, as is the case with the rights guaranteed to working mothers and fathers;

14. With regard to the transfer of workers, a maximum geographical perimeter is established in which the transfer of the worker is no longer considered to be a transfer;

15. The alternating working hours regime is enshrined;

16. The activities that cannot be suspended due to national holidays and time off are enshrined;

17. With regard to holidays, workers continue to be entitled to 12 (twelve) days in their first year of work, and will be entitled to 30 (thirty) days from their second year onwards; and

18. Legal provisions on suspension of the contract due to force majeure and unforeseeable circumstances.


5. Entry into force of the law

The new Labour Law is expected to come into force 180 (one hundred and eighty) days after its publication, i.e. from 21 February 2024.

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