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Morocco - Employment

Foreigners are not required to secure work before moving to Morocco. However, to apply for a resident card (carte du sejour), a bank statement or other proof of income may be required. If an individual is not employed and does not have enough personal income to support oneself in the country, the application will be denied. A work contract is generally enough to prove working status in Morocco.

As a rapidly developing country, technology, communications, and business experience are in high demand. As more private companies seek Morocco as a place to do business, qualified professionals from human resources to marketing managers are in high demand. Most business is conducted in French, so if for foreigners want to work in the business setting, it is almost essential to speak the language fluently. Of course, English is a plus as education in the language is becoming more popular, especially among the younger generation. There are several schools and learning centers seeking qualified English teachers and native speakers are always preferred. One must have a Teaching English as a Foreign Lanugage certificate in order to teach at the top schools.

There are several quality job recruitment agencies online that operate in several different languages and list positions of all kinds at all levels. Anapec is the official job website of the Department of Labor in Morocco: www.anapec.org. Other websites that are highly useful in finding employment are Le Journal du Royume: www.jdr.ma , Amal Job: www.amaljob.com, and Rekrute.com: www.rekrute.com.

Expats must obtain a work permit and doing so requires several steps. Morocco is not particularly quick in dealing with paperwork, and you may need to follow up several times before the permit is issued. To obtain a work permit, bring a legalized copy* of your contract from you employer along with forms your employer provides**, a copy of your passport, copies of all your diplomas and degrees, and two identification sized photos*** to the Department of Labor in Rabat. No matter where you are living and working in Morocco, you must travel to Rabat for to obtain the work permit.

*Contracts made in Morocco need to be legalized by a local district office, commonly known as a town hall or town administration office.

**Your employer will provide two forms that they are responsible for partially filling out. You will fill out the rest of the form with some personal information. Forms should be fully completed with all appropriate stamps by employer before you bring them to the Department of Labor.

***Photos can be taken and purchased at a variety of photography shops and are also needed for the resident card/carte du sejour, so purchase extra during your first trip. The photography shops always give you one large picture with a number on it. If you need additional photos, just bring this photo and they can reprint additional photos without the need for taking a new photo.

As with all offices and processes in Morocco, you may speak with one person who will ask for a set of documents, and then another person at a later date will request different or additional documents. It's always best to carry a folder full of copies of all your official documents to save yourself trips back and forth.

Département de l'Emploi – Department of Labor

Avenue Mohamed V
Hassan – Rabat
Telephone: 212 537 76 05 21
Website: www.emploi.gov.ma

Most business is conducted in French, especially in the private sector. However, most of the government agencies, including the court system conduct business in Modern Standard Arabic. Expats planning to work in the private sector should be able to speak French fluently. There are a few private sector companies where English is also spoken and no other foreign language skills are required, but such companies are few and far between.

There will not be many opportunities for job seekers who don't have a basic knowledge of the local language, called Darija or Moroccan Arabic or French. A few exceptions are teaching English, working in an American elementary or secondary school, and working in one of the many English language call centers. However, in some of these places, upper-level managers may or may not speak English so for negotiating a contract or other business functions may require a translator who could be someone working in the company that speaks both languages.

Expats will find business culture similar to that of the general perception of other countries due to the French influence on business practices. Although, not without its nuances, the work week is a typical Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. experience. One main difference is the lunch hour is often a two-hour break, as opposed one and on Fridays it is extended so that Muslims may attend Friday prayers. Many people commute to work in larger cities while living in smaller, quieter communities. Business relationships are formal and respect is expected at all times.

Contracts should be provided for any and all jobs in Morocco. Within the contract length of employment, salary and other terms and conditions of employment should be outlined. Vacation time, overtime, sick days and other holiday entitlements are all negotiated at the start of employment and outlined in the contract. As mentioned above, once a contract is signed by both parties it must be legalized or it will not hold up in a court of law.

There are thirteen public holidays for which many companies, government offices and schools close for business. However, during the major Muslim holidays of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, businesses may close three days or more. Since these holidays are marked by the lunar calendar, each year there is about a 12 day difference in the time the holiday occurs.

Although many international private companies, bilaterals and multilaterals pay on a scale close to Western their counterparts, small businesses and schools pay on a range inline with the Moroccan salary scale. An individual can live comfortably in Morocco on much less money than they typically make in their home country. Many families in Morocco make an average salary of $6,000-9,000 per year. Since living costs are so much lower in Morocco, such a salary allows for a comfortable lifestyle. There are several labor unions in Morocco working to ensure the rights of workers in many fields throughout the country. Participation is not compulsory in particular professions.

No individual over the age of 60 years old is allowed to work in Morocco. However, many elderly individuals still work in small shops, selling goods on the streets, or providing skilled services such as painting or other household handiwork.

Read more about this country

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