Spotlight on Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

flag of Ivory Coast in front of a building

Côte d’Ivoire, also known as the Ivory Coast, is a rapidly-growing country in West Africa offering a wealth of opportunities for businesses looking to expand and hire. With a population of over 26 million, it is the world’s largest cocoa producer but its economy is diversifying beyond traditional agriculture. Fast-growth sectors include agritech, fintech, IT, logistics, tourism, construction, real estate and renewable energy. The Ivorian government is also now ramping up efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to bolster the country’s infrastructure and workforce, accelerating Côte d’Ivoire’s progress.

Why Côte d’Ivoire?

  • Strategic location: The country has prime access to both the Atlantic Ocean and major land borders, making it a natural hub for transportation and logistics. Its central location in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) makes it an ideal location for companies looking to access the entire West African market.
  • Large and growing consumer market: Côte d’Ivoire has a population of over 28 million people and its middle class is rapidly growing. As a result, there is an increasing demand for goods and services, such as in the areas of consumer goods, telecommunications and financial services.
  • Strong and resilient economy: Côte d’Ivoire’s economy is one of the most stable in Africa, thanks to various factors such as the diversification of the economy and the government’s dedicated efforts to attract private sector investment. Additionally, the country’s National Development Plan (PND – Plan National de Développement) outlines its goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030.
  • Bright future: The country offers a young, up-and-coming workforce. According to the World Bank, approximately 65% of Côte d’Ivoire’s population is under the age of 25 and approximately 83% of the population is under the age of 35.

What are the main sources of labor law in Côte d’Ivoire?

Côte d’Ivoire has two important laws that regulate employment in the country. The first one is the Labor Code, which was enacted on July 20, 2015, through Act 2015-532. The second one is the Interprofessional Collective Agreement of 1977. 

Together, these laws regulate the relationship between employers and employees and cover a wide range of topics, including employment contracts, minimum wage, working conditions and dispute resolution.

What do MNCs need to know about employment contracts?

Employment contracts in Côte d’Ivoire can either be fixed-term or indefinite. While both verbal and written agreements are allowed, fixed-term agreements must be concluded with a written contract. Otherwise, they will be deemed indefinite-term agreements. 

Written employment contracts are required to contain certain information, including: 

  • Date and location of the contract
  • Date and location of employment
  • Identities of the employee and employer
  • Employee’s job classification, salary and benefits
  • Probationary period (if applicable)
  • Nature and duration of the contract (if fixed-term)
  • Any regulatory texts or collective agreements that govern the relationship between the employer and employee (if applicable)

How does termination work?

A fixed-term contract may only be terminated before expiration on the following grounds:  

  • Mutual agreement 
  • Gross misconduct 
  • Force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent a party from fulfilling a contract)

If an employer ends a fixed-term contract in violation of the aforementioned regulations, they have to pay all wages and benefits owed until the contract’s natural end. If the employer terminates a fixed-term contract without offering a permanent contract, the employee can claim compensation equal to 3% of their gross wages received during the contract period.

For indefinite contracts, the employer can terminate an employee for reasons like poor job performance, unsuitability, professional inadequacies or misconduct. If an employer ends an employee’s contract for personal reasons, they must provide written notice via registered letter with receipt acknowledgment or hand-delivered letter in the presence of staff representatives or witnesses. If that’s not possible, they must communicate the termination to a staff representative of the company, with a copy sent to the Labor and Social Affairs Inspector.

In case of layoffs due to economic reasons, the employer must hold an informational meeting with staff representatives, who can be assisted by trade union representatives. The employer must also submit a file to the National Council for Social Dialogue, staff representatives and the Labor and Social Affairs Inspector at least 15 working days before the meeting. The file should contain reasons for the planned redundancies, criteria used by the company, the list of affected employees and the dates of dismissal. The file should also enclose any other documents needed to evaluate the situation.

The following categories of employees are protected from dismissal: 

  • Pregnant women 
  • Disabled workers 
  • Workers on sick leave 
  • Staff representatives 

What are some of the challenges for MNCs looking to expand into and hire in Côte d’Ivoire?

The Ivorian business landscape is growing and evolving at a rapid pace, with an increasing number of multinational companies (MNCs) looking to expand their operations in the country. However, setting up a business in Côte d’Ivoire can be a complex and time-consuming process, involving bureaucratic delays and administrative challenges, such as managing tax, payroll and benefits.

How can MNCs overcome these challenges?

Many MNCs are turning to Employer of Record (EOR) services, which offer a more agile and cost-effective solution for hiring in Côte d’Ivoire. By partnering with an EOR provider like GoGlobal, companies can avoid the tedious process of setting up a legal entity and navigating local regulations for payroll administration.

In addition to streamlining the hiring process, using an EOR service can help MNCs mitigate many of the risks, requirements and restraints that come with doing business in Côte d’Ivoire – while still tapping into the country’s young and dynamic talent pool.

Whether used as a bridge solution to test the market or as a long-term solution for fast, flexible and compliant hiring, EOR services are becoming an increasingly popular choice for companies looking to expand their operations in Côte d’Ivoire. With the help of an EOR provider, MNCs can focus on their core business activities with confidence, knowing their HR needs are being managed compliantly and cost-effectively.

What sets GoGlobal apart in Côte d’Ivoire?

At GoGlobal, we believe in people-first HR. That’s why we prioritize human-to-human touch points throughout the entire hiring process. We also leverage cutting-edge technology solutions to enhance the overall experience. Our platform is designed to streamline the hiring process and offer access to the latest tools and resources. 

We’re a global team with a local touch. Our team members span across the world, but we make sure to have local experts in every market we serve – including Côte d’Ivoire. That means you get the benefit of our international experience and expertise, combined with the specialized knowledge and cultural insights of our in-country team. With our dedicated experts in Côte d’Ivoire, we’re able to provide tailored solutions that meet your unique needs and challenges. 

Our end-to-end hiring process is designed to deliver a seamless experience for both clients and workers. From talent sourcing to payroll administration, we take care of everything so that our clients can focus on growing their businesses. With our Recruit & Hire solution, we can help our clients source and attract top talent for even the most challenging positions.

Whether you’re looking to test the market, build an Ivorian team or simply streamline your hiring process, GoGlobal has the expertise and the resources to help you succeed.

GoGlobal has a significant on-the-ground footprint in Africa, maintaining local offices across 18 countries spanning from North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa. This extensive on-the-ground footprint empowers GoGlobal to offer exceptional assistance to clients in expanding their operations and building successful teams across Africa.

You can trust us to be your HR partner on the ground in Côte d’Ivoire – and unlock the full potential of this dynamic market.

Contact us to talk with an international HR expert.