Spotlight on Mali

aerial drone view of Bamako, capital of Mali

Mali is a landlocked country located in West Africa with a population of over 21 million people. Mali’s economy heavily relies on its natural resources, including gold, cotton and livestock. The agriculture sector is also a significant contributor, employing around 80% of the country’s workforce. Mali’s economy has shown steady growth in recent years and is rapidly diversifying. The country is also undergoing significant infrastructure development, with the government focusing on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to support economic growth.

Why Mali?

  • Heart of West Africa: Mali is located in the heart of West Africa and shares borders with seven countries, making it a strategic gateway to other West African markets. It also has a large French-speaking population, which can facilitate entry into other Francophone markets.
  • Cost-Effective Talent: Mali has a large and diverse workforce, with a strong focus on education. The country has several universities and vocational schools, which produce graduates in areas such as engineering, finance and IT. Additionally, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, the cost of labor in Mali is one of the most competitive in the world. 
  • Innovation: Mali is a top-ranked low-income country for innovation worldwide and one of the most innovative in Africa, according to the Global Innovation Index.
  • Bright future: The best is yet to come for Mali. The country’s youthful population is positioning the country for future economic success, providing a growing workforce along with great potential for innovation and entrepreneurship. Nearly 70% of Mali’s population is under the age of 25, according to data compiled by the World Bank, highlighting the potential for a large and energetic talent pool in the years to come.

What laws regulate employment in Mali?

Employment relationships in Mali are mainly governed by the Labor Code of 1992, which was most recently amended in June 2017. Other significant legal sources include:

  • Social Security Code
  • Occupational Health and Safety Law
  • Law on Freedom of Association
  • Employment of Children Law
  • Anti-Discrimination Law
  • Collective agreements (depending on the company’s activities)

How should multinational companies (MNCs) handle employment contracts in Mali?

MNCs operating in Mali should be aware that employment contracts can have a fixed or infinite duration and may be either written or verbal. However, it is advisable to have a written contract in French that outlines the employee’s compensation, benefits and termination terms. It’s crucial to note that a fixed-term contract must be in writing, or it will be considered of indefinite duration. 

In addition, if the employee is a foreign worker, the contract must be in writing and accompanied by a valid work permit.

Are bonuses required?

After three years of continuous employment with the same company, every employee in Mali is entitled to a seniority bonus. The bonus is calculated as a percentage of the minimum wage for the worker’s classification group:  

  • 3% after three years of service 
  • 5% after five years of service 
  • plus 1% per year of service in addition (within the maximum limit of 15%) 

A 13th-month bonus may be granted to the employee depending on the employer’s internal practices. However, it is not compulsory. 

How do notice periods work in Mali?

The minimum notice period requirements are as follows: 

  • Eight days for workers paid by the day or week 
  • One month for workers paid a monthly salary  
  • Two months for supervisors and assimilated employees 
  • Three  months for executives and management 

If the employer fails to provide the required notice period, they must pay an indemnity instead. The notice period must be in writing and must state the reason for the dismissal in case of termination.

During the notice period, whether for dismissal or resignation, the employee can take one day per week off to search for a new job. These days off are at the employee’s discretion and will not result in a pay cut. The employee can also request to block these days at the end of the notice period. If an employee secures a new job after giving half of the required notice, they can inform the employer and leave the company before the end of the notice period without paying any penalty.

What else do MNCs need to know about terminations?

In Mali, an indefinite-term employment contract can be terminated by either the employer or the employee but written notice must be provided. If an employer intends to terminate an employee who has worked for more than three months, they must give written notice to the Labor Inspector, including information about the employee, employer and the reason for dismissal. The Labor Inspector will respond within 15 days. If the employee contests the decision, they can take the case to the Labor Tribunal and this can potentially suspend the employer’s decision.

There are two types of dismissal: personal and economic. Personal reasons for dismissal may include disciplinary grounds, professional inadequacy, poor performance or physical fitness difficulties. Economic factors may include job eradication due to financial or technological developments or job transformation. Dismissals are not permitted in specific circumstances, including workplace accidents and diseases, the dismissal of staff representatives and the dismissal of pregnant women.

How can an Employer of Record (EOR) help MNCs build a team in Mali?

Hiring employees abroad can be a daunting task for any company. However, hiring through an Employer of Record (EOR), such as GoGlobal, can ease the burden and make the process hassle-free. This is especially true in Mali, where the legal and regulatory landscape can be complex and confusing. The EOR partner can provide MNCs with expert guidance in Mali, ensuring compliance with local labor laws by handling all aspects of HR and employment, including payroll, taxes and benefits. 

Hiring through an EOR is very often a cost-effective solution for companies that may not have the resources or expertise to establish a legal entity in Mali. With an EOR, companies can quickly and efficiently hire employees without the need for extensive investments or long-term commitments.

As a result, companies can focus on their core business goals, grow successful teams and expand their operations with peace of mind.

Why do leading companies choose to partner with GoGlobal?

As more companies expand their business operations and hiring efforts in Mali, GoGlobal is here to help them create a positive and localized employee experience.

Our team on the ground in Mali will meet with the new worker to discuss the details of the Employer of Record (EOR) arrangement. Once the worker is onboarded, this same dedicated team serves as the point of contact, ready to resolve any issues that may arise in payroll, benefits, or taxation.

What sets GoGlobal apart is our unique people-first approach to HR. While we utilize cutting-edge technology solutions, we prioritize human-to-human interactions throughout the hiring process. Our team members in Mali are experts in the country’s regulatory environment and deeply understand the local customs and culture. We can offer workers services in English or French and in their preferred time zone – ensuring a positive and customized experience for all parties involved.

By partnering with GoGlobal in Mali, companies can free up their team’s resources to focus on core business-growth activities and take advantage of emerging market opportunities. 

Let us help you navigate the complex legal and regulatory landscape in Mali, while providing a seamless end-to-end hiring experience.

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.

Contact us to talk with an international HR expert.