Hire in Mali

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Mali.

Aerial view of niarela Quizambougou Niger Bamako Mali

Currency of Mali

West African CFA Franc (XOF)

The Capital of Mali


Time Zone in Mali


Important Facts About the Country of Mali

Introduction to Mali

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa. The country is home to a population of around 21.9 million people. Bamako, the largest city in Mali, is also its capital. The country’s economy is primarily driven by agriculture and mining, with gold being one of its most important natural resources. In fact, Mali is the third-largest gold producer on the African continent.

What to Know about Mali's Geography

Mali shares land borders with several other nations. Its neighbors include Algeria to the north-northeast, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso to the south-east, Ivory Coast to the south, Guinea to the south-west, Senegal to the west and Mauritania to the north-west. The country has an area of approximately 1,240,000 square kilometers, making it the eighth-largest country on the African continent in terms of land area.

Climate in Mali

Mali is situated in the torrid zone, which means it experiences some of the highest temperatures in the world. The thermal equator, which marks the areas with the highest average daily temperatures on Earth, passes through Mali. The country generally has low levels of rainfall, leading to a predominantly dry climate. Droughts are also quite frequent in Mali due to the low precipitation levels.

The Culture of Mali

Mali’s rich ethnic and geographical diversity is reflected in the country’s vibrant everyday culture. Many Malians wear the traditional boubous, which are brightly colored and flowing garments common throughout West Africa. The country has a thriving cultural scene, with frequent traditional festivals, dances and ceremonies that reflect the diversity of Malian customs and traditions.

Religions Observed in Mali

The majority of Malians, around 90%, practice Islam, with most following the Sunni branch. Approximately 5% of the population are Christian, with Roman Catholics comprising about two-thirds of this group and Protestants making up the remaining third. Additionally, 5% of Malians adhere to indigenous African religions.

Languages Spoken in Mali

French is the official language of Mali but the most widely spoken language is Bambara, which serves as the lingua franca and is used by approximately 80% of the population. In addition to Bambara, there are over 40 African languages spoken throughout the country due to its diverse ethnic groups.

Mali Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Mali

The primary legislation governing employment relationships in Mali is the Labor Code, 1992 amended by law n°2017-21 of 12 June 2017. Other key legal sources include:

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

Employment Contracts in Mali

In Mali, employment contracts may have a fixed or infinite duration and can be made in either written or verbal form. However, it is recommended to have a written contract in French that clearly specifies the employee’s remuneration, benefits and termination conditions.

It is important to note that a fixed-term contract must be in writing; otherwise, it is deemed to be of indefinite duration. If the employee is an overseas worker, the contract must also be in writing and accompanied by a valid work permit.

Mali's Fixed Term Contract Terms

In Mali, a fixed-term employment contract is agreed upon for a specific time period or until the completion of a specific task or project. Such an agreement must be in writing or it will be considered indefinite. A fixed-term contract should not exceed two years, except in cases where a collective agreement or the nature of the activity requires a longer period. The contract may be renewed twice, provided that the overall period, excluding the initial period, does not exceed two years.

Fixed-term employees are entitled to the same benefits as permanent employees, including social security, sick leave and annual leave. If an employee has been on a fixed-term contract for at least two years, the employer may have to offer the employee a permanent contract.

Termination of a fixed-term contract is only possible in cases specified under the contract, such as gross misconduct, force majeure or compromise agreement. If one party terminates the contract without justification, the other party is entitled to receive a penalty payment. However, the notice period can be challenging to implement in the case of fixed-term contracts, as the starting and ending dates of the contract are already defined. If the contract is terminated before its due date, and the termination is not due to gross misconduct, force majeure or compromise agreement, the employer must pay the employee the balance of the gross salaries they would have received during the contract. Furthermore, the employee is entitled to receive 2.5% of the total gross salaries they received during the contract.

Mali's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

A probation period must be explicitly in writing and include the following:

  • The employee’s employment and professional category
  • The duration of the probationary period (often equivalent to the notice period required to terminate a contract but can be set at no more than six months, including the renewal period)

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Mali

The regular working hours in Mali are set at 40 hours per week, and any hours worked beyond that entitle the worker to additional pay. However, for agricultural holdings, the annual working hours are fixed at 2,352. In some sectors of activity, the weekly working hours may be different from 40 hours but considered and paid as such.


Specific branches of activity that are concerned with equivalent hours greater or less than 40 are as follows:

  • Security guards and fire brigades: 56 hours per week
  • Caretakers: must be present continuously but are entitled to a 24-hour rest period and 2 weeks of paid annual leave, in addition to the statutory holiday
  • Wholesale and semi-wholesale trade, docks and shops, general merchandise retail establishments: 42 hours per week
  • Cooks: 45 hours per week
  • Pubs, cafés, restaurants and hotels: 50 hours per week
  • Hospitals, clinics and similar establishments: 45 hours per week
  • Hairdressing salons: 50 hours per week
  • Domestic workers: 60 hours per week

Malian Laws Regarding Overtime

Depending on the time and number of hours of overtime, the employee is entitled to the following minimum premium rates:

On Working days:

  • 10% (41 – 48 hours)
  • 25% (beyond 48 hours)
  • 50% (during the night)

On Non-working days:

  • 50% (during the day)
  • 100% (during the night)

An employer in Mali can apply in writing to the local Labor Office for permission to have their employees work up to 18 hours of overtime per week. This authorization is granted for a period of three months and can be renewed. It is important to note that the maximum limit for overtime per week is 18 hours.

Malian Timesheets & Record Keeping

Employers must maintain a duplicate copy of their employees’ paystubs in a “payment register.” In addition to compensation data, the record must include statements regarding absences and their corresponding causes (sickness, work-related accident, absences whether authorized or not).

The payment register must be maintained chronologically, without omissions, deletions, additions, or side notes.

Medical Check-ups

Medical check-ups are mandated by law. It must take place within three months of the employee’s probation period.

Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Mali

After three years of continuous employment with the same company, every employee 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%

The 13th month’s pay may be granted to the employee depending on the employer’s internal practices. It is not compulsory.


An indefinite-term contract may be terminated by either party but written notice must be given. If an employer wishes to terminate an employee who has worked for over three months, they must notify the Labor Inspector in writing and provide information about the employee, employer and reason for dismissal. The Labor Inspector will respond within 15 days. If the employee challenges the decision, they may take their case to the Labor Tribunal. This proceeding suspends the employer’s decision.

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

Mali's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

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 it starts from the day the notice is given. In case of dismissal, the notice must state the reason for the dismissal.

During the notice period, whether for dismissal or resignation, the employee can take one day per week off to look for a new job, as long as they inform the employer in advance. 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.

Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants

Non-competition clauses applicable during the employment period are understood to be standard and generally enforceable.

Post-employment restrictive covenants, such as non-compete and non-solicitation clauses, are not regulated by Maltese law and employers are not obliged to provide compensation in return for including restrictive covenants in the employment relationship. However, compensation will help increase the chance of enforceability.

For restrictive covenants to be enforceable, they must be reasonable and limited in scope, particularly with regards to the duration and the geographical coverage.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Mali

In the event of termination or violation of contract due to force majeure, an employee who has completed one year of continuous service is entitled to receive indemnity independent from the notice period. This allowance is calculated by taking the monthly average of the compensation received during the 12 months before the termination and applying the following percentages to this average compensation:

  • 20% for each of the first five years of employment
  • 25% for each year from the sixth to the 10th (inclusive)
  • 30% for each year beyond the 10th

These percentages can be more favorable depending on the activity sector of the employer.

Severance pay is not payable if the dismissal is due to gross negligence on the part of the employee.

In the event of resignation, an employee with at least 10 years of continuous service is entitled to a “rendered service” allowance, computed on the same basis and under the same conditions as the compensation described above.

Data Protection

Data protection in Mali is governed by two laws: Law No. 2013-015 of 21 May 2013 on the Protection of Personal Data and Law No. 2019-056 of 5 December 2019 on the Repression of Cybercrime.

The Malian data protection authority (APDP) has several responsibilities, including informing and advising data subjects and controllers about their rights and responsibilities, verifying compliance and imposing administrative punishments.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Mali

The income tax system in Mali includes several components, such as:

  • ITS (tax on salaries and wages): This tax applies to all forms of remuneration, including salaries, bonuses, benefits in kind, and various allowances. It does not cover reimbursements for expenses.
  • “Contribution Forfaitaire”: This is a flat-rate contribution that employers must pay at a rate of 3.5% on the total gross salaries they pay.
  • Housing Tax (Taxe-logement TL): Employers must also pay a housing tax, at a rate of 3.5% on the gross amount of wages.

Personal Income Tax in Mali

In Mali, personal income tax is levied on employment income and it is charged at progressive rates. The employer is obligated to deduct and remit the tax on behalf of the employee.
Taxable Annual Income (XOF) Tax Rate (%)
Up to 330,000 0
330,000 – 578,400 5
578,400 – 1,176,400 12
1,176,400 – 1,789,733 18
1,789,733 – 2,384,195 26
2,384,195 – 3,494,130 31
Over 3,494,130 37


Social Security in Mali

Social security contributions in Mali are made to Institut National de Prevoyance Sociale (INPS). The employer and employee contribution rates are as follows:

Scheme Employer Contribution (%) Employee Contribution (%)
Family Allowances (Prestations familiales) 8.00 NA
Statutory health insurance (AMO) 3.50 3.06
Work accident/occupational disease (Accidents du travail) 1.00 – 4.00 NA
Old age insurance 3.40 3.60
Disability and Death 2.00 NA
National Employment Agency (APNE) 1.00 NA
Total 18.90 – 21.90 6.66
The above contributions are to be made on gross wages and salaries, including fringe benefits paid to the employees.
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Malian Employees

Salary Payment

Employers must pay salaries in legal currency at the place of work or at the employer’s office if it is close to the workplace. The payment should be made at regular intervals, which are as follows:

  • Every 15 days for workers hired on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Once a month for workers hired on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

Monthly payments should be made within eight days of the end of the month in which the work was performed.


Employers must provide employees with payslips that include the following information:

The name and address of the employer or company stamp.

  • The name, address and serial number of the worker
  • The payment date and the corresponding period
  • Employment and occupational category
  • Gross remuneration, including base salary, bonuses, allowances, overtime and benefits in kind
  • Individual deductions, such as assignments in legal forms, refunds of deposits, taxes and pension contributions
  • Net remuneration

Annual Leave

Employees in Mali are entitled to annual leave which is accrued at the rate of 2.5 days per month, resulting in 30 days of leave per year. The amount of paid leave increases with the length of service:

  • Two more leave days after 15 years of service
  • Four more leave days after 20 years of service
  • Six more leave days after 25 years of service

If an employee’s employment is terminated before they have had a chance to take their leave, they are entitled to compensation for the amount of time worked. However, under normal circumstances, annual leave cannot be replaced with monetary compensation.

Sick Leave

Employees are also entitled to sick leave upon presentation of a medical certificate from an approved doctor. Sick leave may be granted for medical, dental, and vision exams, or if the employee has come into contact with a contagious disease that could potentially harm other employees. Sick leave is paid and cannot exceed 6 months per year.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees in Mali are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave, which includes six weeks before and eight weeks after the projected date of childbirth. In case of medical complications during labor, the leave may be extended up to three weeks.

Pregnant employees who have at least nine consecutive months of insured employment based on at least 18 days or 120 hours of work per month and reside in Mali are eligible for cash maternity benefits from social insurance. They are entitled to receive 100% of their final wages for six weeks before the predicted delivery date and eight weeks following. In case of childbirth complications, the maternity benefit may be extended up to three weeks.

Paternity Leave

Male employees in Mali are entitled to three days of government-paid paternity leave, which should be taken within 15 days of childbirth.

Public Holidays

In Mali, public holidays are not fixed and can be adjusted based on need. There are 12 official holidays, but the government has the authority to declare one-time national holidays throughout the year as required.

Benefits to the Employee in Mali

Malian Statutory Benefits

In Mali, employees are entitled to various statutory benefits including social security insurance that covers sickness, maternity care, family allowance, disability, death, work-related accidents and diseases. Additionally, employees are entitled to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and paternity leave as prescribed by law.

Other Benefits

Apart from the minimum benefits mandated by law, employers in Mali often provide additional benefits such as bonuses, private health insurance, life insurance, food allowances, family allowances, education allowances as well as extended or extra leave days.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Mali

General Information

Before entering Mali, visitors are required to obtain a visa, which can be obtained from a Malian embassy or consular office abroad. Although nationals of some countries may obtain visas on arrival, it is highly recommended to obtain visas before arrival. Visa fees and requirements differ depending on nationality and the purpose of the visit. It is essential to carry a valid passport at all times.

Foreign nationals who intend to work in Mali must obtain a work permit issued by the Malian National Labor Directorate. This involves obtaining an employment contract signed by the employer, employee and medical doctor. The application form must be submitted to the National Labor Directorate along with payment of the work permit fees.

Public Holidays Recognized by Mali in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Armed Forces Day January 20
3 Martyrs’ Day March 26
4 Easter Monday April 1
5 Korité/Eid al-Fitr April 10
6 Labour Day May 1
7 Africa Day May 25
8 Tabaski/Aïd el-Kebir June 17
9 Ashura July 17
10 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday September 16
11 Independence Day September 22
12 Baptism of the Prophet September 23
13 Christmas Day December 25

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