Ethiopia extends employment probation period

Ethiopian parliament today approved revised labor proclamation of the country, which increased the current employee probation period from 45 to 60 days.

“When the parties agree to have a probation period, the agreement shall be made in writing; in such a case, the probation period shall not exceed 60 working days beginning from the first date of employment,” reads sub-article of the new proclamation law that deals with probation period.



“Unless the law or work rules or collective agreement provides otherwise, the probationary worker shall have the same rights and obligations that a worker who has completed his probation period possesses. If the worker, during his probation, proves to be unfit for the post, the employer can terminate the contract of employment without notice and without being obliged for severance payment or compensation.”

Many employers have been suggesting for the increment of the current 45 days employment probation period to be increased to around three months.

“Still 60 days is not enough to understand the skills and characters of an employee, especially in manufacturing related operations. In my opinion it should have been three months,” says Melaku Kinfegabriel, Managing Director of Premier Human Resource Supply and Investment Consultants.

Automatic dismissal
The new proclamation has also revised the previous proclamation, which gives right to the employer to dismiss an employee without any notice if he or she is absent for five consecutive days.

According to the new proclamation, if an employee without justifiable reason arrives late for eight days within six months period even if it is not continuously, or absent for five days even if it is not continuously, the employer has the right to automatically dismiss the employee without prior notice. But an employer can’t dismiss a woman in four months after she gave birth if she is late for work.

The new labor proclamation has repealed Ethiopia’s Labor Proclamation No. 377/2003; Proclamation No. 466/2005, Proclamation No.494/2006 and proclamation 632/2001.

In a related news today, the parliament has also approved the revised value added tax (VAT) proclamation that aims to resolve impediments in tax collection. The revision also is expected to facilitate trade activities across the country.