Answer ... Employment in the private sector in Federal Iraq is governed by the Iraqi Labour Law (37/2015). Other sources of law further regulate employment, such as governmental decrees and decisions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, collective agreements, the Retirement and Social Security Law (39/1971), customary practices and international treaties.
Employees’ rights include the following:
- a minimum monthly wage of IQD 350,000 (approximately $293.29);
- an annual holiday of 21 days that increases gradually with years of service;
- a cap of 48 working hours per week that can be increased only in certain conditions and subject to payment of an overtime wage;
- family leave such as maternity leave;
- annual sick leave of 30 days;
- severance pay equivalent to two weeks’ pay for each year of service;
- a statutory notice period of at least 30 days;
- protection against unfair dismissal; and
- freedom to establish and join trade unions.
Employees are protected against discrimination, including any distinction, exclusion or preference based on race, colour, sex, religion, sect, political opinion and belief, origin, nationality, age, health, economic or social conditions, affiliation to a trade union or trade union activity. The Labour Law prohibits sexual harassment and any other behaviour that creates a hostile, intimidating or offending work environment.
Fintechs operating in Iraq must check whether any collective agreements must be considered before signing an employment contract. In determining the terms and conditions of the employment contract, fintechs must pay attention to the mandatory provisions of the law and the minimum rights granted to employees, such as working hours and termination rights. It is always recommended that fintechs seek local legal advice when developing internal HR regulations and drafting model employment contracts.
Answer ... The employment of foreigners in Federal Iraq is contingent on the obtainment of work permits. These are delivered for a one-year period and are renewable annually, depending on the needs of the national economy. Certain restrictions on foreign employment aimed at favouring local employment apply.
Certain nationalities may be exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit as per international conventions and treaties signed by Iraq. Exemptions also apply to foreigners providing expertise, maintenance or technical consultancy services in Iraq for a maximum period of 30 days.