Foreigners labour contracts and permits

Due to the event of COVID-19, the borders in Algeria were closed, so, many foreign employees could not leave.

Meanwhile, for many different reasons, workers contract are expired or terminated which in theory, compel them to leave the country.

Indeed, this situation may imply severe liabilities to both employees and employer if no actions promptly are taken.

What are the liabilities of the employer who is accommodating a foreign employee in an illegal situation?

Employers in Algeria are obliged by the law 11-08 and law 81-11 providing the conditions of circulation and work for foreigners, to report any foreign employees by filing a work permit application.

The work permit or temporary work authorization obtained allows the beneficiary to exercise a given salaried activity for a given period with a single employer and it is issued for a maximum of 2 years.

Without this work permit, foreign employee is not deemed to stay in the Country.
The obtaining of this permit/ authorisation is required by the law and if the employer fails to do so it may risk his liability.

Therefore, according to the article 19 of law 81-11, the accommodation of a foreign employee with no/expired permit is considered an criminal offense and the employer may be punished with a fine of 5,000 DA up to 10.000 DA.

What are the procedures to be performed by the employer when the work permit of his employees expires during COVID-19?

The same procedure of hiring a foreign employee must be completed when the employment relationship ends.

According to the article 27 of the law 11-08, the employer is required to notify the territorial employment services of any termination of the employment contract of a foreign employee within 48 hours.

So, the employer is mostly left with two options; firstly, only notifying the ending of the work relationship, because the employer as mentioned-above is obliged to notify the authorities either way.

Secondly, to invoke under the article 30 of the law 08-11 force majeure as a cause for the impossibility of the departure of the foreigner.

Therefore, the employer can invoke COVID-19 as a case of force majeure to the administrative authorities territorially competent, and his employee cannot leave according to that.

More so, the employer should ask for a prolongation since, it is possible for the administrative authorities to extend the period of the expired permit of the foreigner, when the departure is impossible.

Thus, the employer should both invoke COVID-19 as a case of force majeure to the administrative authorities territorially competent.

Finally, it may ask for prolongation until the disappearance of the reasons for the impossibility of the departure without be compelled to establish a new labour contract.
Keywords: COVID-19, Foreign employees, employers, resident card, Algerian government. Force majeure.

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