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Irregular Employment Under Egyptian Social Insurance Law

Law No. 148 of 2019

Social insurance plays an essential role for all members of society, with its importance lying in the provision of financial security to individuals, pensioners and their families in the event of retirement resulting from old age, disability, death, injury and illness. Essentially, it is used as a policy to compensate individuals and institutions for covered losses, and to provide safety and stability against long-term risks.

Another target for the state is to ensure that social insurance protection extends to every Egyptian citizen, whether directly (through your employer) or indirectly (if for example, you are protected under another family member’s policy). With the aim of extending this blanket of security to truly cover all employees, insurance providers are now also providing coverage for “irregular workers”. 

A large percentage of the Egyptian workforce fall under this category of ‘Irregular employment’, which includes part-time workers, seasonal and casual workers, those who are self-employed, temporary workers, and on-call worker.

In light of the above, The Social Insurance and Pensions Law, issued by Law No. 148 of 2019 further categorized irregular workers as follows: 

“Qur’an lecturer the readers; cleaning staff and domestic helpers, traveling workers, temporary agricultural workers and farmers, owners of agricultural land that is less than one acre large and unused; the church clergy.”

-The Ministry of Workforce was also keen to build an integrated system to care for these employees, register them and calculate exactly how many exist in this category, all with the aim of providing them with access to health and social care. To help actualize this, such workers were given specific social insurance procedures to follow for registration, in addition to a certificate to evidence the level of skill and qualification to practice their craft and recording this information on their national ID cards.

-Recently, a protocol was ratified between the Ministry of Labor and the National Social Insurance Agency, which accounts for the surge in irregular employment, defined as a group that lacks an employer. Here, the State will pay the 12% employers’ share, with irregular workers paying 9%. 

All in all, the Egyptian state aims to integrate informal workers into the national economy and formalize their category by extending social protection to include all categories of the workforce, and thus ensure that they have sufficient social protection.

To conclude, the State has made every effort to provide health and social care to all categories of the labor force, in particular to irregular workers, who were previously unaccounted for in this regard.

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Written By

Noor Mahdy - Attorney at Law

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