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Angola update of Non-Resident Foreign Workers Presidential Decree

It was published and entered into force on April 24, 2017, Presidential Decree No. 79/17, which approved the amendment and redrafted articles 2 “Scope”, 7 “Duration of the Contract of Employment” and 12 “Remuneration” of Presidential Decree 43/17 of March 6 – (Regulation of the Exercise of Professional Activity of Non-Resident Foreign Worker). According to the Preamble of Decree 79/17 itself, the reason for changing such a “recent” legal regime was “recognition of the special characteristics inherent in the situation of foreign workers”. The Decree introduces important changes with regard to:

  • Payment of the remuneration in foreign currency, which is again allowed, thus leaving the rule of payment of remuneration in kwanzas. The worker and the employer can freely agree on the value and currency of remuneration. Payment in foreign currency must be made through a financial institution.
  • Elimination of the prohibition of benefits and supplements paid directly or indirectly in cash or kind, in an amount exceeding 50% of the basic salary (Article 10).
  • Duration of contracts, the maximum allowed limit, 36 months, has been eliminated and the duration of the contract is now freely agreed by the parties. On the other hand, the successive renewal rule is now replaced by the admissibility of only two renewals (Article 7).
  • A final note, on the scope of application, which now excludes technical assistance contracts and expressly excludes, if in doubt, service contracts (Article 2). The remaining articles of Decree 43/17 of March 6, remain unchanged, including the “controversial” article 19, which “remains unregulated” and gives express authority to the BNA to set the amounts for the transfer of the amounts resulting from the Contract of Work. It is true that non-resident foreign workers may choose the currency of payment, but uncertainty remains as to the amount of remuneration they can actually transfer. Thus, Decree 79/17 of April 24 continues to favour the balanced treatment of national citizens and non-resident foreigners, but also meets the necessary exceptions that derive, on the one hand, from the special characteristics of the Professional Legal Relationship of Foreign Workers Non Resident, based on the principle of negative discrimination and on the other hand of the necessary correction and legislative reconstruction imposed by the dynamics of practical reality.

Article compiled by LEX Africa member FBL Advogados in Angola.

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