A permanent employment contract may be terminated at any time, either at the employee’s initiative, by resignation, or at the employer’s initiative, by the implementation of a dismissal procedure.

The dismissal must necessarily be motivated, under penalty of being requalified as an unfair dismissal.

However, the reason for the dismissal must be both real, the facts must be accurate and verifiable, and serious: the facts must be sufficiently serious for the dismissal to be inevitable.

In the absence of a legal definition, serious misconduct can be defined as a violation of the rules established by the internal regulations, the seriousness of which makes it impossible to maintain, without damage of the employment relationship.

Indeed, the article 39 of the new Moroccan labor code only provides an indicative list of what may constitute a serious misconduct.

Dismissal must, under penalty of being qualified as abusive by the judge, comply with a strict formalism framed by provisions that are of public order, even if the reason is valid.

The procedure for dismissal for serious misconduct:

1.Prior Interview

The labor code provides that the employee must be convene to an interview in order to be an heard by the employer, in the presence of the employees’ delegate or the union representative or another employee of the company, whom he chooses himself. This interview must be held within a period that doesn’t exceed starting eight days from the date of the observation of the fault.

During this interview, the employer draws up a report which must be signed by both parties and a copy of which is given to the employee.

In case of refusal of the employee to sign the report or to take it, the employer must obligatorily resort to the labor inspector.

2.Notification of the dismissal

The decision to dismiss must be notified to the employee in person against receipt, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or through a bailiff, within forty-eight hours following the date on which the decision to dismiss was taken.

However, the letter of dismissal must indicate the reasons justifying the dismissal of the employee, the date on which the employee was heard, the period during which the decision can be contested before the competent court.

3.Submission of documents to the labor inspector

A copy of the dismissal decision must be sent to the labor inspector, and must include the reasons for the employee’s dismissal, the date on which he was heard, and be accompanied by a copy of the minutes of the interview with the employee.

Despite the seriousness of the acts of which employee is accused, any failure to comply with the dismissal procedure as described above shall result in the dismissal being considered as abusive, thus entitling the employee to all dismissal indemnities, detailed as follows:

1.Severance pays

Based on the average salary received during the 52 weeks preceding the end of the contract multiplied by the indemnity for each year or fraction of a year worked.

Range of years worked  Allowances for each year worked
First five years of seniority 96 hours of salary
Period of seniority from 6 to 10 years 144 hours of salary
Period of seniority from 11 to 15 years 192 hours of salary
Period of seniority exceeding 15 years 240 hours of salary

2.Damages and interest

1.5 months of salary for each year of seniority, capped at 36 months of salary.

3.Notice period

4.Compensation for unconsumed leave