Stricter quota enforcement sought on hiring of foreign workers

17 Dec 14



What is the change? Mozambique is ramping up its efforts to stop companies from using third-party recruiting agencies to sidestep government quotas on foreign workers.

What does the change mean? Employers must submit their own work permit applications and can no longer use recruitment agencies to do so on their behalf.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals, and recruiting agencies.
  • Impact on processing times: There is no significant impact on processing times.
  • Business impact: Companies will have a more difficult time recruiting more foreign employees than are permitted under government quotas.
  • Next steps: Companies must now file work-permit applications for their own employees. They cannot use recruiting agencies to do it for them.

Background: Mozambique sets quotas for the maximum number of foreign employees that companies are permitted to hire, calculating the quotas as a percentage of a company’s overall workforce. Recruiting workers above the set amount – or recruiting “out of quota” – is a complicated process and approval is not guaranteed. Some companies in Mozambique made a practice of reaching their quota and then exceeding it by using recruiting agencies to file their work permits for them. Mozambique is now aiming to end that practice.

In recent months, the country has more strictly enforced a rule that bars recruiting agencies from filing work permit applications on behalf of companies. Provincial Labor Directorates were ordered on Sept. 17 to stop accepting work permit applications from recruiting agencies, which are now permitted only to submit the applications for their own employees.

BAL Analysis: Although recruiting out of quota is difficult, and although enforcement of rules may vary from province to province, companies should take Mozambique’s work permit rules seriously. They should acquaint themselves with the process for applying for work permits and should no longer rely on recruitment agencies to do it for them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Mozambique. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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