Lebanon

Overview

Lebanon’s developing economy is service-oriented with banking and tourism have been the major growth sectors. Other leading industrial sectors include agriculture, metal products, chemicals, and transport equipment. The strategic location of the country at the intersection of Asia, Europe, and Africa, liberal financial environment, competitive workforce, free market economy, and lower corporate tax rates have made Lebanon one of the most preferred investment destinations. With FDI inflows making up 4.94% of GDP, Lebanon ranks among the top-tier nations in the Middle East when accounting for a GDP relative to FDI.

Currency: Lebanese Pound (LBP)

Principal language: Arabic

Government: Parliamentary Democratic Republic

Capital City: Beirut

Major Cities: Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Nabatîyé et Tahta

Employment Contracts

Though not mandatory, employment contracts in Lebanon is a common practice, and generally in written form and drafted in Arabic. The contracts can be translated to a foreign language if the employer or any of employees is a foreigner and not well-versed with the Arabic language. The Ministry of Labor develops and implements the Labor Law. Under the Lebanese Labor Law, there are two categories of employees:

  • All professional workers with office jobs including everyone from senior managers to administrative employees
  • Manual laborers

The usual duration of probation period is 3 months and employers are required to pay at least the minimum wage (675 LBP each month) after the probation period. The guidelines related to work conditions and hiring are set by the Ministry of Labor. Each employer with more than 15 employees is required to send a copy of working regulations to the Ministry of Labor.

Work/Time Regulations

Employers cannot ask employees to work for more than 48 hours in a week. Employees can be asked to work extra hours beyond their regular shifts only if the employer has the relevant permit from the Ministry of Labor. The regular work schedule has 8 hours in a day which can be extended to 12 hours if employees get 9 hours of continuous rest between every working day. Regular schedule in the public sector is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., while those working in the private sector work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The regular workweek is from Monday till Saturday.

Leave

Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Orthodox Christmas
  • Maroun’s Day
  • Rafik Hariri Memorial Day
  • Good Friday
  • Labor Day
  • End of Ramadan
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • Feast of the Sacrifice
  • Islamic New Year
  • Independence Day
  • The Prophet’s Birthday
  • Christmas Day

Annual Leave
Full-time employees receive 15 days’ paid annual leave after completing their first year of employment. Employees are required to notify the employer when they want to take annual leave.

Maternity Leave
Pregnant employees can take 7 weeks of maternity leave. Employers cannot terminate pregnant employees. Such termination is considered against the law and employees receive unfair dismissal compensation.

Bereavement Leave
Employees are entitled to two days’ bereavement leave on the death of close family members.

Sick Leave
Employees are entitled to a ½ month sick leave after the completing 3 months of employment and the entitlement changes based on the service length. Employers can request a doctor to examine employees seeking extended sick leave. In case the sick leave exceeds the entitlement, additional days may be deducted from the annual leave. Employers cannot issue a warning or termination notice to an employee on sick leave.

Benefits

Pension and Social Security

National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

  • Contributions
  • End of Service
  • Family and Education Allowances
  • NSSF Health Benefits
  • Compliance

The NSSF covers sickness benefits, maternity benefits, family allowances, work-related injuries/accidents/diseases, and pension. All employees whether working for international or local firms are required to register with NSSF. Foreign workers with a residence permit and valid work permit can join NSSF if their home countries offer similar or better social security benefits to Lebanese nationals working there. Foreign workers do not receive a pension, family allowance, and medical benefits.

Contributions
Employers are required to contribute toward their employees’ family allowance, medical benefits, and pension as follows:

  • 6% of the wages toward family allowances with a ceiling of 1,500,000 LBP from the wages
  • 7% of the wages for health indemnity fund with a ceiling of 1,500,000 LBP from the wages
  • 5% of the wages for pension fund without any ceiling

Employees contribute 2% toward health insurance with a ceiling of 30,000 LBP each month.

End of Service
Employees can retire and commence their pension benefits at the age of 60 after completing 20 years of employment. Since the legal retirement age is 64, employees who retire early are not eligible for the NSSF benefits. Though employees can keep working after the age of 64 if the company’s by-laws allow, they do not qualify for the pension benefit. A lump sum is paid equivalent to final month’s wages or 1 month’s average wages based on wages during the last 12 months (whichever is greater) multiplied by years of service (up to 20) plus 1.5 months’ wages for each year of service beyond 20 or up to the age of 64.

Family and Education Allowance/> Employees in Lebanon receive family and education allowance which is generally attached to the husband’ salary. The allowance can be attached to a female employee’s salary if she is a widow or a sole provider for the family/dependents. Married employees registered with NSSF receive 60,000 LBP as a spouse allowance and an extra 33,000 LBP for each child up to 5 children. Employees are also entitled to 10,000 LBP transport allowance (free of tax) for each day’s commute. Education allowance up to 1.5 million LBP is provided to employees whose children aged no more than 25 are attending school or university.

Health Benefits
Employees registered with NSSF pay for 10% of hospitalization expenses and 20% of medication and examination costs. Exceptions are pre- and post-maternity examination (paid in full by NSSF).

Compliance
The Labor Law requires all companies in Lebanon to make contributions to NSSF Fund. Employers with less than 10 employees are required to make contributions every 3 months while those with more than 10 employees must make contributions each month.

How GPS can Help

With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into Lebanon and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in Lebanon.

  • Your candidate is hired via our Lebanon PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
  • Your new employee begins work quickly as we take care of employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and running their payroll - all in full compliance with Lebanon laws.
  • Global PEO Services experts manage all day-to-day operational issues such as employee expenses, and severance/termination if required.
  • With no contractor risks, pass on the compliance burden to Global PEO Services.

Spin Off/M&A Support

  • Ensure continuity of payroll, benefits and HR support when acquiring or spinning off a business with employees overseas.

24/7 Support in 100+ Countries

  • Empower your teams with 24/7 support and a single point-of-contact model in which experienced client services directors are in continuous communication with information and advice.
  • We are backed by a mix of 300+ multidisciplinary experts from HR, Payroll, Finance, Tax, and Legal domains who are ready to respond to the expected and unexpected needs of your business on the shortest notice.

Easy Visibility into Your Employee Time & Attendance and Benefits Data
With our Global PEO, you get access to Mihi, our proprietary SaaS solution for time and attendance, vacation, leave management and benefits enrollment and managements. Mihi enables clients to have easy access to employee data in real time. It is designed specifically for companies with a global workforce, especially when working in multiple countries with low headcounts.

Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Lean more about our end-to-end international expansion services.