Increased scrutiny of employers continues as interior minister issues call to end corruption

29 Mar 18

MOZAMBIQUE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Mozambique’s General Labor Inspectorate has suspended the activities of seven companies and 80 illegal foreign employees because they either did not comply with working condition requirements or with immigration laws.

What does the change mean? The suspensions are a reminder to all employers in Mozambique to make sure that they are complying with immigration laws and that foreign employees have valid and appropriate work authorization.

The suspensions coincide with Mozambican Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro’s call to root out corruption in the Mozambican National Migration Service. The service’s general director, Arsenia Massingue, acknowledged the existence of corruption in the organization, stating that there were officials who solicited and accepted bribes and extorted money from applicants and Mozambican citizens.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals.
  • Business impact: Businesses risk serious consequences if they are found to be violating work permit regulations. Employers may be fined for employing a worker without a work permit if one is required, and repeat offenders may have their facilities closed. Fines are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of violation. In addition, the government will publish the details of noncompliant companies and foreign workers in the local media. Foreign nationals working without a work permit may be fined and are frequently deported.
  • Next steps: Employers should review procedures to make sure they are complying with the law and are prepared for an audit by authorities.

Background: The National Migration Service intensified its employer audits last year to identify and repatriate foreign citizens working in Mozambique illegally. In March, the Labor Inspectorate of Maputo levied a fine of almost 7 million meticais (about US$110,000) against the Maputo International College for employing 34 foreign workers, including directors, teachers and accountants, who lacked the proper work authorization.

BAL Analysis: The General Labor Inspectorate’s enforcement indicates that the government is continuing to crack down on abuse of the work permit system. Businesses are reminded that labor authorities are authorized to conduct inspections, suspend workers and levy significant fines against organizations that employ foreign nationals without proper work authorization. Employers are encouraged to conduct an internal compliance review and to ensure they follow the health and safety requirements for their work sector. The minister’s call to end corruption in the National Migration Service may affect the delivery of immigration services if investigations or procedural changes occur.

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

Copyright © 2018 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.