Human resources in Ethiopia

Here you'll find information on the four types of employment you may come across, legally mandated benefits, expert contacts at Emory to help you navigate the regulations, and resources if you're working with the Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Project.

Types of Employment

Working with an established organization within Ethiopia

The easiest method to hire employees in Ethiopia, working through a third-party partner organization will allow for the legal and financial oversight to rest with the third party rather than Emory. If possible, preference is given to hiring local staff through an established and registered third-party organization.

Emory faculty and staff working abroad

Expatriates working and living in Ethiopia should be notified of the potential need to maintain personal bank accounts for payroll deposits while obtaining and retaining documentation of any required work and resident permits, visas, and personal tax ID numbers.

There are some benefits offered in the United States that may or may not be applied to U.S. citizens overseas. Please contact Peter Buch in Human Resources for more information on supporting Emory employees working abroad.

Emory employees working overseas should also be aware of U.S. regulations around income earned while working or living abroad and the relevant tax deductions and credits associated with such work. For more information, see the IRS's information on U.S. citizens and resident aliens abroad. In the tax office, Susan Clark is also available to assist employees with questions.

Hiring local nationals as contractors

Contact Mindy Simon in the Office of the General Counsel for assistance hiring local Ethiopians as independent contractors.

Ethiopian employees must be paid in Ethiopian birr. Other federal requirements such as social security withholdings and contributions should be withheld into local accounts in local currency.

Hiring U.S. and third-country nationals as contractors

Contact Mindy Simon in the Office of the General Counsel for assistance hiring U.S. and third-country nationals as independent contractors for a program in Ethiopia.

Please review our banking and purchasing and budgetary considerations pages for more information on how to pay staff in Ethiopia.

Legally mandated benefits

Ethiopia mandates the following leave allowances for Ethiopian staff:

  • Annual leave: 14 days per year, plus 1 day for each additional year of employment
  • Maternity leave: 30 days prior to birth and 60 days subsequent leave following birth
  • Funeral leave: 5 days
  • Miscellaneous leave: 3 days for the newly married
  • Sick leave: Up to 6 months in any 12-month period with medical proof (up to 1 month at 100 percent of wages, second and third months at 50 percent of wages, and next three months without pay)
  • Ethiopian national holidays

If your project has a mixture of Emory employees and local contractors, take Ethiopian public holidays and national benefits into consideration when setting the work schedules of your staff. Consult with Peter Buch in Human Resources for assistance in determining the best practice for a particular program in Ethiopia.


Mindy Simon
Associate General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel

Peter Buch
Director of HR Technology
Human Resources


MaNHEP Ethiopia Staff Handbook (PDF)