Global menu

Our global pages


Morocco – The social security system both covers employees in the public sector and the private sector

  • Africa
  • Other


Mohamed Oulkhouir, Managing partner, CWA Morocco

Interviewed by Najat Mouhssine

Le Matin “Employment”, Monday, March 17th 2014

Social protection encompasses every mechanism of benefit plans that allows community members to guard against certain social risks through the provision of a replacement income or a minimum income in the event of a reduction or loss of income. These social risks are situations or events that disrupt the economic situation of households by causing an increase of their spending and/or a decrease of their resources. These risks  mainly consists of:

  • professional risks such as workplace accidents, occupational diseases;
  • non professional risks such as old age, disability, sickness, maternity, death, widowhood ; and
  • economical risks, i.e. loss of employment.

In Morocco, the system of welfare, as we know it, is built around two main axes:

  • social insurances;
  • protection against unemployment (compensation for the loss of employment).

Social insurance, in consideration of the amount of money it collects and redistributes, appears nowadays to have emerged as the main form of protection against the social risks of employees.

Le Matin « Employment »: How would you define the social security in Morocco?

Mohamed Oulkhouir : We need to do a bit more historical research to provide a satisfactory answer to readers. Most modern States have gradually extended their coverage of social risks to almost every citizen. The modalities of this coverage vary from one country to another. Traditionally, we distinguish between, on the one hand, the Bismarckian systems, where the principle of insurance linked to labour prevails, and on the other hand, the Beveridigian systems where widespread protection is based on national solidarity (and therefore on taxation), regardless of the nature of the professional activity.

In Morocco, although we talk about social security, it would be more accurate to use the concept of social insurance. Indeed, the Moroccan social insurance can be characterized by two main principles:

  • a protection based solely on work and, therefore, limited to those who were capable of affording rights to protection through their work;

a protection based on the principle of insurance, which establishes a proportionality of contributions relative to wages, and a proportionality of services relating to the amount of contributions. However, things are evolving and social protection is gradually being generalized by the protection’s extension to parts of population and risks that were not initially taken into account.

Le Matin « Employment »: What are the characteristics of the social security system in Morocco?

Mohamed Oulkhouir : The right to social security is guaranteed by Article 31 of the Constitution which provides that:

"the State, public companies and local authorities work to mobilize all means available to facilitate an equal access, for the citizens, to conditions allowing them to enjoy the rights to:

  • health care;
  • social protection, medical coverage and mutual solidarity or solidarity organized by the State ... ".

The Moroccan system of social protection both covers employees in the public and the private sector. It provides interested parties with protection against risks of sickness, maternity, invalidity, old age, survival, death and also as family benefits. The National Provident Organizations Fund (Caisse nationale des organismes de prévoyance sociale, CNOPS) manages the employees of the public pension system and the National Social Security Fund (Caisse nationale de sécurité sociale, CNSS) manages employees of the private pension system. The National Health Insurance Agency (Agence nationale de l’assurance maladie, ANAM) is responsible for the technical supervision of the compulsory health insurance system (l’Assurance maladie obligatoire, AMO) and the management of resources by the Medical Assistance Plan (Régime d’assistance médicale, RAMED).

Le Matin « Employment »: What type of population is covered ? In other words, what are the criteria of eligibility?

Mohamed Oulkhouir: Companies in the sector of industry and commerce, professionals as well as activities in the agricultural and craft sectors, regardless of the legal form of the company, must process to their employees’ affiliation and registration with the CNSS. Employers must also report to the CNSS the monthly salary paid and the number of days worked by their employees. A registration card is issued to interested parties. Any person who was insured for 1,080 consecutive days and who ceases to fulfil the conditions of coverage may be insured voluntarily in the twelve months following the loss of his or her insured status.

Since its establishment on 1 March 2006, the CNSS manages the compulsory health insurance (AMO) for employees subject to the Moroccan social security system that did not have an optional health insurance coverage at the time when the law entered into force, and for the holders of pensions worth a minimum amount  of 500 dirhams per month. People who benefit from an annual income equal to or less than 5,650 dirhams per person in the household are covered by the Medical Assistance Plan (RAMED), based on their conditions of residence.

With regards the mandatory health insurance, it covers not only the insured employee, but also spouse and the dependent children older than 21 years old. This age limit is extended to 26 years for unmarried children pursuing higher education, and this extension is subject to justification. There is no age limit for insured children suffering from either a physical or mental disability.

Le Matin « Employment »: Which benefits are guaranteed?

Mohamed Oulkhouir: The CNESS’s objective is to serve the registered insured for:

  • family allowance;
  • short-term benefits (daily allowances in case of sickness, accident, maternity or death); and
  • long-term benefits (pensions for disability, old-age or survivors).

Since November 2002, the insurance for “[a] workplace accident or occupational diseases” is compulsory for all. Companies must take out an insurance policy, on behalf of their employees, with an insurance and reinsurance company.

Le Matin « Employment »: Is the membership to the regime mandatory or optional?

Mohamed Oulkhouir: The Moroccan regime is a social insurance regime based on work, whereby membership is in fact mandatory for all employees and apprentices in the private sector.

His point of view

Nowadays, four out of five people in the world do not enjoy a level of social protection enabling them to exercise their fundamental right to social security. To ensure a minimum level of social protection and thus a decent life for one’s beneficiaries - many of whom struggle to survive – it is a necessity and an obligation in terms of fundamental social rights. Rather than instruments of growth, social assistance and social security benefits are stabilizers which limit the economic crisis’ impacts on households and thereby cushion the fall of the aggregate demand.