Egypt/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.4 Social security frameworks

The year 1975 marks the real boom in the social security system in Egypt. Article 17 of the constitution stipulates that the state shall guarantee social and health security services and retirement, unemployment and old age pensions for all citizens pursuant to this Law.

In harmony with this article, Law 79 was issued in 1975 and is considered, with its later amendments, the origin or general code of social security in Egypt. This generalness is evident in two aspects:

First in terms of the persons subject to the provisions of this Law:

This Law is applicable on all persons who benefit from the social security system in Egypt and it provides insurance for all workers, whether they are subject to the Labor Law or state or public sector employees. The legislator did not make any distinction between workers in the government sector and workers in the non-government sector.

Second: in terms of protection stipulated in this Law:

Persons subject to this Law shall benefit from the maximum insurance protection applied in this Law as stipulated in article 1: The social security system shall include the following:

  • Old age, disability and death insurance.
  • Occupational accidents insurance.
  • Sickness insurance.
  • Unemployment insurance.
  • Social care for pensioners.

Despite the fact that Law 79 of 1975 is considered the general code of social security system in Egypt, only the categories specified by article 2 are subject to or benefit from it.

Paragraph (A) of article 2 of this Law stipulates:

The provisions of this Law shall apply on workers in the following categories:

Civil workers in the state's administrative apparatus, public bodies, public institutions and economic units affiliated to any of these bodies and other public sector economic units.

This suggests that the categories not mentioned in this Law are not subject to its provisions and consequently may not benefit from its insurance protection.[1]

As a result, artists, writers or workers in the cultural field in general who are not employed in the public or private sector are not subject to the provisions of this Law.

As for acting, film and music professions syndicates that are subject to Law 35 of 1978, these syndicates have their own membership rules that prevent some registered theatre or film artists to be covered under article 6 of chapter two. Some of these rules are stipulated in article 6 of chapter two as follows:


Article No.



Chapter 2, Article 6

Law 35, of the year 1978, concerning acting, film and music professions syndicates

A graduate of one of the specialized artistic faculties or institutes, Egyptian or foreign, recognized by the registration committee for entering on the general list of the syndicate, or has reached a standard of knowledge and credibility recognized by the aforementioned committee according to the internal codes of syndicates.


Artists and Writers Fund affiliated to the Ministry of Culture. This fund was created following the issuance of Law 146 of 1964 and it provides:

  • Health insurance for artists.
  • Unemployment insurance.
  • Death, partial and full disablement insurance.
  • Pensions.

Artists may also receive exceptional pensions by virtue of a presidential order; many artists were granted pensions by the late president Anwar Al-Sadat, such as Zinat Sidqi, Ismail Yassin, Fatma Rouchdi and others.

[1]              Origin an development of social security in Egypt, Mahmoud Al Sayed Ghanem

Chapter published: 01-04-2016