Mauritius employment laws & regulations, an overview

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Every foreigner who wants to relocate or invest in Mauritius has the duty to understand the laws and rules in force in the country.  Even if many can afford the support of professionals in the fields, some basic knowledge still remains important. We are launching a series of short articles on our blog to help our readers understand the laws (and the spirit of law) which are related to the setting-up & operation of business in Mauritius. This series will include, amongst others: company law, accounting rules, tax rules and employment.

We start our series with the last topic: employment.

The authority

The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment is the supreme authority which regulates labour laws in Mauritius. The ministry operates several departments, each one specializing in a particular aspect of employment: operational health & safety, labour law, employment of foreign nationals, licensing of recruitment agencies, etc.

The head-office is found in Port Louis (where else?) – but several sub-offices are operational in various regions of the island.  These sub-offices offer a number of services to employers & employees and were created to avoid overloading the head-office.

The Laws

The Employment Rights Act is the main law that governs employment in Mauritius.  The Law itself is not heavily loaded with legal and technical jargon. It is written in a rather accessible language and allows the nonprofessionals to at least understand the fundamentals.

It is to be noted that the Employment Rights Act is not the only reference that needs attention. Employers need to consult Remuneration Orders issued by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment. Remuneration Orders set out the additional rules of employment in industries operating with specific needs. For example: hotels, tourist’s entreprises, shops, call centres, etc. These businesses operate specific working hours and therefore turn to Remuneration Orders of their particular industry to determine, for example, how overtime is calculated or paid, shift systems & mandatory rest periods, after-hour transport obligations, meals & other allowances – and other specific issues.

Employment, an overview of the main points

  • Intervals between two salary payments shall not exceed 1 month.  No agreement is valid if it mentions an interval exceeding 1 month. Employers and employees may enter into agreement for pay intervals of less than 1 month
  • Working hours: 8 hours of effective work per day – except for those working on a part-time basis and for watchmen.  For the latter, 12 hours of effective work per day is recommended by Law.
  • Overtime should be on mutual agreement (employer & employee). On expected future overtime, the employer has the duty to give a 24 hour notice to his employee (wherever possible) and the latter may refuse to attend such overtime work, with a 24 hour notice.
  • A worker performing on a public holiday earns twice his hourly rate for each hour worked on that day.
  • For each 4 hours of work, an employee has a right to 1 meal break of 1 hour AND to 1 tea-break of 20 minutes Or 2 tea-breaks of 10 minutes each.
  • No discrimination: employees of the same category, working on the same hours should be paid on an equal basis.
  • The right to payslips cannot be discussed – it is mandatory!
  • No deductions are allowed on salary, save and except those mentioned in the Law. In case of refund of advance salaries, the employee needs to give his consent in writing and the refunds shall not exceed one-fifth of the monthly salary.
  • Maximum deduction (in any case) shall be less than 50% of the salary payment
  • Employers cannot apply financial sanctions (fines) to employees for negligence or damage to equipment.  Employers cannot apply any interests or financial charges on advances made to employees.
  • The cost of transport shall be borne by the employer and refunded to the employee if the permanent place of residence of the latter is more than 3kms from the place of work. If called to work after normal working hours (where public transport is not available), the employee has the right to a free transport means from his employer, irrespective of the 3kms distance
  • The right to leaves (annual, sick, maternity and paternity) is opened to the employee after 12 months of consecutive employment
  • Annual leave: 20 days + 2 additional days.
  • Sick leave: 15 days.
  • Maternity leave: 12 weeks (with an option of 6 weeks prior to confinement). Breast-feeding female workers have the right to two breaks of 30 minutes each or to one break of 1 hour per day, over a period of 5 months following confinement or over such periods as may be medical advised.
  • Paternity leave : 5 consecutive days.
  • Any employer, employing more than 10 persons should cater for medical facilities on-site.
  • The employer has the duty to provide transport facilities to any employees suffering from accident on his place of work.

National pensions funds & training levy

The maximum salary on which pensions funds & solidarity fund contributions are calculated : Rs12,640

-       The employee pays 3% (National Pensions Fund) + 1% (National Solidarity Fund)

-       The employer pays 6% (National Pensions Fund) + 2.5 (National Solidarity Fund)

-       Training levy is paid by employer at the rate of 1.5% on the actual salary (not the maximum of Rs12,640). This training levy gives right to a refund of costs of training spent on training schemes approved by the government.

We have, in this article, highlighted the main points of labour law and regulations of Mauritius.  Readers will understand that it is impossible for us to cover all the laws in this short article.  We therefore make ourselves available to answer your queries by email (nadeem@gibsonandhills.com)

Nadeem

www.gibsonandhills.com

32 thoughts on “Mauritius employment laws & regulations, an overview

    Vincent Espitalier Noel said:
    September 2, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I am a Director of a Company with a 51% share. My partner and myself are splitting and I will be opening up my own Company. We have been together for two years. Does the existing Company owe me two months wages and 30 days notice ?
    Kindly advise

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      September 2, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Hello Vincent

      Well, it all depends on your legal position in the company. If you have been earning salary for the past years, as an employee (irrespective if you are a director or not) & the company is paying your PAYE & NPS – then you are qualified to be treated under the labour laws applicable. You can be a director but this does not necessarily mean that you are also an Employee. You can be director in several companies but can only be an employee in one. Your question can be answered in the affirmative only if you are an employee.

      A director, when resigning, does not need to give 1 month notice, unless this is specified in Constitution of the company, if you have adopted one. Else, once the Board of Directors and/or shareholders have accepted the resignation, you are free to go.

      I hope to have answered your question. Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on nadeem@gibsonandhills.com or on 465 5777.

      Regards
      Nadeem

        Vincent Espitalier Noel said:
        September 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

        Many thanks Nadeem.
        I do earn a salary and have for the last two years.

    Gibson & Hills responded:
    September 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Then again, if your employer agrees that you give a shorter notice, it’s fine. But the question of outstanding salary, in my experience, will be closely linked to the terms and conditions of your departure, precisely the notice period. If the employer and employee have mutual agreement, then it’s ok. You can negotiate. Best of luck!

    Ansley said:
    October 29, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Hello

    Actually I am working in a Chinese company as driver. According to them I should be a work at 7hr30 till 5pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 7hr30 to 11am.
    I already make one and half year they have not yet tell me if I have Local leaves and Sick leaves.
    So, what advise would you give because I don’t want to have trouble with the company.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best Regards

    Ansley

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      October 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Dear Ansley

      Thank you for visiting our blog.

      With reference to your question, we would like inform you as follows:

      - if you have worked for more than 12 months for your employer, you are entitled to local and sick leaves.
      - you should be holder a duly executed and signed contract of employment which stipulates the above and any other working conditions.

      You need to raise the issues in a polite manner with the HR department of your organization.

      The hours of work, in our opinion, is quite lengthy. Have you any conditions such as overtime, proposed by your employer?

      We remain at your service, should you require any additional information / guidance.

      All the best
      Nadeem

        Ansley said:
        October 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Hello

        Thank you for your prompt response.

        Concerning the condition of overtime they do not pay me for it.
        In my interview before I enter the company we were agreed on a net salary such as 11,000 MUR.
        Now they pay me my salary 7000 + allowance 4000. Do they have the right to do this??
        And the worst they do not refund me my travelling.

        Please guide me to chose the right decision because I don;t want to have trouble with my hierarchy as you know.

        As you advise me before to raise the issues to the HR department of my company. So, before I go to see the HR I went to see my manager to show him the Mauritius employment laws & regulations which I got on your website. He told me that it is not me who should go to discuss this issue to the HR Department, he will go to talk about this with them and he is afraid that I can get trouble with the board of direction.

        Thanks for all.

        Kindly

        Ansley

    karen said:
    November 19, 2013 at 6:42 am

    i need some helps it’s about my ex- company they don’t respect the law and regulations.Even to go to the toilet we have to write our names and the times in a book. ridiculous!please help me.
    Thank
    karen

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Hello Karen

      So sad to hear this, but not surprised.

      However, I note that you are referring to your ex-company. Does it mean you are not working with this company?
      What is the exact issue?

      You may contact me on info@gibsonandhills.com

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

    adam said:
    January 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Hello,
    I need some help it ‘s about my salary issues:
    First of all,am working here as an expat,and I’ve been employed as a professional one.The company at the fist paid me Rs 30k , however i signed a contract which as law they have to paid me Rs 80k plus meal & travelling allowance and accommodation but unfortunately they never given me a copy of the contract and i could not claim it , this was for almost 1 year like that and then they increase my salary to Rs 60k for the second year which i was working for the company.and then the company was closed and open an office which is sister of ex-company and they made a new contract as basic Rs 60k plus travelling allowance.

    then I needed to renew my work permit and change the company name which i employed , then i could get the first contract as basic Rs 80k & i have to say they even didnt pay for tax deduaction for rs 80k and they just been paid for the amount whic really they paid me, then they have to paid the rest & they just said to MRA which they maid mistake and they paid the rest and i got my work permit.

    Now my question is ,is there any way for me to claim the unpaid part of my salary in 1th year working.?

    Second issue is they deducated my salary NPS EYEE/PAYE/NPS EYER WHICH IS ALMOST 14K deducation which is almost two times more that other staff with same basic salary.also the car benefit & house benefit include my salary , however this not include for who ones they are getting same benefit from the company.

    Thanks to advise and give me more info ,if this s the right or not and if not how should i claim all these?

    Third question is for the annual refund which has been paid on Dec normally why the PAYE again became twice, almost 20k deducation. is that normal?

    And at the end I need to have some more info for local leave/sick leave , to whom is legal to refund & how many days are? is this include if you used that or not?

    Regards,
    adam

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      January 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Adam

      Your comment contains confidential information. Thus I would invite you to contact me through email at nadeem@gibsonandhills.com

      I’ll be glad to provide you with the required advice & information.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    mirza luchmun said:
    January 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Hi
    Need your help to know ,my friend work in a well known shoes shop as salesgirl just wanted to know her working hours and what additional work is included I mean cleaning of the shop and outside windows removing of dead rat in store also waiting for shopkeeper balancing their cashier if we are in a free transport waiting for them more than one hour without overtime. They told her only 30 mins break. Need a complete law and regulations for a salesgirl what should be done and what should not be done
    Thanking you in advance
    Mirza

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      January 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Mirza

      Your comment contains confidential information. Thus I would invite you to contact me through email at nadeem@gibsonandhills.com

      I’ll be glad to provide you with the required advice & information.

      To note that you should consult both the labour law and the Remuneration Orders applicable to Distributive Trade. I understand your questions pretty well as they are very classical to the shops environment.

      Send me an email, I’ll gladly attend to your questions.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    ritish said:
    February 24, 2014 at 4:59 am

    hi nadeem.
    i would like to know some of law for textile sector.
    recently i have to come read there are 16 local leave and 21 sick leave in the employment right act . but till the first date i am working in a textile factory up till now why there are only 14 local and 18 sick.
    thanks for you comments

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      March 24, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Dear Ritish

      Send me your email. I will send you the exact extract of Labour Law where the leave are mentioned.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

    Jack said:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Hello Nadeem,

    I would be grateful if you could help me. I have been working for a company since the last few months. But we don’t get a payslip nor did we get any letter/contract saying that we work for the company. And if tomorrow the company decides to kick us out of the job, what can we do?

    merci d’avance.

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      March 24, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Jack

      Contracts (letter of Employment, alternatively) & payslips are mandatory. Not providing these is a contravention under the Laws.

      You can always do something if you’re kicked out…but it’s always more complicated without papers.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    Bertrand Jean-Marie Phelines said:
    March 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Hello Mr Nadeem

    My name Is Bertrand Phelines,

    I am working in a 3 Star hotel in the North Of Mauritius,I am a Chef de Partie,and I will like to have some advice,I want to Know When A Chef do a roster,When does it start (from which date) and End,is the company(Hotel) allowed to start a Roster on Examples:24 Feb to 4 April??and can they give You only five days off???and when You ask for answer they told You the Roster have been made on following of the Payroll,does A company(hotel)have the right to Deal a Package with a worker and ask the worker to work like 5 Morning and Evening Shift Monthly??and so if the worker is working on Public Holiday and Working and On Sunday ,The worker is not getting Pay Overtime??We are in 2014 March right Now. I hear that the Law has voted on the Hours of Working,is it true???I think Law must be respected by the employers,Cause without Laws its a Catastrophe,There is abusing of the small workers,please respond to me on ( j.phelines@yahoo.com)and on here so that everyone Can get to know about it how it work,

    Is a Company allowed to make You a package and so he don’t pay overtime and Morning and evening shift (13-14 Hours a day) and on Sunday working,In hotel How many Sunday for The Employers and How many for the workers??what I’ll also want to Know,The Company(hotel) Transport after midnight goes at 00:15 Am everyday,Now some time I must come in the morning like 00:00 Am,now when its goes its take like 35 mins from the hotel to my place its 00:50 Am,Now I pick up the Hotel transport at 06:20 Am to arrived at the hotel at 06:55 Am,are they allowed to do that??,from 00:50 Am to 06:20 Am, There is 7 hours and 5 Minute,,Please advice Me on it,Cause Now us small workers,we are becoming like a Slaves

    Asmita said:
    March 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Does the study leave policy exist in Mauritius? I was told that I am not entitled to one.

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      March 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Hi Asmita

      Study leave does not really exist as a Law – but applied as a policy by some organisations.

      I remember getting leaves on my study and then even salary increase on being successful at the exams.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    Ajay said:
    March 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    hi,

    Actually, I work as a handy worker in District council so I get a nice wages, by the way I do some work part time means the client come to district council I proposes them to do house plan with me. I have done this many years I have create a very nice marketing at district council. So i would like to know if it is illegal or not I take money with client personally and do there house plan.

    Thanks in Advance.

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      March 24, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Dear Ajay

      Normally civil servants are not allowed to take second employment. In any case, I don’t see any employer accepting that their workers take visiting persons for their personal work and remuneration. This practice may cause you problems. You can’t use the District Council premises to market your services. It is illegal.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

        Ajay said:
        March 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        Thanks, Nadeem

        I would like to know if there is a law for this that can help me. Actually I’m a Draughtmanship doing house plan and there is many officers in district council doing this job illegally so I have my right to stop them.

        Thanks in Advance

    pat Ddm said:
    March 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Hi,
    I worked for a prestigious company for more 3 and a half years. I opted to resign for a better offer. Normally my notice period is of 1 month. My question is : should they legally consider the payment of all my sick and local leaves for this year?

    Kindly awaiting your reply,
    Patrice Desvaux de Marigny

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      March 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Dear Patrice

      Thank you for your comment. Your question depends on the policy applied by the Employer. There is no specific regulations with refund of local and sick leaves. Each company applies its own policy. I don’t think, in any case, that Employers are favourable to such refunds when it comes to resignation.

      You might want to raise the questions with your Management.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    Bebert said:
    April 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Nazeem,
    It’s nice to know that someone can advise and help the population in their misery?
    By coincidence, searching some info on Labour Acts, I’ve found you…wouwh! I need your precious help and advice.
    Well, my question is about a work contract I have sign with the Co. I am working for, so far 4 years in Tour Operators.

    The job contract that I have signed stipulate ;”If your contract of employment is terminated by yourself after your probation time, you shall not take any job with similar ‘type of work’…sorry, I have to change the wording…for a period of one year and …should not contact any clients bla… bla… in a period of two years ? Part of the contract says ; Info & loyalty…bla…bla..I may be required to sign up a ‘non-disclosure agreement with my co. ( about info,clients, transactions and whatever…

    My problem is that I’ve got an offer from another Co.dealing the same business with a better job offer, which is giving me a better way of living and progression, I want to quit.
    Questions:
    Does this Co. can pursuit me in Justice for non respect of this contract?
    Do I need to sign a ‘non-disclosure agreement’ for the respect concerning info.etc of the said Co.?
    Can they put in this contract, as I’m a Mauritian citizen, not to engage political activities whatever???

    Sorry Nazeem, I am abusing your time but it is so confuse in my mind…like I’m getting abused…”Harcelement of Work Contract”. Please, help me in this confusing situation. Can a work contract be done with such restriction. IS IT LEGAL???

    Awaiting for your reply…very soon..
    Received my Sincere Regards,
    G.G

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      April 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Hello G.G.

      Thanks for your comments. I think it’s more appropriate that we continue the discussion by email. This would preserve you from disclosing confidential information & defamation risks.

      kind regards
      Nadeem

        Bebert said:
        April 10, 2014 at 6:18 am

        Ok, thanks.

        EQ said:
        April 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

        Hello, I have recently been offered employment from a company established in Mauritius since 2009. I was asked to come to work and received an offer by email stating my wage, jobtitle as business development executive and my start date. I replied back and accepted the offer. No proper job description was ever provided and no contract was signed. After 3 weeks of employment, I was dismissed under ground that they are cutting cost and I was not progressing as expected. Lack of progression if any cannot be proved as there were no test or assessment or anything that was done. I feel like there are many grey areas in this dismissal and I would like to know if I can take any action against the company as I never got my contract.

        Your kind advice is greatly appreciated
        Thank you
        EQ

    Tim said:
    April 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Hello,

    I really need your help and advice.

    I work in a Call Center since like more than 2 years.
    The first year, I wasn’t entitled to Local/Sick Leaves.
    The 2nd year, I had my Local/Sick leaves, but I didn’t use them as the company said it is refunded if not used.

    This year, in January, I entered my 3rd year, therefore they had to refund me the leaves. The director then said, he can’t afford to refund the all the leaves, so he will refund ONLY the Local leaves as per law and I can still keep my sick leaves.

    I had no choice but to agree, but since then, I haven’t receive my Local Leaves refund. Everyweek I ask him about it, he says it will be done by next week but nothing is done. We are already in April ! So I wanted to know, is there any delay per Law for him to refund the Local Leaves?

    Thank you,
    Tim

      Gibson & Hills responded:
      April 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Hello Tim

      I quote below, Section 27 of the Act, which refers to refund of annual leaves:

      (5) Where a worker has not taken or been granted all the leave to which he is entitled under this section, he shall be paid a normal day’s wage in respect of each day’s annual leave still due at the end of the period of 12 consecutive months.
      (6) Any agreement by a worker to relinquish his annual leave entitlement under this section shall be null and void.
      (7) This section shall be subject to any agreement, collective agreement, award or any other enactment, notwithstanding section 3.

      So you see from this that the section refers to collective agreement…to any agreement in fact. It is essential to see what does your employment contract stipulates in regards to refund of local leaves.

      To answer your question, it should normally be paid after a period of 12 consecutive months – interpreted as 1 year of continuous employment. For ease of calculation, we normally put this as a normal year (January to December).

      Feel free to get in touch through email if you need further clarifications.

      All the best
      Nadeem

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