Mauritius employment laws & regulations, an overview

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

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

  1. Hi Nadeem,

    Is there any law on standby an on-call allowance in Mauritius? How much should a company pay an employee who is on standby and can receive calls anytime and then he needs to get to work immediately…

  2. Hi just wanted to know if an emplyee has already advised his emplyer that he is leaving the company, is this person still elligible to take local leaves left or is it calculated on a pro-rata basis?

    • He is able to take his leaves. But as usual it should be with management consent. This is delicate since person leaving might have hand over assignment and/or completion of his work. Leaves should ideally not hinder operations and block your own departure.
      All the best
      Nadeem

  3. Hello,

    I had a question regarding the transportation of workers. When company is providing a transport, is there any time limit in which a worker has to reach home when he/she has finished work?

    • Hello Vicky

      There are no specific time limit but it should fall within the reasonable limit, bearing in mind the dropping of other staff.

      It only requires a good sense of planning.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  4. Hi Nadeem,

    Could you please explain how to calculate the money to be paid by the employment welfare program after having been dismissed from work.

    Salary > Rs 30,000
    Employment: 5 years

    • Hi Eric

      The best thing to do is to bring this information to the Social Security office. They will provide you with the precise and exact calculation.

      All the best
      Nadeem

  5. Hi i am in a model agency and we work patt time; only when they call us. And for each event what must be the minimum wage to have ?

  6. Hello Nadeem

    1. What and where is the law for an employee who has failed to settle NPF and NSF contributions?

    2. If the company cannot settle NPF and NSF arrears due to financial difficulties, the Ministry of Social Security refers the case to prosecution unit. what is prosecution unit and can the company be forced to wind up?

    Regards

    Dino

    • Hi Dino

      When NPS contributions are not paid, it remains entirely under the responsibility of the employer (provided it has deducted the sums from the employee salary).
      The prosecution is the government (or its authorities like the Industrial Court). Yes, company may be forced to wind-up but this is in extreme cases. I haven’t seen any business shut down because of this. (personal observation).

      Regards
      Nadeem

  7. Hi can an employee take local leaves after submitting resignation letter? Is she entitled to her local leaves and sick leaves?

    • Yes. There are no specific requirements that employee can’t take local leaves after resignation letter is tabled. However, common sense would require that employee seeks management consent to do this…or acts in line with company policy. We all understand that this is a ‘sensible’ period and hence care should be taken to observe rules & company’ policy.

  8. Hi Nadee,

    i was sent by my company to work in Rodrigues for 6 month, they have not paid me any extra as double salary etc. my company was in a joint venture with another and we were sent there on the joint venture name, but there were no contract done as on which company i was being sent to Rodrigues. i would like to know what the law says for people being sent to work abroad by their company.

    Thanks.

    Eric.

  9. Hi Eric

    First, we need to ascertain what is mentioned in your contract for such an assignment. You usually would have a per diem. Your employer remains the company which signed your contract and pays you salary. The joint-venture is an agreement that binds your employer with another organization for a specific project. It doesn’t affect your employment, unless so specified in writing.

    Overseas mission should cater for your traveling expenses, subsistence (usually a determined Per Diem) and your welfare / safety.

    Kind regards
    Nadeem

  10. Hi Kevin

    This should be available through Remuneration orders specific to the industry. It also varies according to operational policies of each organisation (shift systems, etc.)

    Regards
    Nadeem

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