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

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

  1. Hello I wish to know I work in a private company this 28th will be 10month do i have the right entitled the end bonus. Thank you

  2. hi,

    What about resignation, is it 14 days as per law?

    Because I got another job opportunity from which i will benefit more, but in my contract its written 3 months… and i think no one will wait for you to join this company in 3 months ..

    Please help

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Sesh

      You signed a contract. You read it at that time, the thinking should have been done when you signed.

      You agreed on 3 months, not observing the clause when it suits you is not ethical. The source of many conflicts between employer and employee is precisely the non respect of contract clause.

      Everybody should observe what he signs and always remember why he signed if the idea is not to respect the condition.

      Please be ethical. A contract is meant to be respected. Questioning whether it’s legal or not is something to be done at the time of signing. Not now.

      All the best
      Nadeem

  3. Hi, i have worked 2 yrs in a company, i have resigned on 28th November 2015.But company extended my permit for 1 more month and i worked till 28th december 2015 ,am I eligible for the end of year bonus ?

  4. Hello,

    I worked on the 25th December which fall on a friday, I would like to know if I am eligible for a day off?

    Is there something written in the law for that?

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hello Avi

      Which industry sector are you working?
      Have you been paid overtime for the referred day or was it your normal scheduled work day ?

      There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before advising you.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  5. Hi,

    I work in a private company and i still haven’t receive my end of year Bonus and half of my salary, They say they will pay on 7 of January. What can i do?? I don’t believe them anymore

    • Hi Amreen

      You need to inform the ministry of labour as soon as possible. The bonus, government is clear on that, should have already been paid by 31 December 2016.

      All the best
      Nadeem

  6. If nothing about resignation period is mentioned in my contract…should i inform the HR dept?

    And what sort of information should a contract contain?

    • Hello Kiran

      The resignation period is mentionned in Law. So, it wouldn’t necessarily be mentionned in a contract. In the same line as local & sick leaves. It may be omitted from the contract as it is clearly defined in Law.

      The contract should contain, inter alia, the following:

      – Name and definition of parties (employer & employee)
      – Post
      – Salary and remuneration
      – Working hours / overtime
      – Place of work
      – Start date of contract (work) and duration

      Above is not exhaustive but reflects the main elements of a usual contract.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  7. Hello Nadeem,

    Concerning the labor rights, are there different rules and regulations and right concerning office workers and salespersons.

    Thanks in advance
    avitz

      • Thank u for the quick response

        If i consult any labor office will they explain to me the differences between the two even if my shop is a pvt company

        Thanx again

      • Hi Avitz

        Of course they will. They are very helpful and have every reason to help. They are here not only for employees but for the general enforcement of labour laws. Whether you are from private or public sector, you can call for help from government officials.

        We have a dedicated HR management company, Talent Lab Ltd. In case you need advice and counseling y may also contact us.

        Kind regards
        Nadeem

      • Thank u so much Nadeem…i really appreciated it
        Will surely contact i guys if i need further information
        Thank u so much and u r doing an awesome job helping us out here :-)

  8. Hi,

    Is it legal for an employer not to renew a staff’s contract of employment (after having been employed for more than 12 months) due to “financial difficulties” without ANY kind of compensation and the person finds himself unemployed within a week of the notice?

    What are the rights of the dismissed person in this case?

    Thank you,
    Reena

    • Hello

      I do not understand the term ‘renew’. Does it mean that the person had only 1 year contract ?

      If yes, then the contract is not necessarily renewed.

      If an indefinite duration, then this is not legal. It means a dismissal and should be accompanied by relevant compensation / severance allowance.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  9. Hi i have resigned from my post after 8 years of service
    My last day is on the 5th february,i would like to know if i am entitled to sick leaves if ever i take a sick day will it be deducted in my salary?
    Thanks for your reply as there is some confusion abt this issue

  10. am employed since 3 yrs now I hav inform the Hr in the morning only that I need an urgent local got some urgencies she said she approved only half local return after work done but I was not able to return as I got late with my personal work and she will deduct 1/2 local in my salary does she hav the right to do so?

    • Mooshirah

      Half of the annual leaves can be decided by management I most cases while the other half is on the employees full decision right.

      True that you gave a short notice and we can understand the employer’s reaction.

      However, this should not be deducted from your salary. If you do this often, some kind of sanction can be imposed. But if exceptional, there’s no reason to have a cut.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  11. Hi,
    Is there any ceiling in basic salary for the local leaves refund to be applicable? Coz I was told that if your salary exceed Rs30,000 then you are not entitled for any local leave refund.
    Thanks
    Prakash

  12. Dear sir/ madam,
    i am bala ..my native place is bangladesh .. I have been working in a private company in mauritius since 8 yrs ..two months ago i have signed for a 3 yr contract .now i want to leave the company and go to my mother country as my mother is suffering from some heart problem and am the only child for my parents to give assistance .i want to know whether i give one month notice to my company to leave the job or i just quit my job without any intimation for them ? Am getting nervous if they file a case in court on me when i quit the job without knowing them ..pls give me a suggestion .

    • Hi Bala

      Sorry to hear about your mother.

      The best route is to inform your management, give your 1 month notice and leave to see your mother.

      You will be 100% legal as it your right to leave. This is a fundamental human right.

      All the best.
      Will remember your mother in my prayers.

      Regard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s