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

About Gibson & Hills

Gibson & Hills Ltd is a consultancy firm that offers specialized services and solutions to people and businesses , operating in or with Mauritius. We advise on business creation, management and immigration issues to help foreigners set base in paradise-island. Mauritius is one of the world's most avantgarde business jurisdictions and offers an excellent quality of life standard. Invest in Mauritius and choose to live next to the world's finest beaches and turquoise lagoons. A low tax regime, streamlined procedures and friendly business framework give you a cutting-edge advantage on the international playground. Our team will advise you in selecting the best options available through personalized counseling. We take every project as a unique one. We know that behind every project lies the dreams and ambitions of someone. Our philosophy is to value, respect and ensure this dream and give what it takes to transform it into reality. Invest in Mauritius. Relocate and open the doors to paradise.
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504 Responses to Mauritius employment laws & regulations, an overview

  1. bmstlm says:

    Hy to all within how many day(s), can I legally do a local leave request ?

    • Hi

      It depends on your company policy.
      If not, you should allow for a reasonable period spa s not to penalize your employer. This will also leave no grounds for complaint against you.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  2. goindoopooja says:

    Sir please advise
    I’ve work 3 week in company already get salary for 2 week. But I want to quit
    Can I give a resignation letter on immediate effect or should I give 14day notice.
    Please advice
    Thank you

    • Hi

      It depends if you have signed any contract where termination clauses are clearly specified.

      Resignation on immediate effect has some disadvantages. It’s always good to leave some margin through a reasonable notice period.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  3. stef says:

    Hi,

    I am currently employed as a Driver and messenger but on my pay slip is stipulated driver only.
    I just received a verbal notice of termination today. My employer has motivated the termination of my employment by economic ground. He mentioned that due to the economic crisis, the company needs either to terminate 2 employees or they’ll close down the company.
    What I found bizarre it is that they just hired 2 new employees, 1 started 1 month ago as messenger and the second as administrative assistant started 2 month ago.
    I have been working with them for more than 4 years. I have not make any misconducts, I really don’t understand.
    I have a family and I would really appreciate if you can help me and give me some advices. As I found this situation strange, they just hired 2 persons and they notify me verbally and another employee that they will terminate our employments by end of this month, not even 28 days.
    I will really appreciate that you get back to me.

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards

    • Hi there

      It looks like you are facing unfair dismissal terms. You may seek the support of the ministry of labour and maybe seek compensation.

      Quite strange that they are hiring people during financial crisis. But it could also be that the employer is appointing key posts or just restructuring his organization to better tackle hard times.

      All the best
      Nadeem

      • stephane says:

        Dear Nadeem,

        Thank you for your reply. As you said it is quite strange, even more when the person hired are messenger and secretarial clerk.

        The company have some sister companies, they may have hired the new employees under the sister companies. Does the ministry of labour will support in this case?

        Regards

      • Of course they support.

        All the best
        Nadeem

  4. Nir says:

    Hello Nadeem,

    I work in a private institution since 9 months and i want to leave the job for personal reasons. Do i have to give my resignation letter one month before or 15 days is enough?
    My boss is telling he will not approve my resignation as he wants me to give notice for more than one month.
    Can you tell me if i can give my resignation letter for 15 days because i have neither sign any contract nor did i complete one year.
    Your advice will be appreciated

    Kind Regards
    Nir

    • Hi there

      15 days should be enough, since your employe hasn’t deemed it necessary to prepare a contract.

      However, depending on your role and responsibilities, you may be required to provide for more notice days.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  5. usha says:

    Hi I am working in a parastatal body and want to have a clarification on leaves. I have taken two days sick leaves and informed the administrative officer about that. He completely agree with me verbally on my first day sick and the other day he request a medical certificate. When coming to the office the other day I bring my mc and then fill the sick form then submit to the registry officers. Now after three days an officer from the registry dept told me that my 1st sick leave was considered as unauthorized due to the fact that the doctor date it on the 2nd day of sick and put my first day also that is I was absent on the 4th and the 5th the Doctor date it for the 5th and also put that I was unfit on the 4th is it possible they send me a letter telling me that this may be considered as a case of malingering help me on the matter how can I defy myself so as not to offset my sick leave

    • Hi Usha

      I believe this is simple to explain. You were sick on 1st and only went to the doctor on the second day. I don’t find any problem here.

      There is absolutely no case of malingering and you can confirm that with the labour inspectors.

      The medical certificate is required for presentation on second day. There is nothing in law which refers to the date of the certificate.

      You are in a perfectly legal situation.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  6. Kevin says:

    Hello sir,

    I have a query. It is about my roster and remuneration. I have read the employment rights act and the NEWSPAPER & PERIODICALS WORKERS REMUNERATION ORDER. But i can’t really understand my situation. Let me describe it to you.

    I am ”secrétaire de rédaction” in a newspaper and i work 12 hour per day (on a one day work, one day off basis). Last year, we used to work 4 days (first week) and 3 days (second week).

    But in the beginning of the year, the hierarchy added what they call a “stand by” mode. Meaning that i must work on a day am supposedly off for another 12 hours (twice a month). But in the beginning they told us it was only for 3 hours then changed it. There is no remuneration for the additional 12 hours. And sometimes even when i am not on stand by mode, the hierarchy calls me to work. i dare not refuse because i fear they might take disciplinary action.

    i did not sign any document whatsoever that stipulate i must abide by such changes to the roster nor that i am ok not to receive any remuneration for additional work hours. I just received an email stating that the hierarchy is changing the roster, thats all.

    According to the law, can i not abide to those additional work as i am not being paid for it? Or can i claim a remuneration for that, as it has been going on for 7 month now.

  7. Cynthia Pariadhaven says:

    Hi Mr.Nadeem

    I worked for 8 consecutive months last year and went abroad for medical reasons. I have been told that this year I will be entitled for only 1 local leave since I have not worked a full year

  8. Vijendra says:

    Hi, I wish to know if an employer is legally allowed to deduct an employee’s transport allowance when the employee takes paid annual or sick leaves.

    Many thanks!
    Vijendra

    • Hi Vijendra

      Transport is directly related to the number of days you work. It is in fact a reimbursement of your transport expenses to come to work.

      If you are on holidays, then the transport is naturally deducted.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  9. mayur says:

    hi i am mayur , i get a job as an engg. in port louis , in my offer letter they write 45 hrs per week mean what 5 days working or 6 days , and
    if it is 5 days then can i do part time job. because all my expense to come are from company side with stay.

  10. Sunjubye Mahadoo says:

    Hi Sir,

    I work in a private company alreay 5years.This year all my 21 sick leaves is over because i was ill due to my pregnancy which was very complicated.What happened afterwards if I am sick again? Will they deducted my salary or reduce from my maternity leaves?I’ve 3months to go ahead..(6months preg).

    Thank you&best regards,
    J.M

  11. Sonia says:

    Hi

    I have for 5 years in a company.now ihave resign. As pery contract i should give 3 month. However i have given 1month and 1 week. I will pay For the remaining days based on my salary. As they could not release me early. So i will mane the payment and go. But my question is they are forcing to train people. Am i obliged to train all the newstarters plus on top i am doing my normal work n helping the newstarters. Plus i have a checklists of around 70 task to train. they told me if i font train they will not let me go even if am paying. Please advise

    • Hi

      Clearly this is case of sequestration. First I don’t think you need to pay anything. You just need to obey the condition of your contract and the labour law. If you are paying then you are even doing more than expected. Adding more burden on this seems unfair to me.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  12. zul says:

    Hi Nadeem,

    Actually i gave birth to a baby in march 2016. am actually working in Hospitallity sector.wanted to know on how many months do i start working night shift…. Please advise….Thanks….

  13. rookshar says:

    hello sir need an advice i work in a cybercafe does working hours condition apply to a cybercafe and my boss does not pay over time mine salary is 3500rs per month is it oki i do maintenance, everything

    • Rookhsar

      There is no specific rules in your case, except labour law. I would ask you to take up the matter with your management.

      Were you aware of the job terms and conditions prior to taking the offer? Is all this mentioned on your contract? There are many questions that need to be answered prior to answering your question.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  14. Nabiilah Naraino Majie says:

    Dear Nadeem,
    I am BPharm graduate, and to be able to register as a pharmacist, next year i have to complete a 4 months placement at a hospital, 2 months at Darné and 2 months at Ajanta (pharmaceutical industry). I will be trained and will work during the normal working hours as other pharmacists; however, I won’t be paid, not be even provided with a transport allowance. Is there a way to get financial help from the government?

    Kind regards,
    Nabiilah

  15. Thierry says:

    Hi, Should I produce a Medical Certificate if am absent based on illness on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday i,e 3 days? (Taking into account that I do not work on Saturdays and Sundays). As per ERA Act 2013 Section 28 Clause 4(b) states:
    Where a worker, referred to in paragraph (a), remains ill for more than 3 consecutive working days, he shall forward to his employer a medical certificate—
    (i) on the fourth day of absence; or
    (ii) where the worker is admitted to a hospital, public or private,
    within 3 days following his discharge.

    Please advise

    Thanks

    • Hi Thierry

      As per your quot, you don’t need to provide a medical certificate.
      However, on a common sense basis, I would say that being sick for three days you surely have a medical certificate issued by a doctor. There shouldn’t be any problem to show that you have effectively been sick.

      Get well soon.
      Nadeem

  16. PG says:

    Hi,

    What is the total Local Leave and sick for 2016?For an architectural firm?
    Thx

  17. patrick says:

    i am about to sign a contract of employment in Mauritius . one of the contract’s terms says “Your employment shall be subject to the delivery of the necessary approvals and permits from the authorities of the Government of Mauritius (the “Permits”) for you to reside and to work in Mauritius. The Company will procure and pay for the Permits. In the event that the Permits are not obtained within a period of 2 months of the date of this agreement or should the Permits be cancelled by the authorities for any reason, this agreement shall come to an end without you having any claim whatsoever against the Company”
    what does this means ? could the company use this term for dismissal after first two months .

    • Hi

      This is a usual term used by employers because they can’t control or be held responsible if government cancels the permit.

      It can’t be referred to as “dismissal” if government cancels your permit. It that case it will simply means that you are not eligible to work in Mauritius, for whatever reason that may be given. If you are not eligible to work in Mauritius, then your employer cannot be held responsible and should not bear the consequences.

      On the other hand, if you have your permits in hand, and the employer decides to cancel it, the it can be classified as dismissal.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  18. Zaheda says:

    Hi
    I’m working in a private company since 8years. Now I want to quit the company. I want to know I’m eligible to what gratuity in my case.
    Thanking you

    • Dear Zaheda

      First we need to know in which sector you are working. From there we can detained whether you are under any specific remuneration order.

      Second, gratuity is not given across the board; more so when you are resigning from the job. For this, we need to have a look at your employment contract.

      Please check these information. If you can’t determine the outcome, please get back to us.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  19. Geeta says:

    Hi I would like to know the updated number of leaves that a government employee gets each year. I mean the casual leaves, sick leaves and annual leaves. thanks

  20. mimi says:

    can a woman wear hijab in travel and tourism industry ?

    • Hi

      There’s no specific requirements as regards dress in the Labour law.
      However, it is up to the employee and the employer to have a consensus on this.

      For example, if a uniform is imposed, the employee needs to agree on this and he can’t argue after joining the organization. Similarly protective clothes are not negotiable when it comes to Occupational safety.

      The hijab is again something that requires consensus by both parties. If your job doesn’t allow for it, and you insist on wearing it, then there might be a reason to choose another place. That said, we can’t also get a fixed decision because it might fall into a discrimination category.

      Your question doesn’t have a straight forward answer, you have guess it. It is so sensible as an issue. It is best addressed through common sense, in my humble opinion.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  21. Rajesh says:

    Hi
    I am an employee in a private company in Mauritius.
    Since early this year my employer is not paying salary last day of the month but a few days after the beginning of next month. The situation has deteriorated a few months ago. One month we were paid only part of the salary and then later during next month the balance. This is causing me some issues with my loan and standing orders I have.

    Is there anything i can do? I have already spoken to HR and they told me the financial situation is somewhat difficult and this is why this is happening but he reassured me the company is not closing but we all have to make some efforts and understand the situation.In fact, the company is also recruiting other staff and in a way expanding its activities as well.On the one hand yes they are doing actions to improve the situation by recruiting more staff to handle new products but I do not agree that it is at the expense of my salary being paid late.

    is the employer at fault here and can i do something?

    Please advise

    • Hi Rajesh

      Please note that the Law is quite accurate on salary dates, the earliest and latest possible. In your case, this is not being respected. You can address the matter with your management but if no solution is reached, then you may refer to the Ministry of Labour.

      All the best
      Nadeem

      • Rajesh says:

        Thanks Nadeem,

        I do not want to get into trouble with management at the same time if I go to labour office and then I have to stay in the company.

        I want to know what happens if Labour Office intervenes and the company can still not afford to pay. Will I be taken on the new programme called welfare programme if I wan t to leave then?

        Thanks.
        Rajesh

  22. Ubeid says:

    Hi

    I’m just chimming in to say that you’re doing an awesome job. Thank you!

  23. Ajay Doysuree says:

    Hi, need to be enlightened on the hours of duty for hotel security per week,, thnks in advance

  24. Gaelle says:

    Bonjour,

    I would like to know if a local leave is not approved , there should be specific reason?

    Regards,

    • Bonjour

      There can be many reasons for not approving a local leave. Any specific trend in absences, if business suffers because of too request absences on critical days, etc.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  25. Jason says:

    Hi Sir,

    I would like to clarify something , i know that mortality leave is used when close relatives only passed by . But in case it is one of my grandparents or anyone else is it possible to apply for an urgent annual leave ?
    Or it is automatically an unauthorized leave ?

    • Hi Jason

      Nothing is automatic. So yes, nothing prevents you from applying for mortality leave.
      If your management accepts, good. If not, then you’ll need to use your annual leave.

      My sincere condolences for your loss.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  26. Aarti says:

    Hi Nadeem

    I am working in an organisation since 3 years i have got an offer from another company and the joining is from 1st of December 2016,i want to know if i will be eligible for end of year bonus on pro rata basis from my present employer and what shall i do if they deny to pay me as if i wait till year end i might loose the other opportunity.
    Your guidance will be highly appreciated.

    Regards
    AARTI

    • Aarti

      Normally the end of her bonus is paid to those in employment on 31 December of the year. If you’re submitting your resignation, then you will not be part of those in employment on 31 December.

      So in my opinion you will not be eligible to bonus, even at a prorate.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  27. Deeelraj Meetoo says:

    Hi sir,

    i have some issues to figure out in the company i’m working right now. my working contract with the company was based on a working under shift hours incuding night shift. then by 9 months i’ve got a promotion and my working hours changed since last january 2015. instead of working night shift i started working on day shift since now. i will be almost 2years im working on day shift. does the company has the rights to change my shift to night shift?? thank you for your consideration.. i really need these informations.

    • Hi Deelraj

      When signing the contract for the job, I suppose you were informed of possibilities for shit (inducing night shift). It should be useful to know if your employer has an established rule as regards shift management and the manner in which changes can be implemented.

      Whether the company can change your shift or not depends on the internal rules of the company, to which you have in some way adhered to.

      Is there anything in that sort that you can inform us of?

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

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