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

423 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

  13. Goodmorning nadeem
    I work in a private sector since may 2015. Got finance problem… Ask my boss an advance payment on my salary… He refused say that his company not eligible to give advance payment to employee… Can I have more info about advance payment on salary please?

    • Hi Nazida

      Advance payment cannot be imposed on employers. This is merely an arrangement between two parties, at their own discretion.

      If your employer doesn’t operate such policy then you cannot force it, legally or otherwise.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

    • Hi

      You need to consult the remuneration orders pertaining to your industry sector.

      If you do not have access to the document, please let me know, I’ll send you a copy.

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  14. Hi Nadeem, i work in a company, since 2008 and this week my boss has make a meeting and tell us that the company may close at the end of this month ….

    Does he have thé right to tell us thar the company will close within 10 days without telling us this month before…

    Thanks u

    • Hi

      I hope that this doesn’t happen.

      Well even if he closes the company within a short deadline, he will still be subject to compensation obligations under the Law. He might be under a force majeure and cannot avoid closure. We can all understand this unfortunate situation. However, he should abide by the Law in any circumstance.

      All the best to you.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  15. Hello Nadeem,
    I work in a garage as mechanic for two years, i have made a lot of overtime in the workshop but my employer didnt paid any of the overtime i made. So on january 9 i stop working there because he dont want to paid my overtime..someday i work till 10p.m, in one month i work over 15 day as overtime he didnt notice that we will work after working hour sometime i refuse he got angry and start talking nonsence what can i do to get all my overtime work to be paid, i dont have any paper or pay slip as proof…

  16. Hello,

    I work as web developper. For the last 4 years I worked 40hrs per week but now my new employer asked me to work 48hours per week. I want to know in which category web developper falls in the remuneration order so as I can check this.

    Thanks

  17. Dear Sir,

    Can you please advise with regards to a part-time job (3hours daily) am doing in a private clinic with Rs 9450 as salary.Does the management have the right to ask me to do more than 3 hours work and pay me same salary?

    In my work contract there is a clause mentioned: (Working hours may be changed in the near future as per exigencies of the post.Management reserves the right to change the above working hours as and when required with reasonable notice, depending on operational requirements of the company.)

    But can my salary be the same?Can I refuse to work these extra time according to law?

    I really appreciate your help.

    Kind regards,

    Mr Seetaram.

    • Dear Mr Seetaram

      The contract is explicit. However, there is a missing part, which you have to address with the employer : the salary.

      Normally part-time is closely connected to duration of work. I would think it’s appropriate that an increase in work-time should be proportionately reflected in salary.

      As a part-timer, you do not benefit the same protection as full-timers. You should exercise caution in dealing with this situation. If you refuse to work additional hours, the employers might simply stop the collaboration.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    • Hi ATC

      Half of the leaves are normally taken with Management’s consent and the other half is free, subject to respecting the employer’s procedures and policy.

      If your leave might disrupt operations and performance AND if management deems it wise to refuse, they may do so.

      But this shouldn’t be an eternal excuse.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  18. One of our employee has not resumed to work after the sick leave of 5 days. He has not informed the co. or given any leave letter for his absence since then. It is over 1 month now and he has not resumed to work. we sent a official advice on receipt letter to him which is acknowledged by him but he has not responded to the same. Do we have to pay him the salary for his absences ?

    • Hello Mrs Charu

      Well, it seems that he has deserted the work place! It happens quite often unfortunately. Employees act so responsibly and get on with it, employers are blamed on the spot once they depart lightly from their framework.

      I think you have done your part in trying to contact the person. I do hope nothing worse has happened to the employee.

      You can’t take the risk of paying him any salary. He can’t acknowledge receipt of a letter … we surely won’t be able to acknowledge receipt of money.

      I would advise, however, that you send a copy of the letter to the Ministry of Labour.

      All the best
      Nadeem

    • Hi

      I would qualify that as a breach of contract. No, I wouldn’t pay any salary for such grotesque and inelegant attitude. Sometimes, employees (and certain labour officers also) should also realize that an agreement / contract work both ways.

      The obligation and penalties should not be only the burden of employers. Employees who jeopardize businesses and put unnecessary stress to management & colleagues (due to their lack of consideration) should also have some form of sanction.

      All the best
      Nadeem

  19. Hi,

    Everyday i travel by a means of transport provided by the company for almost 4 hours. 2 hours in morning and 2 hours afternoon. They refuse to pay me my bus fare.
    i just came through an article [S. 26 amended by s. 10A of Act 6 of 2013 w.e.f. 11 June 2013.]
    so just wanted to know if its still valid? thanks

    • Hi Varsha

      Employers need to provide for transport (refund of bus fare).
      This is compulsory if you live more than 3 kms from your place of work.
      Yes, Section 26 still applies.

      Regards
      Nadeem

    • Chia

      It is not per month, but per year.
      Please check sections 27 & 28 of Labour Act. In which industry sector are you? There might be some variations through the Remuneration Order addressing your industry sector.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  20. Good day,

    When using you personal car for company expense, does the employee have to refund you for the travelling?
    Example : I have to run some errands for the company and I use my personal car.
    Does this count on my travel allowance? Or should the company refund me of a KM basis and how much if yes.

    Many thanks,
    Sheena

    • Hi Sheena

      Using your personal car for company purpose may be treated in different shapes:

      (a) The regulations do provide for an allowance per kilometre.
      (b) The employee may make ad-hoc refunds or allowances
      (c) It may be treated in your overall contract with a fixed ‘car allowance’

      It now depends on the arrangement you have with your employer.

      Below is the mileage rates:

      i) Rs 7.25 per km for the first 800 kms
      (ii) Rs 3.65 per km for mileage over 800 kms

      Regards
      Nadeem

  21. Hello I am wondering if a trainee can work on weekends? if yes how can the trainee be compensated since as a trainee, he/she is not entitled to overtime payment.

    Thank you
    Avi

    • Hi Avi

      Well it depends on the agreement between management and the trainee. Maybe pay an hourly wage which can take into account the effective hours worked. Or provide an extra remuneration to the trainee for work done over and above normal hours.

      Take care
      Nadeem

  22. Hi Nadeem,
    I am working as a computer technician in a private company (shop) having only 2 employees. I want to know if i am obliged to work on sundays?. And also i dont get any lunch or tea break. Is the employer on the right track with us? Its been 1 year and a half since am working here and have not sign any work contract. No overtime pay, no npf etc… Do in have a salary scale for my job post according to law??

    Thank you.

    • Hi

      Your employer is clearly an outlaw.
      This is not legal at all.

      As regards salary scale, I’m afraid this is not available. You should check the equivalent market rates paid in other organsation. There should be a certain equilibrium that prevails.

      Else, send me your job profile and your qualifications, I can check the accepted practice in the industry and get back to y.

      You may contact me by email.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  23. Hello Sir, I have joined work in a hotel on april 2014. last year my boss keep on asking me to submit my resignation because i was not performing well (as per him). so finally i resigned because they were pestering me everytime. after 2 months they called me back to join work again. since i was unemployed, i decided to join again. when i joined, they took me as new employee with new job title etc. this month is z 6th month from the date i joined back. i’ve got a better offer in another company so i resigned today (26.04.2016). now they are asking me to give 30 days notice. my question is can i resign with immediate effect without giving the 30 days notice? i have already submit my resignation letter and i didnt mentioned also in the letter that i am giving 30 days notice since no staff did it in the past also. i want to highlight also that i haven’t signed any contract with the hotel also because it is not applicable there. not a single staff have a job contract there. so many staff also come whenever they want and leave whenever they want. please advise.

    • Singh

      This is tricky. I cannot advise you, given the sensibility of the issue, on this public platform.

      Get in touch with me by email. I’ll guide you through and advise on best way forward…to avoid you legal problems.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  24. Hello,

    If am employee is absent from work and does not notify the employer. After two days the employee send a medical certificate specifying 4 days sick leaves including the previous two days. As per law it is mentioned that the employee should inform the employer on the first day of illness. So how the employer treat these two days??

    • Hi Prity

      Well it can be treated as indiscipline on the whole, but I fear that nothing can be done other than granting the sick leaves.

      You can issue a warning to inform the employee that such incident is not to be repeated and that henceforth the leave will be treated as an authorized absence.

      Regards
      Nadeem

  25. Hi Nadeem,
    I have recently got a job in the bpo sector, during the interview they told me that I will work
    from 8.00am to 17.00pm (Monday – Friday),however in the contract nothing about this is
    mention. Two types of working hours is mention shift system and non standard hours system. when I told they said they can not amend the contract,the contract have to be standard for all employees and my working hours will be 8.00am to 5.00pm they are not giving me any written proof about this. Should I accept this job?

  26. Hi,
    I recently got a job in the bpo sector,during the interview they told me that the starting time
    will be 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. However, this is not included in the employment
    contract instead working hours has to be either shift system or non standard hours is stated in tthe contract. When I told them they said verbally that my working time will be 8.00am to 17.00pm and they cannot amend the contract as it is standard for all employees. Should I accept this work

      • In that case, there is no additional pay.

        I had an argument with the a labour inspector who was insisting that we should pay at higher rate. But I eventually won my case. If all companies opening on Sunday had to pay additional, we would close down many businesses (shops, supermarkets, tourism, etc.)

        This shouldn’t be considered as additional work if it is part of the employment agreement and normal operations of the business. The employee has full knowledge that he works Sunday as normal day, whether on shift or not – he gets a day off as provided by law.

  27. Hello sir,
    I am a nurse and I resigned from my post because there were lots of pressure and more than 50 nurses resigned from the company before me and they won’t recruit and force remaining nurses to overwork. For the company I worked, nurses were not paid night allowances. I was working 195-198hours per month without refund hours. During night duty i start working at 5.30pm to 8am next day ; and they counted night duty as 12 hours removing resting time 2hours (when we are at work)which is against labour act. We were not given breakfast. I resigned as I were doing 2 nurses job and getting only 1 salary ;as per patient ratio. I was getting I’ll frequently and couldn’t cope with the stress at work and household responsibility. I resigned with immediate effect and I received a notice from hr that I should pay them 1 month salary. Am I obliged to as I am a housewife looking after my kid.. Please advise me. Thank you in advanced

    • Hi Firyaal

      How long have you been in employment with the company ?
      Is the refund condition mentioned in your contract or was it in a bond?
      Were you aware, somehow, before resigning that this will be imposed on you?

      All these questions need your clarification before I can advise.
      In general, you cannot be asked to refund such amount, unless specified in the above (as per my questions)

      Regards
      Nadeem

  28. Hi,

    I’ve been working for 1 year and 5 months in my company. I resigned from my job and it is mentioned in my contract, that I must give 30 days notice. Can i take my full local leaves during this period (22 days?) or is it calculated on a prorata basis (5/12 months x22)? So I can take 8 local days during this period? Please confirm.

    Regards,

    • Hi Jessica

      This should be on a pro-rata basis.
      You will understand that you cannot take the benefit of a whole year employment whilst you are not working a whole year.

      All the best
      Nadeem

  29. Hi,

    I have been injured during a team event organised by my company. I have been reimbursed of the medical expenses, however I had to stay at home for a week due to this injury.

    My sick leaves have been deducted for this period and would like to know if it is legal?

    Thank you in adance,

    Chrystel

    • Hi Chrystel

      Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you’re recovering.
      It is absolutely normal that the sick leaves are deducted from your annual quota.

      If you are referring to ‘salary cuts’ then it is different. There are several elements that need to be taken into consideration:

      (a) For how long are you in service with the employer?
      (b) How many sick leaves did you take prior to this accident?

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  30. Hi,

    I work 3 years in a retail company,i just give my resignation letter.every local i am applying they are not approving.each week..,the same story..i remain 13 local..all my sick has been finish…there is a lot discrimination in the work..only family members and own one their local is being approve.my question is that what to do to get those 13 local.all my sick has been finish due to their not approval of my local.

    Bella

    • Hi Sheima

      You are eligible to take all your local leaves, this is your right under the Law. Your management may did decide on the dates for 50% of the leaves, but still this remains your legal rights.

      Your employer is dangerously flirting on the illegal border.

      I can’t advise on how to tackle this with your management. You may seek the help of labour inspectorate but again this will put you in an embarrassing situation, I feel.

      All best
      Nadeem

  31. Hi. I have sumitted my resignation as Associate Executive to my employer on 4 April 2016. I have been working My last day is 4 july 2016. I understand that I should claim my testimonial from my employer on 4 july 2016, that is, on the last day of my work? Grateful if you could inform me the laws regarding receipt testimonial letters upon resignation in mauritius. Thanks

    • Hi

      Certificate of employment should be issued by the employer within 7 days from termination of employment.

      You may please consult Section 51 of the Act and Tenth Schedule for a specimen Certificate of Employment.

      I believe we also got in touch through email (?)

      Kind regards
      Nadeem

  32. Hi,

    I’ve worked in a company for 12years and now i’m resigning from my job with a notice of fifteen days but my employer is telling me that i should give at least 3 months notice as per my contract dated 2004. also note that i have 11 local + 17 sick leaves which are remaining.

    Grateful if you can advise me.

  33. Hi.. I need help.
    1 week ago I was call for a meeting where I got a letter saying I must leave in 2 month. Verbally they say I was blame I was doing conspiracy again my company just beacase I was close to the ex Accountant..
    Today I got a letter from a staff hand mention I must leave on 31 may 2016 due to overstaffing paying me only my salary. Neither the manager nor the director talk to me

    Please help

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