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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463 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. 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

  7. 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

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