Mauritius is recognized as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank. It is made possible by balancing employer interests with that of improving local working conditions for employees.
The labor code in Mauritius defines several rules and regulations of a workplace. There are 11 Schedules in the 2019 Workers’ Rights Act that is used to legally comply with various aspects of employee management. Together, the Employment Relations Act, the Workers’ Right Act, and other circulars form the basis for Mauritius labor law.
The following employment law in Mauritius guide highlights the key aspects of the working conditions, worker’s rights, benefits, and other aspects of hiring and managing employees from and in Mauritius.
Who Is Covered by the Mauritius Labor Law?
The Workers’ Rights Act, 2019 covers several aspects of an employer-employee relationship in Mauritius. The labor regulations in Mauritius are for the native and foreign employees currently working in Mauritius. The Act protects various types of contracts like part-time or fixed-term and the rules that come with it.
However, this Act does not apply to the specific working forces of Mauritius.
- Public officers or local government officers are not protected under labor law.
- Employees governed or employed by the Pay Research Bureau report’s terms and conditions are also not covered.
- An atypical or work-from-home employee earning MUR600,000 yearly as basic pay is excluded.
Moreover, the Mauritius labor law is a threshold that maintains the quality of the working environment for the employees. An employer can offer more to improve the working conditions. For example, an employer can give a higher compensation, more leaves, fewer working hours, etc., if they wish to.
A contract or agreement that defines the exact nature of the employer-employee relationship is known as an employment contract or work agreement.
It is legally mandatory to put an employment contract in the local language i.e. French or Creole which specifies the employees’ compensation, termination requirements, and additional benefits. In Mauritius, an offer letter and employment agreement must state the employee salary in Mauritian currency.
In Mauritius, every employer must provide a written statement of the particulars of their work agreement to employees engaged for more than a month. It should be done within 14 days of the completion of the first month. Employers must submit a copy of this written statement to the supervising officer within 30 days.
These work agreements covered in the Workers’ Rights Act, 2019 shape the Mauritius labor law.
- It is an agreement wherein the employer finds the employee capable of performing a task.
- When the employee is willing to do the work and report to the place of the work. Fixed-term agreement
- In this contract, an employer enters an agreement with the employee for a specific period.
- The time shall also be mentioned in the contract.
- This type of contract is drawn to cater to the employer’s temporary or time-bound and non-recurring requirements.
- The contract must specify the unique skills required and the tasks to perform.
A typical work agreement
- An atypical work agreement is not a standard work agreement between the employer and the employee.
- This agreement is applied to homeworkers and online platform workers. Here, the employee can work for more than one employer.
- An employer pays an atypical worker on a time-sheet or piece-rate basis. Employers can get into atypical work agreements with freelancers.
- It does not include self-employed, job contractors, and a person having their own business.
- A void agreement revolves around any specific aspects of a contract or the entire contract that will be invalid.
- For example, if the remuneration in any contract is at intervals longer than one month, then it is a void agreement.
- As per the void agreement, workers should be informed by the employer or agent of the nature of the task and the rate of pay.
- If the employee is getting into an agreement that violates the rights mentioned in the Worker’s Rights Act, it is also a void agreement.
- Any agreement that makes a worker responsible for another person’s or worker’s act is a void agreement.
Part-time work agreement
- In a part-time work agreement, the term ‘part-time worker’ refers to a worker paid for the time they work, which will be less than full-time employees working in the same establishment.
- Per this agreement, part-time employees are not treated less favorably than full-time employees as per the contract terms.
- A compromise agreement is drawn when an employer and an employee are trying to resolve an issue, like termination of employment, short or no payments, and other similar problems.
An employer can draft their agreements as per requirement.
There are 11 Schedules in the Workers’ Rights Act that can apply while navigating various aspects of employee management. The schedules cover things like particulars of the work agreement, payslip, allowances or grants, wage guarantee fund account, transition unemployment benefit, and more.
Key Provisions of the Act
Here is a detailed summary of the crucial aspects of the Workers’ Rights Act 2019. To abide by the labor code of Mauritius, employers need to ensure that they have taken care of factors like working hours, leaves, etc., mentioned below.
The Mauritius labor law exists so that the employees have favorable working conditions and reasonable working hours. Here are some of the critical aspects of the Mauritius working hours law.
- The standard working week for every employee who is not a part-time employee or a garde malade will consist of 45 working hours, barring any special situations or other enactments. A garde malade in Mauritius is a professional who looks after ill people.
- This time does not consist of the time allotted for meals, tea breaks, and other intervals.
- The employer and the employee can decide the number of extra hours the employee can work.
- Employees are entitled to at least one rest day of at least 24 hours in seven days.
- If it is a 5 days per week workplace, the employee must work 9 hours on any 5 days of the week, excluding a public holiday.
- If it is a 6 days per week workplace, employees must work 8 hours on any 5 days of the week and 5 hours on the remaining day, excluding a public holiday.
- An employer cannot ask employees to work at night on 5 consecutive nights, excluding some sectors and industries.
- An employee can request flexitime where the employer can grant the employee the flexibility of working hours for reasons like the employee not being able to reorganize work or if the quality of work is being compromised.
- Employers cannot employ a young person to work between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The labor code of Mauritius mentions the number of holidays every employee receives during 12 months.
Employees working in Mauritius are entitled to 14 public holidays
- New year’s day
- Thaipoosam Cavadee
- Chinese spring festival
- Abolition of slavery
- Maha Shivratri
- National Day
- Eid Al- Fitr
- Ganesh Chaturthi
- All Saint’s day
- Anniversary of the arrival of Indentured laborers
- Christmas Day
Every employee will receive 20 days of annual leave over 12 months. They are also entitled to an additional leave of two days. These leaves can be taken on full or half days as decided by the employee and the employer.
Additionally, an employee who has not taken or been granted all the entitled leave shall be paid a normal day’s wage in respect of each day’s leave still due at the end of 12 consecutive months.
If an employee wants to consecutively take more than a day’s annual leave, they must submit a written notice at least 48 hours prior, excluding exceptional circumstances. If an agreement does not grant this yearly leave to the employee, then that agreement is null and void.
Any employee who has been working with the employer for 5 consecutive years is entitled to a vacation leave for up to 30 days.
1 – In Mauritius, female employees receive a paid maternity leave of 14 weeks.
2 – A female employee is also eligible for maternity allowance as decided in the fourth schedule, which she can avail of within 7 days of her confinement.
3 – In the event of a miscarriage, the female coworker is entitled to 3 weeks’ leave on full pay. And in the event of a stillbirth, she is entitled to a 14-week paid leave.
4 – A female staff member working for 12 consecutive months with the same employer, who has adopted a child under 12 months, is entitled to a 14-week paid leave.
5 – In addition, female employees have the right to a one-hour break for nursing their unweaned child for 6 months.
1 – A male employee who has been working for 12 months is entitled to a fully-paid 5 days of paternity leave if their spouse gives birth.
2 – The paternity leave shall begin within 2 weeks from the date of birth of the male employee’s child.
3 – If the male employee has been working for less than 12 months, they are entitled to a 5-day leave, however, without pay.
1 – An employee is entitled to 15 days of sick leave on full pay.
2 – If an employee has not taken the sick leaves or a portion of them, they can accumulate up to 90 working days.
3 – Employees present on all working days for 6 consecutive months get one day’s sick leave for each subsequent month up to the 12th month.
4 – Any leave taken from these accumulated leaves shall be granted on full pay.
5 – An employee must provide a medical certificate confirming their illness if they are absent for more than three consecutive days.
1 – Other special leaves with full pay that an employee is entitled to are:
2 – Working days leave for their first civil or religious marriage.
3 – Working days leave for the marriage of their son or daughter.
4 – Working days leave for the demise of their spouse, child, father, mother, brother, or sister.
5 – Then, there are other leaves like juror’s leave, participation in international sports events, leave to attend court, etc.
1 – An employer is expected to grant leave with pay to employees during their absence under summons issued to attend service as a juror under the Courts Act.
2 – This provision is extended to attend Court regarding any matter in which the employee is a party or a witness.
Participation in international sports events
An employee is entitled to fully paid leave if selected or nominated to participate in an international sports event to represent Mauritius.
The leave is granted for the duration of the event or such a longer period based on advance notice and necessary documentary evidence.
Leave to attend court
An employee shall be granted fully paid leave to attend Court for any legal proceedings.
The leave is granted upon producing a certificate of attendance from the Court.
COVID-19 related leave
An unvaccinated employee who is denied access to certain places of work as per the Workers’ Rights Act shall be paid against the entitled leave for absence. This provision takes effect retroactively from 10 February 2022.
It applies to any employee governed by the Workers’ Rights Act, Remuneration Regulations made under the Employment Relations Act, and includes an employee whose annual basic wage exceeds MUR 600,000
An employer is bound by the labor law of Mauritius to ensure that they are correctly compensating their employees. Any employee working in Mauritius cannot be paid less than the minimum wage. The Mauritius government may penalize any employer who fails to maintain the minimum-wage requirement.
As of 2022, the minimum wage for employees of non-export enterprises is MUR 10,575, which is bumped up from MUR 10,075. The minimum wage for employees of export enterprise employees is now MUR 9,875, an increase from MUR 9,375.
- When employees work more than regular hours on normal days of work, then they are entitled to overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times regular hourly pay.
- Employees who work on public holidays get twice the pay per hour for each hour of work done within regular business hours. Post this, employees are paid thrice at the standard rate.
- Employers must inform the employer at least 24 hours before the work commences.
End of year bonus
- Earlier, the end-of-year bonuses were one-twelfth of the earnings for that year if the employment contract was terminated or the employee had resigned (completing 8 out of 12 months in question).
- However, employees will get the end-of-year bonus based on a prorated basis. This is applicable for employees earning less than MUR100,000 monthly.
The labor laws of Mauritius mandate that the employer issue a payslip, either a hardcopy or a digital copy, to their employees. They must send a detailed payslip for the first salary to explain the salary breakdown. Then, they can choose not to send over the payslip if there are no changes in the remuneration. However, if an employee asks for a payslip, the employer must provide one.
According to the Second Schedule [Section 27(3)(a)] of the Workers’ Rights Act 2019, Mauritius, here is what a payslip should have:
- The pay period
- Employer’s name
- Name of the employee
- NPF Registration No. of Employer
- Date of entry
- Category of work agreement
- Basic pay rate
- Total number of days worked
- No. of leaves taken
- No. of extra hours worked
- Allowances paid if any
- Piece rate earnings
- Total remuneration
- Deductions made and their reason
- Net pay
- The contribution made to the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund
Basic Retirement Protection (BRP)
The National Pension Scheme of Mauritius has several schemes for widows, retired citizens, etc., and BRP is one of them. The Government of Mauritius has a Basic Retirement Pension scheme valid for every Mauritian above 60.
To avail of the benefits of the BRP, the person should have resided at least 12 years since age 18. The residence qualification is not applicable for Mauritian citizens over 70 years. Non-citizens who want this benefit should have lived in Mauritius for at least 15 years after age 40.
1 – Citizens aged 60-90 years can get MUR 9000.
2 – Citizens aged 90 to less than 100 years can get MUR 16,710
3 – Citizens aged 100 and more can get MUR 21,710
According to the Mauritius labor law, an employer must pay gratuity to an employee who has been in their continuous employment for at least 12 months if the employee retires.
The gratuity after retirement shall include:
1 – 15 days of pay for every interval of 12 months the employee was working for the employer.
2 – One-twelfth of the above sum multiplied by the number of months the employee was in continuous employment for every period that was less than 12 months.
The labor laws of Mauritius protect the employees from wrongful termination and provide a structure for agreement termination. Here are some critical aspects of the Mauritius employment law for termination.
- An employer must give an employee a notice period of at least 30 days before the termination of the agreement.
- The notice can be verbal or written if given within a reasonable time.
- If the employee has been with the company for over 3 years, the employer must give 3 months of notice.
- If the employee is paid on a monthly or 14 days interval, employers must give notice at least 14 days beforehand at the end of the month.
- The employer has to pay the remuneration the employee will earn during the notice period.
- The employer must give the employee reasonable proof of the request, time-off with full pay within reason the employee can find employment elsewhere.
- The employer must notify the employee about the reason for their dismissal while terminating the agreement.
- Every employer must give their work an employment certificate, wherever applicable.
Protection from termination of the agreement
- According to the 2019 Act, a 30 days delay was permissible for the disciplinary committee to complete their proceedings if both the parties agreed. The delay period is extended now up to 60 days.
- Previously, the duration to terminate employment was ‘within seven days, which is now amended to not later than seven days concerning the disciplinary committee.
- Earlier, the employer had to pay salary in full if an employee got suspended before completing the disciplinary committee proceedings.
- The employee can now be paid only their basic salary during the suspension.
An employer has to pay an employee a severance allowance if the employee has worked on a contract of indefinite term or if the employee has been working with the employer under one or more fixed-term contracts.
Here is how the severance is calculated:
- For every interval of 12 months of employment, a severance equivalent to remuneration of three months.
- For an additional period that is less than 12 months, a sum of one-twelfth of the sum calculated in the above point is multiplied by the number of months the worker has additionally worked and is paid along with the above sum.
The severance allowance can be deducted if the employer has granted any gratuity or any contributions made to a fund or scheme, or a contribution to the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund.
Tax and employer registration
According to the labor code of Mauritius, there are certain obligations of the employer regarding the taxes related to their employee.
- Mauritius’s employers must register with the Mauritius Revenue Authority and submit the Employer Registration Form to get an employer registration number. This form has to be approved by the Director-General.
- The employer has to withhold tax as required from the payments of their employees. Then, they must submit the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) return and remit the amount withheld with the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) within the due date.
- The employer must submit the statement of tax deductions and payments before 15 August of every year to their employees.
- An employer must submit the Return of Employee before 15 August every year, which the Director-General will approve.
- The employer must provide a ‘Certificate of Emoluments’ that will attest to all the PAYE deductions made by the employer.
If an employer violates any aspect of the Workers’ Rights Act, they will have to submit a fine or face action taken against them by the justice system of Mauritius.
Here are the offenses according to the Workers’ Rights Act:
- If a person fails to credit the worker with full payment for the work done.
- If a person knowingly allows an entry to be made or makes that is false or misleading.
- If a person furnishes or allows the furnishing of false registers, report books, record lists, remuneration sheets, or any other documents.
- If a person prevents a worker from appearing before a supervising officer.
- Makes a false statement or representation about any payment contributions, or any other benefits as mentioned in the Workers’ Rights Act.
- If a person contradicts any order or direction under the Workers’ Rights Act.
- If a person contradicts any order made by the Court or the Board
If a person commits an offense for which no specific penalty is provided, then they are liable to pay a fine of not more than 25,000 rupees, and for imprisonment of not more than 2 years.
The Court of Mauritius can convict any person under the Workers’ Rights Act and make an order directing them to comply with it or any other order within the time decided. If a person fails to comply with this order, then they will have again committed an offense, and on conviction will be liable to a fine of not more than 10,000 rupees.
Reduction of workforce
- Previously in the Workers’ Rights Act 2019, an employer could not terminate their employees during a financially difficult time unless the employer filed for financial assistance.
- But, now, the employer need not do so. They can send their notice to the Redundancy Board that mentions the reason for reducing the workforce. The employer can also downsize if it will help them avoid financial problems.
Compliance Strategies for Employers
Compliance with the labor code of Mauritius is mandatory for all employers. So, here are some strategies employers can use for compliance.
Using the standard templates for designing work agreements
Eleven schedules in the Workers’ Rights Act (2019) apply to various workplace situations. For example, there are schedules for particulars of work agreement, payslips, additional allowances, etc. These schedules can create appropriate work agreements that comply with the Mauritius labor law.
Hire an HR manager
Hiring an HR manager can be beneficial as they can oversee your business administration and team management aspects. This way, you can comply with the labor code of Mauritius while focusing on other parts of the business. The HR manager can look after employee recruitment, appraisals, payroll management, etc., complying with the rules and regulations.
Use an outsourced firm
There are global third-party firms to help you manage employment relations, audits, maintaining labor documents, etc. These third-party firms ensure you are not violating any labor regulations in Mauritius. They provide compliance with all the rules and look after drafting legal contracts, payroll management, etc.
How Can Multiplier Help Businesses Stay Compliant?
Mauritius has one of the most comprehensive employment rules that secure employee rights while evenly balancing out employer obligations. To keep up with the current times, the country brings frequent changes to the Workers’ Rights Act 2019. Employers looking to hire their first employees in Mauritius will have to stay aware of these changes and abide by all applicable laws.
Thanks to innovative solutions like Multiplier, a global employment solution, employers can easily comply with the Mauritius labor laws. We help companies by offering them EOR / PEO solutions that follow the local laws and regulations of over 150 countries.
Partnering with us comes with its advantages. If you are a global employer, then you can use our employer of record product that offers international employees from Mauritius benefits that are applicable according to the labor code of Mauritius. You can also draft contracts in multiple languages or even avail of our payroll services and HR services that comply with the labor regulations of Mauritius.