Mauritius is a tropical country located in West Africa, abundant in its tourist attractions, which make it a top holiday destination.
Considered as one of the most business-friendly countries in the sub-Saharan region, it has been awarded the pole position in the Mo Ibrahim Index for Overall Governance in Africa for 10 years. Over the years, the Mauritian government has made numerous efforts to expand the economy. To this day, Europe remains one of Mauritius’s top investors in exports and tourism.
Many foreign investors flock every year to expand their businesses in Mauritius. However, they must first know the requirements to hire employees in Mauritius. It involves an in-depth understanding of its labor laws and employment rules.
This article will discuss recruitment and selection in Mauritius.
Things to Know Before Hiring in Mauritius
Mauritian companies usually rely on recruitment agencies to hire people. Employers and employees must sign a contractual agreement showing their commitment to the company.
Since recruitment and selection in Mauritius can be challenging, employers must consider the following factors while hiring staff in Mauritius.
The Mauritian employment contract is in the regional languages like English, French and Mauritian Creole and includes details of the job description, salary, benefits & compensation, termination policies, etc. The salary components must be in the Mauritian rupee and not any other foreign currency. Foreign employers who aren’t aware of the legal intricacies may hire a legal consultant/advisor to help with the documentation requirements.
A typical schedule for a week in Mauritius includes 45 hours which is divided into 9 hours of daily work for 5 days or 8 hours for 5consecutive days, with the sixth day being 6hours. According to the country’s laws, employees must get a full rest day (24 hours) for every 7-day work period. An employer can ask a worker to perform overtime work by offering a prior notice of 24 hours. As for overtime compensation, employees performing overtime during regular working hours must get double their standard hourly rate. Employees working overtime beyond their normal hours must get three times their hourly compensation.
Holidays and paid leaves
Mauritius celebrates 15 public holidays, including New Year’s Day, Abolition of Slavery Day, National day, and Labor Day. The Mauritian government has provisions for casual leave, sick leave, injury leave, leave without pay, annual leave, paid vacation, maternity and paternity leave, and adoption leave, to name a few. Permanent employees in all companies are entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave. For matters of sickness, employees get 21 days of paid vacation per year. The casual leave for employees is capped at 11 days. Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, whereas fathers get 5 days of paid paternity leave. Apart from these, employees can also avail of 3-day special bereavement leave with pay on the demise of their parents, siblings, or partner.
The minimum wage factor in Mauritius is still an ongoing debate since it depends on particular sectors. The minimum base salary of an employee in Mauritius is 10,300 MUR per month. Additional minimum wages apply depending on an employee’s years of service to the company.
Mauritius offers supplementary employment benefits such as assigning a company car, housing allowance, and fulfillment of schooling fees.
As an employee, any company owes you a yearly bonus of 1/12th of your usual salary. For recruitment and selection in Mauritius, employers must remember the major benefits they must offer employees under the Worker’s Rights Act that replaced the Employment Rights Act of 2008.
- Employees earning 600,000 MUR or above annually are covered under the WRA.
- The employees will get a guaranteed gratuity after retirement (the estimated age is 60).
- The working time has now been revised to nine hours per day for five working days; anything after that is considered overtime. Earlier the employees had to work 90 hours a week, and anything beyond that would be regarded as overtime. The maximum working hour is 12, including overtime.
- Employees with children aged less than four can apply for flexible working hours.
- Employees are eligible for 30 days of paid leave after every 5 consecutive years of joining. Female employees can have up to 14 weeks of paid adoption leave after one year of service.
- There are also various compensation perks, such as a guaranteed annual bonus and a Wage Guarantee Fund account.
- The termination process is stringent to avoid union conflicts and unnecessary harassment to the employer and employees.
Employees are entitled to a severance payment depending on their service tenure with the company. An employer can terminate a contract through verbal or written notice.
- Employees will receive three months’ notice beforehand if they have worked for a company for over three years.
- If an employee’s job duration does not exceed three years, the employer will give a notice of at least 14 days, depending on their salary cycle.
Employers will not pay severance in cases of gross misconduct. In every other scenario, employers must pay severance to the employees who have worked with them for 12 months or more (if they terminate an employee’s contract or the employee retires after 60 years). For a justified termination of the employment contract, the severance amount equals one-quarter of a month’s salary for every 12 months of service. In contrast, for unjustified dismissal, the severance amount is three months’ salary for every 12 months of service.
Under the Finance Act 2021, employers need not pay severance to migrant or expat employees under one or more fixed-term contracts after the contract’s expiry.
To hire staff in Mauritius, you must understand its tax system. The corporate income tax and individual income tax rates are 15%. Individuals with annual net income below MUR 650,000 are taxed at 10%. Mauritius levies no tax on capital gains.
Employees can contribute 3% of their wages to the National Pension Fund. You can also put aside 1% for the National Savings Fund. While you can contribute up to 6% of your monthly wages to the National Savings Fund, 1.5% goes towards the HRDC levy. Like most countries, the percentage is subject to a wage cap.
Mauritius has provisions for several visas and work permits for foreign employers and employees. Foreigners must obtain one of these three to stay and work in Mauritius – a work permit, occupation permit, and certificate of exemption. Work permits and occupation permits are different under Mauritian laws. An occupation permit combines work and residency permits, subject to three categories of employees—sponsored professionals, self-employed workers, and investors.
Any foreign company established in Mauritius can employ foreign nationals by acquiring their work and residence permits. While recruitment and selection in Mauritius can be challenging, your employees can secure a Permanent Residence Permit after staying in Mauritius for three years. After that, they can apply for a 20-year Permanent Residence Permit.
The Cost of Hiring an Employee in Mauritius
The recruitment agency charges and hiring costs in Mauritius usually differ according to the industry. The Mauritian economy generally depends on textile, tourism, information, and communication technology, apart from real estate development and education/training.
The standard costs involved in recruitment and selection in Mauritius include:
- Job advertisements: Employers must first prepare the job descriptions for the vacancies, including job title, responsibilities, qualifications, work location, salary range, etc. Once the job descriptions are ready, employers have to advertise them on offline and online channels, like newspapers, bulletins, job magazines, social media, and job platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. The charges will vary depending on the advertisement channel.
- Hiring agencies: Whether employers hire third-party recruitment agencies or create internal hiring committees, both involve high costs. For instance, you must allocate the necessary finances and tools to the internal hiring team for selecting and interviewing candidates.
- Background checks: All employers must conduct the necessary background checks to verify the credibility and trustworthiness of hired candidates. However, in keeping up with the Data Protection Act, an employer must have the applicant’s consent for processing the personal data necessary for legislation. As for medical examinations, employers cannot collect or process information under ‘special categories of personal data’ from the applicant. Employers willing to perform these checks must shell out substantial amounts.
- Employer cost: The employer cost estimates the employee’s salary and stands at 11.50% – 14.5%.
- A HRDC of 1.5%
- A CSG of 3.0% – 6.0% up to 50,000 MUR
- A National Solidarity Fund – 2.5%
- Portable Retirement Fund – 4.5%
What Does a Company Need to Hire Employees in Mauritius?
The first step to operating in Mauritius is to establish a subsidiary. One must be well-versed with the land’s laws and business regulations. The lengthy process involves documentation, registration, choosing an office location, and much more.
To hire employees in Mauritius, you must follow this stepwise process:
- Registration: Registering your business name and filing for incorporation will help you legally incorporate your company’s identity. You can also file for a trademark.
- Registering for local bank accounts: You need to link your company with local bank accounts for business transactions and payments. You must carry out all transactions in MUR.
- Choose an office location: Foreign employers setting up their business in Mauritius must perform the initial research and pick a prime business spot. This is where they can establish the company quarters/office.
- Setting up local payroll: Much like setting up local bank accounts, the employer must create a company payroll including payment provisions for all employees (full-time, part-time, freelancers, etc.).
- Hiring local accounting and HR staff: Employers must also hire accountants, legal consultants, and human resource executives to take charge of the company’s financial, legal, and employee-centric operations.
- Stay updated with the local employment laws: Learning about local employment laws can help employers avoid and mitigate legal hassles. It also ensures that all company operations, policies, and practices are aligned with Mauritian laws.
Various Options for Hiring Employees in Mauritius
Employers have three primary hiring options for hiring staff in Mauritius.
- Hiring self-employed individuals and independent contractors: Self-employed individuals like freelancers offer their services to multiple employers simultaneously. Companies hire such contractual employees to avoid payroll and tax hassles. Usually, employers and contractual employees negotiate payment rates based on project requirements, duration, etc.
- Internal hiring committee: Many employers choose to build an internal hiring team dedicated to hiring skilled candidates. While this is a common practice, setting up such a team comes with numerous costs and challenges.
- Employer-of-Record: An global EOR can shoulder all HR responsibilities for a company. They can handle employee payroll, taxes, benefits & compensation, work permits, etc. Moreover, EORs can help companies circumvent financial and legal hurdles that may arise from managing remote workers across locations.
The Steps to Hiring in Mauritius
Hiring employees in Mauritius is a long and thorough process. Hence, it’s best to break it down into individual steps to make the hiring process easier.
- Evaluate your need: The first step is identifying your company’s skill and role requirements. Try to assess what qualifications and skills you want in a candidate for a particular role and proceed accordingly.
- Create a recruiting strategy: While recruiting, you have two options – to go by an agency or to find a suitable match for yourself. If you don’t wish to opt for an agency, you can clarify with the statement “no agencies, please” to allow the employees to contact you directly. It will also save you the trouble of handling unnecessary sales calls.
- Pen down the job description: Before posting a job, you must discuss with team leads and managers to figure out the ideal description for a position and the expectations they have from a candidate. Then, you can create detailed job descriptions mentioning the requirements and responsibilities. It will give potential employees a comprehensive understanding of what you are looking for.
- Post your job opening: It is common for most businesses to advertise through an aggregator. Start by listing the job on the website of your company. In case you want to broaden your reach, you can opt for different career websites which are free and paid. Websites like Monster and LinkedIn provide excellent scope for recruitment.
- Examine different applications: To choose an employee, you can either go through their applications, cover letters, or SOPs to determine whether or not they are fit for the role. In this stage, you can shortlist the most desirable and qualified candidates.
- Interviewing qualified candidates: An excellent employer’s mark is giving an interviewee enough time to prepare for their application. It allows the candidate to trust you better and lets them revisit their skills to ensure they align with the employer’s expectations.
- Following up with the candidates: After the interview is over, HR executives must formally communicate with the final candidates. This communication is crucial to understanding their professionalism and interpersonal skills.
- Provide the offer letter: Once the candidate(s) is chosen, employers must send them an offer letter highlighting their position, job expectations, and basic salary breakdown. If the candidate accepts and signs the letter, they can offer the appointment letter/employment contract.
Let Multiplier be Your EOR Platform in Mauritius
Foreign employers expanding to Mauritius must fulfill the necessary documentation for company registration, and only then can they hire staff in Mauritius. Since it is difficult for foreigners to know the nuances of the Mauritian labor and employment laws, employers can partner with reputed global EORs like Multiplier.
Our experts possess a comprehensive knowledge of the laws and regulations of over 150 countries. Hence, we can efficiently guide you through the hiring process in Mauritius. Thus, you need not shoulder the hassle of onboarding employees—we can do it for you!
We can handle payroll management, multi-currency payments, international team management, employment contract generation, benefits & insurance, and much more.