Basic Facts on Employment in Mauritius Employment rights and obligations in Mauritius are now governed by the new Employment Right Act 2008. This relatively new piece of legislation has been designed to cater for the needs of the modern employment environment in Mauritius which now embodies a substantial percentage of foreign workers at all levels of the work stratum. Some key Points Hiring Employees can either be hired for a definite or for an indefinite period. Those who are on indefinite period are called permanent employees. Contract for a definite period can be extended by a written agreement. If an employee who is on a contract for a definite period is not informed of its termination on expiry of the definite period, the contract is deemed to have been tacitly renewed and may, depending the circumstances, be deemed to be a contract for an indeterminate duration. Probation or Trial Period A contract of employment can contain a clause relating to a probationary or trial period. That period can normally range from 3 to 6 months (in some cases 12 months depending on the length of the contract if it is a contract for a definite duration). However, the probationary or trial period is not a period that can be presumed from the circumstances. Both the principle of it and the duration of it should be settled right at the time the contract is concluded. Inasmuch as it renders security of the employment vulnerable, the employee should be informed of the precarious nature of the trial period. If the above conditions have been met with then an employer can dismiss an employee without notice during the probationary or trial period. Termination of Employments The governing provision in the Act is that an employer must give a worker thirty days’ notice of his intention to terminate the contract of employment or within “any reasonable time” The notice period provided in the Act is subject, however, to any provision in the contract of employment. Notice may be in verbal or written form. An employer may dismiss an employee without giving the requisite notice by paying him the sum that represents the remuneration that the worker would have been paid had the employee been in employment during the period that constitutes the notice period. The Workfare Program The Government will grant a Transition Unemployment Benefit to every worker whose agreement has been terminated and who has joined the Workfare Programme, which will be paid for a minimum period of one month and a maximum period of twelve months. Downsizing An employer can reduce work force on the following reasons: Economic Technological Structural Or any other reason The employer should provide a written notice to the ministry of labour stating reason of downsizing. Social contribution The mandatory social contributions for private employers: # Name of Contribution Total % Employer Share Employee Share 1 National Pension Fund (NPF) on Basic 9% 6% 3% Salary 2 National Savings Fund (NSF) on Basic 3.5% 2.5% 1% Salary 3 Training Levy on total salary bill 1.5% 1.5% - Total 10% Upon retirement an employee would get his basic retirement pension through the NPF and his lump sum through the NSF. Training Course Employer can claimed back 75% of training cost from the government based on attendace in training course. Overtime Workers who are required to work on public holidays have to be remunerated at twice the notional rate per hour for every hour of work performed. Workers, other than watchmen, who are required to work for more than 90 hours per fortnight, shall be remunerated at one and a half times the notional rate per hour for every hour of work performed. Watchmen performing more than 144 hours in a fortnight have to be remunerated at one and a half times the notional rate per hour for every hour of work performed. Normal Working hours The normal day’s work of a worker other than a part-time worker or a watch person consists of eight hours daily. The normal day may start on any day of the week, whether or not a public holiday. Their can be an agreement between an employer and a full-time worker wherein the worker agrees to work over and above the normal eight hours’ rate and without any extra remuneration for the excess hours but provided that the number of hours worked by a worker does not exceed the maximum of ninety hours in a fortnight. Maternity Leave A woman who has worked 12 consecutive months for an employer is entitled to 12 weeks' maternity leave on full pay. On provision of a medical certificate, the female worker can be entitled to take leave before confinement, provided that at least 6 weeks’ maternity leave shall be taken immediately following the confinement; or after confinement. A female worker who fails the requirement to be in twelve months continuous employment prior to leave is still entitled to maternity leave, but she is not entitled to pay. Paternity Leave A male worker, other than a male part-time worker is entitled to 5 continuous working days’ leave, to be known as paternity leave. Days off Every employee is entitled to a rest day of at least 24 consecutive hours in every period of 7 consecutive days. Annual Leave Employees are entitled to a minimum of annual paid leave of 20 days every one full year of service. Public holidays There are 15 public holidays which are fully paid. Sick Leave A worker who reckons twelve months of continuous service with an employer is entitled to fifteen days of sick leave. A worker is entitled to accumulate up to a maximum, of ninety days of sick leave in a period of 90 days.
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