Hire in Mauritius
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Mauritius.
Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
Key Country Facts
Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island country in the Indian Ocean archipelago approximately 2,400 kilometers off the east coast of Africa with a population of approximately 1.3 million people The country is made up ofs a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, including Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega, Tromelin, Cargados Carajos (Saint Brandon) and the Chagos Archipelago (including Diego Garcia). Previously dependent on sugar exports, it has become a stable and prosperous country and is a strong outsourcing and financial services hub.
The main island of Mauritius covers an area of about 1,864 square kilometers. The island is about 65 kilometers long and 45 kilometers wide. With islands of volcanic origin, the country is known for its beaches and reefs.
The climate of Mauritius is maritime subtropical, with fairly consistent temperatures throughout the year. Average temperatures vary from the mid-70s F (low to mid-20s C) at sea level down to the upper 60s F (upper 10s C) on the high plateau. Two seasons are recognized in the country: the hot season lasts from December to April while the cool season goes from June to September. Annual rainfall varies from around 35 inches (900 millimeters) on the west coast to 60 inches (1,525 millimeters) on the southeast coast and about 200 inches (5,080 millimeters) on the central plateau.
Mauritius, a multi-ethnic and multi-language society, has a cosmopolitan culture. Sometimes described as a ‘rainbow nation,’ its population mainly consists of four ethnic groups. Co-existence among migrants of Indian, African, European and Chinese ancestry has led to a sharing of cultures, values. collective participation in festivals. There is generally an understanding and acceptance between people of different ethnic backgrounds.
Hinduism, at 48.5%, is the most widely professed religion in Mauritius. This is followed by Roman Catholic at 26.3% and Muslim at 17.30%.
English and French are generally accepted as the official languages of Mauritius. The Constitution mentions no official language, although Parliament is conducted in English. The lingua franca in the country is French-based Mauritian Creole, spoken at home by 86.5% of the population. Other spoken languages mainly include Bhojpuri, Tamil and other Indic languages, like Hindi, Telugu, Urdu. Chinese is also widely spoken. Most people in Mauritius are at least bilingual, if not trilingual or more.
Mauritius HR at a Glance
The main piece of legislation regulating employment in Mauritius is the Workers’ Rights Act 2019 which covers:
- Employment contracts
- Minimum age for employment
- Hours of work
- Other basic terms and conditions of employment
Other pieces of legislation governing labor and employment include but are not limited to:
- The National Wage Consultative Council Act 2016: offers guidelines to the relevant Minister regarding national minimum wages.
- The Private Pensions Schemes Act 2012: regulates the operation of private pensions in Mauritius.
- The Employment Relations Act 2008 governs trade unions, fundamental rights of workers, rights of employers, collective bargaining, dispute resolution and related matters.
- The Workers’ Rights (Additional Remuneration) (2020) Regulations 2019 is mended annually and provides for the payment of additional remuneration to employees of the private sector to compensate for the rise in the cost of living/inflation.
The Constitution of Mauritius guarantees certain freedoms and rights, including non-discrimination by reason of race, political opinion, country of origin, color or gender.
For all employees, the employer must provide in writing the specific conditions of employment in the format provided by the Workers’ Rights Act 2019. This must be provided within 14 days of the completion of the first calendar month of employment. The statement must include:
- Details of the employer
- Details of the employee
- Date of commencement
- Place of work
- Details of the employment including category/grade
- Rate of remuneration
- Frequency of payment
- Normal working hours
However, for fixed-term contracts, the Workers’ Rights Act (WRA) requires the employee to be informed in writing of:
- the specific skills required
- tasks to be completed
- duration of contract
A statement copy must be submitted to the supervising officer within 30 days of the commencement of employment.
National Minimum Wage
Following the government’s decision to set a national minimum wage, the cabinet approved the establishment of a National Wage Consultative Council to make recommendations to the Government on the National Minimum Wage in Mauritius.
Following the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2022 which came into force on January 1, 2022, the current National Minimum Wage is MUR 10,575 for non-export enterprise employees and MUR 9,875 for export enterprise employees.
These may be subject to change, based on decisions by government decision.
There are restrictions on pre-employment checks. However, according to the Data Protection Act (DPA), an employer who collects personal data on a job candidate must ensure they have the candidate’s consent. It must also be established that the processing of the personal data is necessary for the purpose of seeking potential employment.
Probation Period/Trial Period
The probation period usually ranges from three to six months and can be extended as long as the terms of the probationary period have been agreed at the time of concluding the employment contract.
Should either party wish to terminate the employment prior to the end of the probation period, a minimum notice of 30 days is applicable (unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract).
The normal work week (except for part-time workers) is 45 hours, excluding time allowed for meal and tea breaks. Other terms apply:
- If the work week is five days, work hours will be nine hours’ work on any five days of the week
- If the work week is six days, work hours will be eight hours’ work on any five days of the week (except when it is a public holiday). Five hours will be worked on one other day of the week (other than a public holiday).
The maximum working hours is 12 hours per day, except in special circumstances. This is subject to any other applicable law.
Workers have a right (unless otherwise agreed with the employer) to one meal break of one hour for every four hours of work. They are also entitled to one tea-break of at least 20 minutes or two tea-breaks of at least ten minutes each. These breaks are granted without pay.
An employer may request a worker to work on flexitime, provided a notice of at least 48 hours is given to the worker (and the worker is not forced to accede to the request).
An employee may request to work on flexitime and the employer shall grant the request unless there are reasonable business grounds to refuse (e.g., inability to reorganize work or a detrimental impact on quality or performance).
A worker should be given a 24-hour notice if required to perform overtime work. The worker has the right to refuse this overtime, even with the 24 hours’ notice.
Overtime rates on weekdays is 1.5 times the rate of remuneration when performed during the normal hours. Before performing the overtime work, a worker must be granted a rest period of at least ten minutes with pay.
The overtime rate on a public holiday is two times the hourly rate for the normal hours worked on that day. The overtime rate after normal working hours is three times the hourly rate for every additional hour worked on the public holiday.
If the normal workday is exceeded by two hours or a worker is required to perform a normal day’s work of at least 10 hours, the employer must provide an adequate free meal or pay a meal allowance of MUR 85/day.
Bonus and 13th Month Pay
An employee who has served the employer for a continuous period of 12 months is entitled to an annual bonus. The annual bonus is equivalent to one-twelfth of the employee’s annual earnings.
Employees who remain in continuous employment with the same employer for only part of the calendar year will be paid a bonus equivalent to one-twelfth of his or her earnings for the year. A sum amounting to 75% of the expected bonus must be paid to the worker not later than five clear working days before December 25 of that year. The rest of the payment must be made no later than the last working day of the month of termination of employment.
Employees who resign during the year must be in continuous employment for at least eight months to be entitled to the pro-rated bonus.
It is strictly prohibited to terminate an employee on the basis of poor performance if the performance is a result of an injury sustained during the course of work.
Based on the Workers’ Rights Act (WRA), an employer must state the reason for termination. If there has been evidence of gross misconduct, an employer may dismiss a worker without notice (so long as the worker’s act amounts to a breach of their contractual obligations).
For termination on grounds of misconduct, the WRA states the employer must give an opportunity to the worker to explain the charges against him or her. The notice must be issued in writing and handed over to the worker in person or through registered mail. This notice must take place within 10 days from when the employer becomes aware of the alleged misconduct.
The worker may request the employer to provide such information or documents as may be relevant to the charges. The employer must comply. The worker must be given at least seven days’ notice to answer the charges. The termination must be in effect within seven days of the employee answering the charges.
Termination on grounds of personal characteristics of the worker (e.g., race, religion, country of origin, political opinion or marital status), being on maternity leave, becoming or being a member of a trade union, is prohibited by the WRA.
Either party must give at least 30 days’ notice to terminate the employment contract. Notice may be in verbal or written form. If the employer terminates an employment contract, he is required to provide the reasons for termination. The notice period may be different if it is specified in the employment contract.
An employer or employee, in lieu of giving notice, may pay the other party the sum equivalent to the remuneration the employee would have received if he or she had been in employment during the notice period.
Severance allowance is paid if a worker has been in continuous employment for a period of not less than 12 continuous months with the same employer on either a contract of indeterminate duration or under one or more fixed-term contract with the same employer (and the employer terminates the contract for a list of reasons as mentioned in the WRA).
Severance pay is three months’ remuneration for each period of 12 months of continuous employment (with a minimum employment period of 12 months).
If the court finds that severance pay is due, it can award interest at a maximum rate of 12% per annum on the amount of severance that the employer is required to pay the worker.
Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants
For restrictive covenants to be valid, the following apply:
- Must be restricted in time and space
- Cannot prevent the employee from being able to earn a living
- Have the objective of protecting the business interest of the employer
While it is not mandatory to provide financial compensation, restrictive covenants must be limited geographically and in duration. In terms of duration, a term not exceeding one year has been found to be acceptable.
Fixed-term contracts are permissible for the below reasons:
- Performing and completing a specific piece of work which is temporary and non-recurring
- Work or activity which is of a short term or seasonal, or project related
- Replacing another worker who is on approved leave or suspended from work
- Training purposes.
It is prohibited to have a fixed-term contract for work that is of permanent nature or for work that is recurring and permanent with respect to the normal business activity of the employer.
There is no maximum duration for a fixed-term contract and fixed-term contracts can be extended by a written agreement. If there is a break not exceeding 28 days between any two fixed-terms contracts, the worker is deemed to be under an indefinite term contract. A fixed-term contract of more than 24 months is deemed to be for an indefinite term.
Workers employed on a fixed-term contract must not be subject to less favorable terms than those of a worker employed on an indefinite term contract performing similar work (and having a similar level of qualifications, skills or experience).
Health and Safety
Employers who engage 10 or more workers should provide appropriate arrangements for the medical and healthcare needs of its workers.
While there are restrictions on requesting workers to go for a medical health check, the DPA maintains that information relating to a person’s physical or mental health or condition falls within the ‘special categories of personal data.’ An employer must obtain the employee’s consent to access such information.
The Mauritius Data Protection Act, 2017 (DPA), which came into force on January 15, 2018, and which supersedes the earlier 2004 law, governs privacy rights of individuals in relation to requirements of collection, processing, storage, transfer and handling of personal information. It aims to align Mauritius’ data protection framework with international standards, namely the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
All income derived from employment is taxable, including salary, bonuses, overtime, commissions and fringe benefits. Housing, educational and other allowances are also taxable.
The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system is a withholding tax deducted at source every month by the employer and paid to the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA). The employer must give each employee a “Certificate of Emoluments” at the end of every tax year. This certificate lists the PAYE tax deductions made at source and allows the employee to file his or her personal income tax return to the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA).
|Annual Net Income (rs)||Tax Rate %|
|Solidarity Levy||on the excess of rs 3,000,000, capped at 10% of net income||25.0|
Employers must file the social security payment 20 days after the end of the month for which the contribution is payable or one month after if filed electronically through the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) portal.
|Type||ER Contribution (%)||EE Contribution (%)|
|National Saving Fund (NSF)||2.5||1.0|
|HRDC Training Levy||1% for employees whose basic wage does not exceed Rs 10,000 and 1.5% whose basic wage exceeds Rs 10,000||NA|
|Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund||4.5||NA|
|Contribution Sociale Generalisee||3% on monthly salary not exceeding Rs 50,000; 6% on monthly salary exceeding Rs 50,000||1.5% on monthly salary not exceding Rs 50,000; 3% on monthly salary Exceeding Rs 50,000|
The National Savings Fund, HRDC Training Levy and Contribution Sociale Généralisée are each non-contributable for non-citizen employees who are not a resident for tax purposes or who hold a premium visa.
Remuneration must be paid at least once a month. It is acceptable to pay an employee on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The employer is required to issue the employee with a payslip at the time of paying remuneration. Electronic payslips are acceptable.
Timesheets & Record Keeping
Under Section 153 of the Income Tax Act 1995, employee remuneration records must be kept for at least five years. A company’s payroll records should be kept for 10 years.
A worker who remains in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of 12 consecutive months is entitled to 22 working days annual leave during each subsequent period of 12 months while he or she remains in continuous employment.
A worker who remains in continuous employment with the same employer for six consecutive months without any absence is entitled to one day of annual leave for each subsequent month up to the twelfth month (up to a maximum of six days’ annual leave).
Leave days may be taken as a full day, half day or a shorter period as agreed between employer and worker. A worker shall provide at least 48 hours’ notice if he or she wishes to take more than one day of annual leave consecutively.
If a worker is not able to take all the leave to which he is entitled, he or she shall be paid a normal day’s wage for each day of leave still due at the end of the period of 12 consecutive months.
If an employer and a worker are unable to agree as to when the leave shall be taken, half of the leave period must be fixed by the employer and the other half by the worker. However, an employer shall not, without reasonable cause, withhold the granting of leave to a worker.
A worker who remains in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of 12 months is entitled to 15 working days of sick leave on full pay.
A worker who remains in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of six consecutive months without absence will be entitled to one day’s sick leave during each subsequent month up to the twelfth month (up to a maximum of six days’ sick leave).
A worker is obligated to notify his employer of his illness on the first day of absence unless he or she is not reasonably able do so.
If a worker remains ill for more than three consecutive working days, a medical certificate is required from the fourth day of absence.
Leave of Absence
- Juror’s Leave: paid leave shall be granted by his or her employer during the period of a worker’s absence to attend service as juror
- Leave to participate in international sports events
- Leave to attend court
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Workers who have been in 12 months of continuous employment with the same employer are entitled to three working days’ leave on the death of his or her spouse, child, father, mother, brother or sister.
Workers who have been in 12 months of continuous employment with the same employer are entitled to the following special paid leave:
- six working days’ leave for marriage (only for first civil or religious marriage)
- three working days’ leave for the first civil or religious marriage of his or her child
Maternity & Parental Leave
A female employee who has been in continuous employment with an employer for 12 consecutive months is entitled to 14 weeks maternity leave. This leave may be taken before the birth provided at least seven weeks are taken immediately after the birth.
If the employee does not meet the criteria of having a 12-month period of continuous employment, she is still entitled to maternity leave but without pay.
A female employee who gives birth to a stillborn child is entitled to 14 weeks’ maternity leave with full pay upon producing a medical certificate, regardless of her duration of employment. A female employee who suffers a miscarriage, as certified by a medical practitioner, is entitled to three weeks’ leave with full pay.
Female employees who are breastfeeding are entitled to two additional breaks of 30 minutes each or to one break of one hour per day. This is granted over a period of six months after maternity leave.
A male employee who is in continuous employment for a period of 12 consecutive months is entitled to five continuous working days’ leave. This leave must be taken within two weeks from the date of birth of his child. This is subject to the male employee providing a certificate issued by a medical practitioner certifying or notifying that his spouse has given birth to a child. A a written statement signed by the male employee must be provided to confirm he is living with his spouse under a common roof.
If the employee has been in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 12 months, the leave will be with full pay. The leave will be without pay otherwise.
A worker earning a monthly basic salary equal or less than MUR 50,000 is allowed to take up to 10 days paid leave every 12 consecutive months. This is to be taken in place of the annual, sick or vacation leave. The worker has the option to decide which leave to use for this.
If a female employee who has been in continuous employment of 12 months or more adopts a child less than 12 months old, she is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave with full pay. A certified copy of the relevant court order and a copy of the birth certificate must be submitted to the employer.
There are 15 annual public holidays In Mauritius. Seven of these are fixed holidays: January 1 and January 2; February 1; March 12; May 1; November 2 and December 25.
The remaining public holidays are religious festivals and the dates vary each year.
Benefits to the Employee in Mauritius
The Workers’ Rights Act 2019 established the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund (PRGF). . When an employee retires at or after the age of 60 (or an earlier retirement in circumstances provided in the law), PRGF pays a retirement gratuity to that employee. The employer is not required to pay any retirement gratuity to the employee.
The Workfare Programme Fund provides financial assistance to working-aged citizens facing unemployment. An additional voluntary scheme, under the Workfare Program, the Transition Unemployment Benefit (TUB) is available to working-aged citizens (excluding a part-time worker, a migrant worker or a non-citizen) in the private sector. The Transition Unemployment Benefit will be paid for a minimum period of one month and a maximum period of twelve months. It is financed on a cost-sharing basis by the employee, the employer and the government.
Citizens are eligible if his or her employment is terminated due to economic or structural reasons that affected the business or due to illegal termination of the employment agreement, misconduct or poor performance. The claimant must have worked for their most recent employer for at least six months and register with the Workfare Program within seven days of the dismissal to be eligible.
If the distance between a worker’s residence and his or her place of work exceeds three kilometers, an employer shall provide the worker with free transport or reimbursethe equivalent of the return fare.
If the employee is required to attend or cease work at a time when no public transport service by bus or light rail is available, the employer is required to provide the worker with free transport.
If the distance between a worker’s residence and his place of work exceeds three kilometers and the worker attends work by his own means of transport with the approval of his employer, the employer shall pay him or her the equivalent of the return bus fare or light rail fare (as the case may be).
If a worker is granted a petrol subsidy by an employer, the allowance payable as from July 1, 2022, shall be at least 10% higher than the allowance payable in December 2021 (provided the monthly increase in the petrol allowance does not exceed 2,000 rupees).
Visas and Foreign Workers
The employment of expatriates in Mauritius is regulated by the Non-Citizens (Employment Restriction) Act 1973. Non-citizens must hold a valid work permit before they can be engaged in any employment in Mauritius.
There are no legal restrictions on the employment of foreigners. However, the approval of a work permit will depend on the skills not being available in Mauritius at the point of application.
Public Holidays in 2023
|1||New Years’ Day||Jan. 1*|
|2||New Year Holiday||Jan. 2|
|3||Chinese New Year||Jan.22*|
|4||Abolition of Slavery||Feb. 1|
|5||Thaipoosam Cavadee||Feb. 4*|
|6||Maha Shivaratree||Feb. 18*|
|7||National Day||Mar. 12*|
|9||Eid al-Fitr **||Apr. 22*|
|10||Labour Day||May 1|
|11||Ganesh Chaturthi||Sep. 20|
|12||All Saints’ Day||Nov. 1|
|13||Arrival of Indentured Labourers||Nov. 2|
|15||Christmas Day||Dec. 25*|
1. “*” signifies the holiday falls on a weekend
2. “**” signifies the exact date of this festival is subject to confirmation as its celebration depends on the visibility of the moon
3. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, it is not moved to any other day
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