Key Country Facts
Currency: Myanmar Kyat (MMK)
Time zone: UTC +7
Capital city: Naypyidaw
Official language: The official language of Myanmar (also known as Burma) is Burmese. It is also the most widely spoken language in the country. English is an important foreign language. Although Burmese is used as the primary language of instruction in schools across the country, English is taught as a secondary language.
All employment contracts in Myanmar must follow the official Employment Contract Template published by the Ministry of Labor. Under the Employment and Skills Development Law (2013), an employer must enter into written employment contracts with its employees within 30 days of employment.
The executed contract must be submitted to the relevant Township Labor Office (TLO) for registration (if the company has 5 or more employees) or else it may be declared void. Upon registration, Ministry of Labor requires that it is in bilingual format (both Myanmar and English).
There are 25 public holidays in Myanmar:
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Independence Day – January 4
- Kayin New Year Day – January 13
- Union Day – February 12
- Peasants’ Day – March 2
- Full Moon Day of Tabaung – March 26-27
- Armed Forces Day – March 27-29
- Maha Thingyan (Water Festival) – April 13-19
- Labour Day – April 30-May 1
- Full Moon Day of Kasong – May 25
- Martyrs’ Day – July 19
- Full Moon Day of Waso – July 23
- Full Moon Day of Thadingyut – October 19-21
- Full Moon Day of Tazaungtaing – November 17-18
- National Day – November 28-29
- Christmas Day – December 24-25
- New Year Holiday – December 31
- Eid Al-Adha – TBC
- Deepavali – TBC
Two public holidays for Eid al-Adha and Deepavali will be announced separately.
On average, there are 25 public holidays per year. If an employee is required to work on any official public holidays, he/she shall be paid double the usual pay rate.
Casual leave: Every employee is entitled to six days of annual paid casual leave. Casual leave may not be carried over to the subsequent year and may not be spent for more than three consecutive days at a time, except in the case of religious or compulsory social events (e.g. weddings, funerals). Casual leave may not be enjoyed in conjunction with any other type of leave.
Earned leave: Earned leave may be enjoyed for a minimum of 10 days consecutively or separately per year of employment, provided the employee has completed 12 consecutive months of service with a minimum of 20 working days per month. Earned leave may be accumulated and carried over for up to three years, as agreed between the employer and the employee.
Under the Leave and Holidays Act (1951), employees are entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave per year, if they have completed six months of service. Employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) are also entitled to 30 days of sick leave, if they have completed six months of service, but may enjoy additional leave in case of certain work injuries and illnesses.
Theoretically, employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) may receive part of their salary from the Social Security Fund, but in practice, such sick leave is often granted as paid leave.
Under the Leave and Holidays Act (1951), employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (six weeks before confinement and eight weeks after confinement). Employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) are also entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave. However, employees may further take an additional four weeks in case of twins or up to six weeks in case of a miscarriage, except for criminal abortion. Theoretically, employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) may receive part of their salary from the Social Security Fund, but in practice, such maternity leave is often granted as paid leave.
Male employees covered by the Social Security Law (2012) may enjoy 15 days of paternity leave after confinement of their wife.
If not in compliance with work obligations, prior to termination of employment, employee must have received one oral and two written warnings of poor performance and have been provided with the opportunity to rectify his/her conduct.
The common practice (not statutory) in Myanmar is to provide all employees with yearly bonuses of one month’s salary during the Thingyan Water Festival (Myanmar New Year) in April.
Myanmar Social Security
The benefits provided to employees under the Social Security plan, detailed in the Social Security Law (2012), include leave entitlements and monetary amounts for each benefit, such as sickness benefits, maternity benefits, funeral benefits, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits. It’s voluntary for employers with up to five employees, but many companies choose to enroll from the first employee.
The Social Security Plan is still in its infancy but has been designed to later include additional benefits, such as invalidity, survivor benefit insurance, unemployment benefits, and the provision of a housing fund. It is unclear when these additional benefits will be included in the Social Security Plan
Myanmar Health Insurance Law
Basic insurance is provided through the national system. Contributions cover only basic access to medical care expenses and cash benefit: for sickness, maternity, funeral grants, and cash transferred to the family assistance fund.
This information does not constitute legal advice.