The beautiful island chain of the Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean. It is the smallest Asian country by land mass and is known for its incredibly diverse ecosystem. The Maldives offer a mixed economy comprised of mostly tourism, fishing and shipping. The official language is Dhivehi but Arabic, French, Portuguese and English are spoken. Historically dominated by investors from Asian markets, the Maldives have begun to turn to cross-border capital from Europe and the United States to facilitate their economic growth.
Employment contracts in Maldives must be in writing.
The contract should include details such as:
Employment contracts in Maldives can be for a definite or indefinite term. Definite-term contracts have a maximum duration of two years. If a fixed-term contract is renewed for a duration that exceeds two years, the contract will be deemed as an indefinite-term contract.
The standard work period in the Maldives is 48 hours a week with one day off per week, which is commonly Friday. Employees cannot be required to work more than six consecutive days in a week without being given 24 hours of consecutive rest. Overtime worked on a regular day is paid at 125% of the regular wage. If the overtime is worked on a Friday or public holiday, the rate is 150% of the regular wage.
Employees receive 30 days of paid sick leave each year. If an employee is absent from work for more than two consecutive days due to illness, the employee must produce a medical certificate. Employees also receive 10 days of paid leave to care of a sick family member.
Female employees are entitled to 60 days of paid maternity leave, which can start no earlier than 30 days before the estimated date of birth. Female employees receive up to an additional 28 days if there are complications during the pregnancy or childbirth. Payment of the employee’s salary during this extended leave period is at the discretion of the employer. After returning to work following maternity leave, female employees are given two 30-minute paid breaks a day to care for the child until the child is one years old.
Male employees receive three days of paid leave after the birth of a child. Additionally, all employees are given five days of paid leave for the child’s circumcision. Employees can take leave of up to one year after the birth of a child, however, this leave is unpaid. The leave can start following the mother’s maternity leave. Finally, employees are entitled to 10 days of paid leave to take care of family needs.
Employees in the public sector are entitled to a monthly minimum wage. There is no minimum wage for the private sector. There is a proposal under consideration by Parliament to set the minimum wage based on sectors. Each employee is entitled to a sum of money no less than one third of their monthly salary as a Ramadan bonus, payable before the beginning of Ramadan.
Employees are entitled to 30 days of paid leave after a year of continuous employment. Employers must pay employees any wages for the days they are on leave no later than the last working day before the leave. Any accrued but unused vacation time must be paid out by the employer prior to dismissal.
The Maldives has a universal healthcare program.
Employment contracts in the Maldives can be terminated at the end of the contract period (if for a fixed term), by the employer or by the employee. Both the employer and employee can terminate an employment contract during the probation period without providing notice. The probation period cannot exceed three months. An employer can dismiss an employee without notice if it would be detrimental to the employer or the workplace to retain the employee or for misconduct including theft, fraud, or breach of contract. Outside the notice period and absent misconduct, an employer must provide notice prior to terminating an employment contract. The notice period, if applicable, for dismissal of an employee is determined by an employee’s length of service and ranges from two weeks to two months of notice.
We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.
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