Country Information

The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, an area that connects the Great Lakes region to Eastern Africa. Known as the land of a thousand hills, the official language is Kinyarwanda, but English is also spoken. Rwanda’s major exports include coffee, tea and tin. Rwanda is also known for its reliable and efficient internet connectivity which has pushed the country to the forefront of Africa’s digital revolution. Rwanda has also earned a reputation as one of the safest countries in the world.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts can either be for a fixed or indefinite time. They can be written or oral, but oral contracts cannot exceed 90 days.There is no legal requirement for employers to perform pre-employment background screens. However, if an employer elects to conduct a background check, it must comply with the data privacy laws of Rwanda.

Working Hours

Working hours are capped at 45 hours per week with a standard workday of 7.5 hours over six days. Overtime compensation is determined in the employment contract.

Sick Leave

Employees receive short term sick leave of up to 15 days annually on providing a medical certificate. Long-term sickness is determined by a committee of three recognized medical practitioners and is granted for no more than three months with pay and three months without pay.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave that essentially start two weeks before the expected delivery date and can further be extended by a month in cases of complications for the mother or the child. Certificate of delivery needs to be furnished before starting the maternity leave.

Compensation

There is no national minimum wage in Rwanda. Minimum wage is determined locally and commonly by industry. Employers are not required to provide bonuses but performance-based bonuses are common.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave after a year of service. Employees under the age of 18 receive 24 days of paid annual leave. Additionally, paid leave allotments increase for adult employees with the length of service. An additional day of leave is given for every three-year period of service up to a cap of 21 earned paid annual leave days a year.

Public Holidays

There are many holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • New Year’s Holiday
  • National Heroes Day
  • Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor DayEid-al Fitr
  • Independence Day
  • Liberation Day
  • Eid-al Adha
  • Umuganura Assumption Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Rwanda has a mandatory healthcare regime.

Employment / Termination / Severance

The probation period is capped at six months, while there is no limit on the length or the number of renewals of a fixed-term contract. A contract for employment can be terminated either by either mutual consent of the employer or the employee, expiry of the term of the contract or unilateral termination of employment. The minimum notice period is 15 days for service up to a year and 30 days for service beyond a year where the employee is entitled to an additional day off per week to look for alternate employment. Termination must be in writing unless it is by mutual consent. In the event of termination due to gross misconduct, the employee must be notified within 48 hours of evidence occurring of the same. Unlawful termination can mean damages payable to the aggrieved party that range from three to six months of salary but jumps to nine months’ salary if the term of employment has been at least 10 years. Disciplinary actions may include oral warning, written warning, temporary suspension or termination.

Local Laws & Regulations

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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