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The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, an area that connects Africa's 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 Africa.

Employment contracts in Rwanda 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 in Rwanda 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.

Employees receive short-term sick leave in Rwanda 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.

Female employees receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave in Rwanda that typically start two weeks before the expected delivery date but can be extended by a month in cases of complications for the mother or the child. A certificate of delivery needs to be furnished before starting the maternity leave.

Employers in Rwanda are not required to provide bonuses but performance-based bonuses are common.

Employees in Rwanda 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. Paid leave allotments increase for adult employees with their 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.

In Rwanda, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • Day After New Year's Day

  • National Heroes' Day

  • Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Independence Day

  • Liberation Day

  • Eid al-Adha

  • Umuganura Day

  • Assumption of Mary

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

Rwanda has a mandatory public health insurance system. Employers may choose to offer supplementary private insurance as an employee benefit.

A contract for employment can be terminated in Rwanda 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. 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 nine months of salary.

  • 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.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Rwanda can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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