Table of Contents

Burundi

Table of Contents

Currency

Burundian Franc (BIF)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

6%

About Burundi

Burundi is a small, land-locked nation in Central Africa, bordering Tanzania and Rwanda. With a troubled history of ethnic conflicts, Burundi’s economy continues to suffer from an underdeveloped manufacturing industry as well as corruption, poor governance, low educational levels, as well as a high level of poverty.

With a population of about 11,466,756, Burundi’s ethnic groups include Hutu (85%) and Tutsi (14 and languages spoken include Swahili, English, and Kirundi, the official language. Kirundi is spoken by both the Hutu as well as the Tutsi. People of Burundi also practice several religions include Protestant Christianity (23.9%), Islam (2.5%), and Roman Catholicism which is the main religion with 62.1% of the population practicing.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

The labor law of Burundi defines permanent employees as employees who are hired for an indefinite time. All contracts without express duration are presumed to be for an indefinite term. Permanent employment contracts may include a trial clause; however, the trial must be expressed in writing.  Employers are required to maintain a register of permanent employees, containing the name, date of birth, nationality, qualifications, and the date of joining. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Burundi, the Labour Code prohibits hiring fixed-term contract workers for tasks of a permanent nature. The duration or maturity of fixed-term contracts is precisely agreed to between the parties. A fixed-term contract may be initiated in relation to a particular project, to replace an absent worker, or if there is exceptional or unusual additional work.  The continuation of services beyond the expiration date agreed upon, automatically constitutes the execution of a permanent contract. The fixed-term employment contract cannot be renewed more than twice except for temporary workers. For temporary workers, the employer should establish a long-term employment contract. 

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Employers may hire temporary employees only for a short period of time. The contract must be made in writing and include the social security contributions, employer obligations, employee obligations, and conditions of work. Even in the case of contracting temporary employees through a third party, employers must respect this requirement. The terms of the contract may not be prejudiced against the worker. 

Probationary Period

The Labor Code of Burundi dictates that a probation/trial period may not exceed the time required to evaluate the employee, given a profession’s technology and practice. A probation period cannot exceed 12 months for employees in occupations of higher responsibility (directors, officers, managers, etc) and 6 months for occupations of lower responsibility. The total term of a probation period for fixed-term contracts may not exceed one-third of the duration of the employment contract.

Working Hours

The regular working hours are 8 hours a day and 45 hours a week. Daily working hours in the civil service are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (paid and unpaid work). The Labour Code provides for weekly rest of at least 24 consecutive hours. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day (January 1), Reconciliation Day (February 5), Commemoration of the Assassination of President Ntaryamira (April 6), Labour Day (May 1), Ascension Day (May 25), Independence Day (July 1), Assumption Day (August 15), Commemoration of the Assassination of Prince Louis Rwagasore (October 13), Commemoration of the Assassination of President Ndadaye (October 21), All Saints’ Day (November 1), Christmas Day (December 25), Eid-el-Fitr and Eid-el-Hajj (Muslim religious holidays dates depend on the sighting of the moon).

• Paid Annual Leave

In Burundi, labor law provides 20 days paid annual leave (one and two-thirds of a day for every month of service), after completion of 12 months of continuous service. The duration of annual leave is determined either by collective agreement or by the concerned Ministry after consulting the National Labor Council. Length of annual leave increases by at least one paid day for every additional four years of service. The amount of benefits during annual leave is equal to the daily wage of the employee. The annual leave may be split. However, its minimum duration in a term cannot be shorter than six continuous weekdays between two weekly rest days. Annual leave can be accumulated for two years.

• Sick Leave

The maximum duration of sick leave is up to 3 months in a calendar year. Compensation for sick leave is equal to at least 66.7% of the daily wage a worker received before getting sick. The employment contract remains suspended and may not be terminated during sick leave, except in case of gross misconduct or force majeure.

• Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to a maternity leave of 12 weeks with full pay, including 6 weeks of prenatal leave. Maternity leave may be extended up to 14 weeks, at least 6 of which must be taken after birth.  Employers must pay pregnant employees 50% of their wages as allowances during maternity leave and all the benefits in kind they received earlier. The Social Security Institute covers the remaining 50% of the wages. An employee cannot be dismissed during the period of her maternity leave.

• Paternity Leave

In Burundi, employees are entitled to 4 fully paid paternity leave days upon the birth of their child.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

The minimum notice period for termination of employment contract by an employer is: 1 month if the employee has seniority (work experience with the firm) of less than 3 years 45 days if the employee has seniority of 3 to 5 years Two months if the employee has seniority of 5 to 10 years Three months if the employee has seniority of more than 10 years If an employee initiates the termination of the employment contract, the period of notice is half of the above notice requirements. The notice period can be waived and substituted by compensation. During a trial period, either party may terminate the employment contract at any time and without notice during the first month of probation. The required notice during the trial period is three days after a worker has completed one month of probation.

• Severance Benefits

Severance benefit is not payable to a worker employed on daily wages or in the case of dismissal for gross negligence or dismissed during probation. For individual and collective dismissals, the rate of severance pay is as follows: Half average monthly salary for workers with seniority of less than 3 years One average monthly salary for workers with seniority of 3-5 years Two average monthly salaries for workers with seniority of 5-10 years Three average monthly salaries for workers with seniority of more than 10 years