Table of Contents

Rwanda

Table of Contents

Currency

Rwandan Franc (RWF)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

5%

About Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa, in the African Great Lakes region and bordering Burundi and Uganda among other nations. With an estimated population of 12 million, the country’s main ethnic groups are the Hutu, Tutsi, and Pygmy (TWA). As a result of European colonization, the governments and policies since independence tended to favor one ethnic group over the other, resulting in a horrific civil war and genocide in the early 1990s, where Hutu extremists are believed to have killed 500,000 to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutu. Rwanda placed a huge emphasis on cultural and social recovery after the genocide, emphasizing governing mechanisms that prohibit classification by race or ethnic group, as well as enacting laws criminalizing genocide ideologies. Women’s empowerment has also played a significant role in its continuing development. Rwanda’s economy is still recovering from the ravages of both the genocide, as well as the 2008 global recession. The economy is based mostly on subsistence farming, but coffee and tea are major exports, where the country’s high altitudes make for favorable growing conditions.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Rwanda's Labor Code allows the use of fixed-term and indefinite employment contracts but does not provide further guidance on what constitutes permanent employment. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Rwanda's Labor Code allows the use of both fixed-term and indefinite employment contracts. A fixed-term employment contract comes to an end at the expiration of the agreed duration. However, a fixed-term employment contract can be terminated before the period set therein by mutual consent of the parties. A party wishing to terminate a fixed-term employment contract before the expiration of its duration must have legitimate reasons for termination. If a fixed-term contract is not renewed in writing and the employee continues to work past its expiration, the employee is remunerated based on worked days.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Rwanda's Labor Code allows for the employment of workers on a temporary basis. Employers can subcontract their work to other employers who employ their employees to work on such temporary roles. The subcontract provides for guarantee for the payment of salaries of and social security contributions for employees and other obligations of the employer towards the employee and work conditions.  

Probationary Period

Per Rwanda's Labor Code, the duration of probationary periods cannot exceed 3 months. However, after the employer notifies the employee with a written evaluation of the employee's performance, the employer can decide that an employee must redo the probationary period for a maximum of 3 more months if there are valid reasons related to the nature of the work, the employee's performance, and the employee's conduct. If the probationary period comes to an end and the employee proves to be competent, the employee must be notified in writing and immediately offered employment. If the probationary period proves that an employee is not competent, the employer must notify the employee through a written performance evaluation. The employer may then terminate the employment contract without notice. 

Working Hours

Rwanda's Labor Code states that the maximum working hours are 45 hours per week. However, an employee can work extra hours if they reach an agreement to this effect with their employer. The employer determines the daily timetable for employee work hours and breaks. Employers must provide employees with a break of not less than 24 hours each week.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day (January 1), Day after New Year’s Day (January 2), National Heroes’ Day (February 1), Good Friday (date may vary), Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day (April 7), Labor Day (May 1), Independence Day (July 1), Liberation Day (July 4), Umuganura Day (date may vary), Assumption Day (August 15), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26), Eid El Fitr (date may vary), Eid Al-Adha (date may vary).

• Paid Annual Leave

Rwanda's Labor Code states that every employee is entitled to paid leave of 1.5 working days per month. A newly hired employee can enjoy annual leave after 12 months of service, including any probationary period. Employees are entitled to 1 additional working day of annual paid leave for every 3 years of service with the same employer. However, an employee's total days of annual paid leave cannot exceed 21 working days. A worker under 18 years old is entitled to 2 working days' leave per month of continuous work. Official public holidays are not considered part of annual leave.

• Sick Leave

Per Rwanda's Labor Code, an employee who submits a written certificate signed by a recognized medical doctor is entitled to a short-term paid sick leave of up to 15 days. If more sick leave is needed, the employer may require the employee to submit a certificate signed by 3 recognized medical doctors. This second certificate entitles the employee to paid sick leave for another 3 months and unpaid sick leave for a further 3 months.

• Maternity Leave

Per Rwanda's Labor Code, a female employee who has given birth is entitled to a maternity leave of at least 12 consecutive weeks, at least 2 weeks of which must be enjoyed before delivery. The 12 weeks of maternity leave are fully paid at the rate of the mother's last salary. Employers must pay 12 weeks' salary to employees during maternity leave. They can request the Rwandan Social Security Board to reimburse maternity leave benefits for the last 6 weeks of the maternity leave. Employees must have paid 1 month's contribution to be eligible for benefits. Employees cannot be dismissed while on maternity leave.

• Paternity Leave

Employees in Rwanda are entitled to 7 working days' fully paid leave on their wife's delivery. In case of any medical complications during delivery, this leave can be extended by another 5 days. Employees must inform their employers beforehand. This leave cannot be broken down and has to be taken at once.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

Rwanda's Labor Code states that if it is necessary to terminate a contract of employment with prior notice, the duration of the notice must be at least equal to: 15 days, if the employee has worked for less than a year 30 days, if the employee has worked for 1 year or more. No notice period will apply to an employee during a probationary period. When an employment contract is terminated due to gross negligence, the party causing the contract to be terminated must notify the other party within 48 hours.

• Severance Benefits

Per Rwanda's Labour Law, the dismissal of an employee who has completed at least 12 consecutive months of work generally entails payment of dismissal benefits by the employer ranging from 2 months' salary for less than 5 years' service to 7 months' salary for over 25 years of service. Benefits are paid to employees who are dismissed for economic, technological or sickness-related reasons. Benefits must be paid within 7 working days of dismissal.