Spotlight on Mauritius

panoramic city view of Port Louis, Mauritius

Mauritius, an African island nation in the Indian Ocean, is a melting pot of different cultures with influences from India, Africa, China and Europe. A popular tourist destination, the country attracts visitors from all over the world looking to experience its natural beauty and luxury resorts. The developed, diversified economy is powered by manufacturing, tourism and financial services. In recent years, the government has focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and Mauritius is rapidly becoming one of Africa’s prime destinations for business expansion and hiring. 

Why Mauritius?

  • The country offers a favorable business environment, which includes a stable geopolitical climate, resilient economy, skilled workforce and pro-business policies. 
  • The cost of living and labor are relatively low in Mauritius compared to most developed countries, which makes it an attractive location for reducing operating and hiring costs. 
  • The startup ecosystem in Mauritius is young but has seen rapid growth in recent years thanks to government programs, like the Startup Acceleration Program. As a result, an increasing number of companies are cropping up in emerging sectors like FinTech, HealthTech, InsurTech, EdTech, and renewable energy.
  • The country’s talent pool ranks first for innovation among all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the World Bank’s most recent “Doing Business” report ranks Mauritius 13th out of 190 countries. 

What is the main source of employment law in Mauritius?

The Workers’ Rights Act 2019 sets parameters and regulates employer-employee relationships in Mauritius. Labor regulations are set for both local and foreign employees currently working in the country. The Act lays out provisions for various types of contracts, such as part-time or fixed-term contracts, and sets the rules that come with it. 

The Act does not apply to some segments of the workforce: 

  • Public officers or local government officers  
  • Employees governed or employed by the Pay Research Bureau report’s terms and conditions 
  • An atypical or work-from-home employee earning MUR600,000 yearly as basic pay 

Mauritius labor laws set the minimum standards for working conditions. An employer can offer more provisions to improve working conditions for its workforce. For example, if they wish to, an employer may offer higher compensation, more leave time, fewer work hours, supplemental benefits, etc.

What is the talent market in Mauritius like?

The labor market in Mauritius is relatively competitive compared to other countries in the region, marked by low unemployment rates and growing demand for skilled workers. 

The country offers a highly-skilled, largely English-speaking workforce, with a high percentage of the population holding a tertiary education degree. However, a shortage of skilled workers exists in certain sectors, including information technology, engineering and financial services.

This tight labor market can make it difficult for companies to source the skilled workers they need. To overcome the competitive labor market and retain top talent, companies are increasingly offering supplemental benefits such as paid parental leave, flexible work arrangements and paid vacation time. 

Can MNCs tap into strong remote talent in Mauritius?

With the rise of digitalization and the meteoric shift to remote work amid the pandemic, Mauritius has positioned itself in recent years as a hub for remote workers and digital nomads. The government has launched various initiatives such as the Premium Visa Scheme, aimed at attracting remote workers and digital nomads to live and work in the country. 

Additionally, the country’s geography can be an advantage for companies looking to build a cross-border team, as it is in the same time zone as many countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. This proximity makes it seamless for remote teams to communicate and collaborate. 

How do employment contracts work?

The following are some key points MNCs should note about employment contracts:

  • Employment contracts can either be for a permanent or fixed-term. 
  • Contracts can be verbal or in writing and must be concluded within 14 days after a month of work.
  • A written contract is highly recommended to protect the interests of both the employer and the employee. 
  • If the agreement is for more than a month, it must be in writing. 
  • When a contract is written, it must be in either French or Creole. 
  • A fixed-term contract can be used for certain types of work, such as for: 
    • a specified project or piece of work
    • replacement of another worker 
    • temporary, seasonal or short-term work which provides training to the workforce for a specific time period
  • A fixed-term contract will transition to a permanent contract when there is a break not exceeding 28 days between any two fixed-term contracts.

What do MNCs need to know about termination?

The following are key provisions for the termination of an employment contract:

  • Employment contracts can be terminated by the employer or by the employee with either just cause or without cause. 
  • Either the employer or the employee can choose to terminate an agreement verbally or in writing.
  • For permanent contracts, a verbal or written notice of at least 30 days is required. 
  • In lieu of the notice, either party may pay the amount of compensation the employee would have earned during the notice period of notice. 
  • During the notice period, the employer must allow the worker reasonable paid time off to seek other employment.
  • An employer must not terminate an employment contract under protected conditions, including race, color, nationality, social status, place of birth, age, pregnancy, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, HIV status, impairment, marital status or family caregiving responsibilities.
  • Employers may terminate employees for gross misconduct or poor performance.
  • An employee may terminate a contracted if:
    • they are mistreated by the employer.
    • the employer fails to pay due compensation.
    • the employer fails to provide work duties (and to pay remuneration).
    • the worker is forced to resign under duress or is forced to sign a letter of resignation in writing.
  • Severance payments are required if the employer terminates an indefinite term contract without cause. 
  • Fixed-term contracts terminate at the completion of the agreement time period or upon its renewal. No severance payment is required unless both parties agree otherwise.

Why are Employer of Record (EOR) services growing in Mauritius?

Thanks to its highly-skilled workforce and business-friendly landscape, Mauritius is among the most attractive countries to target for global expansion in all of Africa. With recent policies focusing on enhancing the remote workforce, the country is likely to become even more appealing for MNCs in upcoming years. 

However, cross-border operations and hiring are never without challenges or risks. For example, establishing a business in Mauritius – a prerequisite for hiring – can be a challenging process as there are minimum regulatory requirements that must be met in order to set up shop. Some sectors may be more challenging to operate in than others. There are also payroll requirements that must be met, which can be difficult if the internal HR team is not familiar with the labor landscape. 

Partnering with a qualified EOR, like GoGlobal, unlocks a myriad of benefits for MNCs including:

  • Building a local team without setting up a legal entity
  • Complying with local laws and regulations
  • Reducing costs
  • Enhancing flexibility and agility in hiring
  • Mitigating employment risks

What makes the GoGlobal experience unique?

GoGlobal is a people-first international HR and Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, which means we prioritize human-to-human touch points throughout the entire hiring process. 

We also embrace a global mindset while still maintaining a dedicated team of local experts on the ground in every market we serve. Our team members in Mauritius deeply understand the regulatory environment as well as the local cultural customs, ensuring a positive hiring experience for our clients as well as the client workers we directly employ on your behalf. 

With Mauritius having a highly competitive labor market, many clients choose to pair our legacy EOR services with our Recruit & Hire solution for hard-to-fill roles, like technology, sales and client services. 

We have the end-to-end hiring process covered – from talent sourcing to onboarding, payroll, benefits and offboarding. We handle compliance and administration – while you focus on core business and growing your team in Mauritius! 

Find additional details on benefits and hiring in Mauritius, or contact us to talk with an international HR expert.