JANUARY 2020 – ESWATINI (SWAZILAND) | KENYA | MAURITIUS

LEGISLATION CHANGES

It is important that employers note the following:

ESWATINI

Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) Contributions Limit

Effective 1 January 2020, the maximum statutory contributions per employee have increased from E270 to E290 per month.

This means that the expected maximum statutory contribution for 2020 per month from contributing employers is E290. Of this amount, the member’s portion is E145 and the employer’s is also E145.

For employees whose wages are less than E2 900 per month the statutory contribution is calculated at 10% of the employee’s wages

As the Swaziland Revenue Authority tax year runs from July to June and the ENPF limits are applied from January to December, with an annual increase in January every tax year, the tax constant should be changed twice a year, i.e. in January and again in July.

KENYA

HELB online portal registration

The Kenyan Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) issued a communication to employers requesting them to register and update their details on its online portal. Manual submissions will no longer be accepted by HELB after 31 December 2019.

HELB provides financing through loans, scholarships and bursaries to Kenyans pursuing higher education within and outside Kenya.

Employers are required to notify HELB whenever they recruit a beneficiary of HELB loans. They are then required to deduct and remit loan repayments monthly.

An employers portal has been added to HELB’s website through which returns will be submitted and payment slips generated for onward payment through selected bank accounts.

 

MAURITIUS

New Workers’ Rights Act 2019 effective 1 January 2020

Proclamation No. 45 of 2019 was published to fix the effective date of the New Worker’s Right Act 2019 as at 1 January 2020.

The Employment Rights Act (ERA) was replaced by the Workers’ Right Act 2019.

The most important changes are:

The definition of a worker:

The Act raises the salary threshold from MUR 360 000 to MUR 600 000 per annum. Therefore, a worker means an employee whose basic wage is MUR 50 000 or less in a month.

End-of-year bonus:

All employees meeting the threshold are now entitled to the statutory “end-of-year bonus” based on 1/12 of the employee’s earnings. Earnings includes basic wage, overtime and any sum of money by whatever name called, including commission, and which is related to productivity.

Employees are also entitled to the end-of-year bonus if their employment is terminated in the course of the year for any reason, or if an employee resigns in the course of the year on or after having been in continuous employment for at least 8 (eight) months.

Previously, workers meeting the threshold stated in the ERA were entitled to the statutory “end-of-year gratuity” based on earnings, while employees earning above the threshold were entitled to that gratuity based on the basic wage.

Additional leave types:

Vacation leave:

An employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for a period of 12 (twelve) months, will be entitled to:

  • Paid special leave of 6 (six) working days to celebrate his/her first civil or religious marriage;
  • Paid special leave of 3 (three) working days on the occasion of the first civil or religious marriage of his/her son or daughter;
  • Paid special leave of 3 (three) working days on the death of his/her spouse, child, father, mother, brother or sister.

Juror’s leave:

An employee will be entitled to leave with pay during the period of his/her absence from work pursuant to a summons issued to him/her to attend service as juror under the Courts Act.

Leave to participate in international sporting events:

Where an employee is selected or nominated to participate in an international sporting event to represent Mauritius, the employee will be granted leave with pay at his/her request by his/her employer for the duration of the event or such longer period as may be necessary.

The above is subject to advance notice being given and documentary evidence as to the duration of his/her absence.

Leave to attend court:

An employee must be granted leave to attend court regarding any matter in which he/she is a party to or in which he/she is a witness. The employer is not under any obligation to pay the employee in this case.

Where an employee is attending court as a representative of the employer or on its behalf, the leave must be paid by the employer.

An employer may require a worker to produce a certificate of attendance from the court which the worker attended, except where the worker attends court as a representative of the employer or on its behalf.

Portable Gratuity Retirement Fund:

It should be noted that Cabinet has postponed the entry into force of the Portable Gratuity Retirement Fund until 1 April 2020.

The idea of a Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund was introduced by the Workers’ Rights Act 2019.

The employer will be required to contribute to the portable retirement gratuity fund in accordance with a prescribed formula.

It will not be applicable to:

  • Aan employer who has a private pension scheme in respect of which a pension is paid;
  • An employee earning a basic salary exceeding MUR 200 000 per month; and
  • An employee who is more than 50 years of age.

Contributions must be made not later than the 20th of the month following the month in respect of which the contributions are due.

 

For more information see the Workers’ Rights Bill No 24 of 2019 Explanatory Memorandum.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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