|The main amendments to the Workers Right Act are:
Broadening of the definition of workers
· The definition of worker has been extended to a person, other than a consultant, who is a service provider or any other such designation, irrespective of whether the latter holds a business registration number, and who personally performs the same or similar work of a comparable worker employed in the same enterprise or industry.
Filing of complaints
· An employee earning more than MUR 50,000 per month (being a non-worker) is now entitled to file a complaint to the Ministry of Labour against his or her employer or any agent of the employer, in respect of any matter arising out of his or her employment. This right was previously limited to workers, i.e., employees earning no more than MUR 50,000 per month.
Clarification on the payment of a cyclone allowance to a worker required to work from home
· Amendments have been made so that payment of a cyclone allowance, when a cyclone class III or IV is in force, must be made to a worker, whether the latter is working on the employer’s premises, any other place where he or she has been assigned duty, or is required to work from home.
· Where a worker is required to perform a normal day’s work of at least 10 hours, he or she must be provided with an adequate free meal or paid a meal allowance, even if his or her normal day’s work exceeds 10 hours.
Removal of the ceiling for sick leave
· Amendments have been made to remove the sick leave ceiling of 90 days to give a worker the opportunity to accumulate all his or her unused sick leave days for paid leave in case the worker is ill for a prolonged period.
Provision made for leave to care for a sick child
· A worker may now be granted up to 10 days of paid leave to take care of his or her sick child for every period of 12 consecutive months, to be offset against the employee’s paid annual, sick or vacation leave. The worker has the option of specifying the leave category.
Increase in petrol allowance
· Where an employee, irrespective of his or her pay, is granted a petrol allowance by the employer, the allowance payable as from 1 July 2022 shall be at least 10% higher than the allowance payable in December 2021, provided that the monthly increase in the petrol allowance does not exceed MUR 2,000.
Redundancy Board further empowered
· Where the Redundancy Board finds that the reasons provided by the employer in the notification to reduce its workforce are unjustified, the Redundancy Board shall make an order for the employer not to reduce its workforce or close down the enterprise. Should the employer breach that order, the employee may request the Redundancy Board for an order directing the employer to reinstate him or her in his or her former employment or pay a severance allowance.
Portable retirement gratuity fund on private pension scheme
· Employers are no longer exempted from contribution merely because they contribute to a retirement plan with a private pension scheme, unless a written certification is obtained by the actuary of the private pension scheme certifying that the share of the employer’s rate of contribution to the private pension scheme is not less than 4.5% of the monthly remuneration of the employee. The actuarial certificate must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour.
· Failure to submit the abovementioned actuarial certificate entails a liability on conviction to a fine ranging from MUR 50,000 to MUR 150,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.
· The provisions for the contribution of past services have been clarified. Contributions for past services must be paid to the Mauritius Revenue Authority one month after date of termination or resignation as follows:
· where employment is terminated by the employer, as from the date of commencement of employment; or
· in case of resignation, as from 1 January 2020.
The main amendments to the Employment Relations Act are:
· Any officer or negotiator of a recognised trade union may now enter an employer’s premises for purposes related to employment issues, pertaining in particular to workers forming part of a bargaining unit for which the trade union has been granted recognition. Previously, access to workplaces was granted to trade unions only in respect of employment issues of their members.
· In order to improve the process of collective bargaining, an employer is now required, upon request, to submit information on workers’ wages and conditions of employment to recognised trade unions.