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Rwanda
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Law No. 66/2018 of 30 August 2018 regulating Labour in Rwanda (repealing Law No 13/2009 of 27 May 2009 regulating labour in Rwanda [LL]
    Date: 30 Aug 2018; view website »
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: none
Remarks:
  • Art. 2(2) LL repealed the exclusion of public service employees from the scope of the LC in Art. 3 of the 2009 LL.
    Art. 2 provides that the Law applies to employment relations based on an employment contract between an employee and an employer in the public service, unless otherwise provided by the general statutes for public service.

    Art. 2(5) LL provides that self- employed people are included in the scope of this Law in relation to occupational safety and health.

    Art 2(6) LL, which repealed the previous provisions in Art. 3 of the 2009 LL provides that employees in the informal sector are included in the scope of the law in relation to occupational safety and health; the right to form trade unions and employers’ associations; the right to salary; the minimum wage in categories of occupations determined by an Order of the Minister in charge of labour; the right to leave; social security; protection against workplace discrimination; protection from forced labour; prohibited forms of work for the child, pregnant or breastfeeding woman.

Notes / Remarks
In 2018, a new Labour Code was adopted. It replaced the 2009 Labour Code.


Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

Remarks:
  • • Art. 13 LL provides that the probation period cannot exceed 3 months. However, after the written evaluation of the employee’s performance notified to the employee, the employer can for valid reasons related to the nature of work, employee’s performance and conduct, decides that an employee retakes the probation for a period not exceeding three (3) months.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • Art. 11 LL provides that an employment contract can be for a fixed term or indefinite.
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The LC does not require any valid reason for the use of FTC.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No statutory limitation on the maximum duration of successive FTCs.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 28 LL provides that a party wishing to terminate a fixed-term employment contract before the expiry of the duration set therein must have legitimate reasons for termination.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • • Art. 26 LL provides that an employer may terminate an employment contract without notice in case of an employee’s gross misconduct.
    • Art. 27 LL provides that an indefinite-term employment contract can be terminated by either party for legitimate reasons.
    • See also Art. 3 (17) LL which provides that an unfair dismissal is the termination of an employment contract by the employer without legitimate reasons or respecting procedures provided for by law.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; colour; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • The LL does not contain a list of prohibited grounds for dismissal but it contains a general prohibition of discrimination in work matter.

    • However, Art. 8 LL prohibits the dismissal of an employee for having reported or testified on sexual harassment committed by his/her supervisor; and provides that if there is tangible evidence that an employee has resigned due to sexual harassment committed against him/her by his/her supervisor, his/her resignation is considered as unfair dismissal.

    • Art. 19 LL prohibits the dismissal of an employee as a result of occupational accident unless a recognized doctor declares him/her unfit to resume service in the employment he/she held prior to the accident.

    • Art. 30 refers to the damages payable to employees’ representatives, occupational health and safety committee members and trade union representatives who are victims of unfair dismissal as a result of the discharge of their responsibility to represent employees.

    • Art. 61 LL prohibits the employer from giving notice of dismissal during maternity leave.

    • Art. 9 LL also contains a general prohibition of discrimination in work matters on the basis of ethnic origin, family or ancestry, clan, skin colour or race, sex, region, economic categories, religion or faith, opinion, fortune, cultural difference, language, physical or mental disability or any other form of discrimination.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; confirmed injured workers
Remarks:
  • - Women on maternity leave:
    Prohibition to dismiss a woman during maternity leave (art. 61 LL)

    - Workers' representatives:
    In case of an unlauful dismissal, workers' delegates and trade union representatives are entitled to the payment of damages up to a maximum of 9 months' pay (instead of 6 months' pay).

    - Injured workers declared unfit to work:
    Art. 19 LL prohibits the dismissal of an employee as a result of occupational accident, unless declared as unfit to work by a doctor.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 24 LL provides that a notice of termination must be given in writing to the interested concerned party and must specify the reasons for the dismissal. However, Art. 29 provides that the notice is not required if so agreed between the parties.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 24LL: The notice period shall be at least:
    - 15 days if the worker has worked for less than a year;
    - 1 month if the worker has workers for a period of one year or more.

    No notice period shall apply to a worker on probation.

    Art. 28(2) LL provides that where a fixed term contract is terminated due to gross negligence, the party causing the contract to be terminated shall notify the same to the other party within fourty eight (48) hours.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 15 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 15 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 1 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • • Art. 25 provides that any contract termination without notice or without having fully observed the notice period results in the party responsible for termination paying the other party the compensation provided for by this Law.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • No general obligation to notify the administration of any dismissal. This only applies in case of the dismissal of a worker for economic and technological reasons (art. 34 LL - see below under collective dismissals).

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2019    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    The LL does not define collective dismissal in terms of the number of employees concerned.
    Specific notification requirements apply to any individual and collective dismissal on economic grounds or due to internal reorganization, restructuring following economic difficulties or technological transfers with the aim of protecting the competitiveness of the enterprise under Art. 21 LL.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 34 LL.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): No

    Remarks:
    • No preliminary consultation required in the LL (art. 34 LL).
      Note: Such requirement was included in the former Labour Code (2001), repealed by the 2009 LC: any employer intending to dismiss workers on economic grounds was required, before implementing his/her decision, to inform the worker's representatives of the causes and criteria, and the date the proposed dismissals and to undertake consultations with them on measures that could be taken to prevent or limit the dismissals.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 21 LL establishes an obligation to inform the competent labour inspector in writing.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • NEW: Art. 21 of the 2018 LL, which repealed the 2009 LL, provides that an employer may, after informing employees’ representatives in the enterprise, proceed with individual or collective dismissal due to the enterprise’s internal reorganization or restructuring due to economic reason or technological transfer with the aim of preserving the enterprise’s competitiveness

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 21 LL provides that the employer must place employees on the list of those to be dismissed based on performance, professional qualification, experience in the enterprise and legally recognized dependents of each employee.

      Art. 22 LL does not provide any criteria for re-employment. Instead, it establishes a general right of reinstatement. Any employee dismissed for economic or technical reasons, and whose dismissal does not last more than six (6) months is entitled to be reinstated in employment without competition when he/she meets the profile required for the position to which the employer seeks to fill.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Remarks:
    • No statutory obligation to consider alternatives to dismissals in the LC (art. 21 LL).
      Note: Such requirement was included in the former Labour Code (2001): any employer intending to dismiss workers on economic grounds was required, before implementing his/her decision, to inform the worker's representatives of the causes and criteria, and the date the proposed dismissals and to undertake consultations with them on measures that could be taken to prevent or limit the dismissals.

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • • Art. 31 of the 2018 LL repealed Art. 35 of the 2009, LL, which provided “dismissal compensation” or severance pay. Art. 31 in the new LL provides that upon termination of an employment contract as a result of economic reasons, technological transfer or sickness, workers are entitled to severance pay ("terminal benefits") provided that they have completed a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months of work. The new LL, which repealed the 2009 LL introduced new calculations for minimum entitlements as follows:

      Statutory severance pay is payable at the following rates:
      - 2 month' salary for less than 5 years of service;
      - 3 months' salary for 5 to 10 years of service;
      - 4months' salary for 10 to 15 years of service;
      - 5 months' salary for 15 to 20 years of service;
      - 6 months' salary for 20 to 25 years of service; and
      - 7 months' salary for more than 25 years of service.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 6 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • • The new provisions introduced by the 2018 LL under Art. 31 establish the basis of the payment of “terminal benefits” to employees upon the termination of an employment contract as a result of economic reasons, technological transfer or sickness, granted the employee completed at least 12 consecutive months of work.

      Redundancy payment is payable at the following rates:
      - 2 month' salary for less than 5 years of service;
      - 3 months' salary for 5 to 10 years of service;
      - 4months' salary for 10 to 15 years of service;
      - 5 months' salary for 15 to 20 years of service;
      - 6 months' salary for 20 to 25 years of service; and
      - 7 months' salary for more than 25 years of service.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 3 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 6 month(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Remarks:
    • Art. 30 LL.

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    Art. 30 LL establishes the following legal limits for the calculation of compensation for unfair dismissal:

    - Workers with up to 10 years of service:
    Not less than 3 months' salary and up to a maximum of 6 months' salary.

    - Workers with over 10 years of service:
    Not less than 3 months' salary and up to a maximum of 9 months' salary.

    - Trade union and staff representatives (regardless of seniority) :
    Not less than 3 months' salary and up to a maximum of 9 months' salary.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 30 LL.

    Reinstatement available: No

    Remarks:
    • However, Art. 22 LL establishes that any employee dismissed for economic or technical reasons, and whose dismissal does not last more than six (6) months is entitled to be reinstated in employment without competition when he/she meets the profile required for the position to which the employer seeks to fill.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 102 LL:
      When an individual labour dispute arises, the concerned party shall request the employees' representatives to settle it amicably.
      - In case the dispute is not settled, it shall be referred to the local Labour Inspector for an out-of-court settlement.
      - When conciliation efforts fail, the dispute may be taken before the competent court.
      - If the above mentioned steps have not been followed, the court may declare the claim inadmissible.

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts

    Existing arbitration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Only for collective labour disputes (arts. 144-150 LL)

    Source of additional information - 2019    

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