Engage In Rwanda

Table of Contents

About Rwanda

Capital City

Kigali

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Rwanda is 14,094,683 people.

Currency

The currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RWF). The currency symbol is FRw, RF, R₣‎.

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Overview

Rwanda, known as the “land of a thousand hills,” is a captivating country nestled in east-central Africa. With its breathtaking scenery and stunning landscapes, it is no wonder that Rwanda has gained a reputation for its natural beauty. Despite its small size, encompassing just 10,000 square miles, Rwanda is home to a significant population, with approximately 11 million people residing within its borders. The capital city, Kigali, located in the heart of the country, showcases Rwanda’s vibrant culture and bustling urban life. Rwanda’s history is marked by both tragedy and resilience, with a legacy of ethnic strife and the devastating genocide of 1994. However, since that dark period, Rwanda has undergone remarkable reconstruction and reconciliation efforts, transforming itself into a beacon of hope and progress. Today, Rwanda stands as a testament to the power of unity and determination, with its clean streets, flourishing villages, and vibrant markets reflecting a country that has embraced its past while forging a promising future.

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.

Social Security

Pension

To qualify for a monthly pension, members must meet the following requirements: Be at least 60 years old Contribute to the pension scheme for at least 15 years Cease to perform any remunerated activity. The monthly old-age pension is equal to 30% of the insured's average monthly earnings. The pension benefits will be increased by 2% for every 12 months of contribution exceeding 180 months. Insured individuals who reach the qualifying age but do not meet other requirements for old-age benefits shall receive a lump-sum allowance equal to the average of their monthly earnings multiplied by the number of years of contribution.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

The survivors of a deceased insured employee are entitled to receive benefits if the insured person was entitled to receive an old-age or disability pension or had paid at least 180 monthly contributions. Such pension benefits will be distributed as a percentage of the pension that the deceased employee received or was entitled to receive: 50% for the surviving spouse 25% for each child with one surviving parent 50% for each orphan with no surviving parents 25% for each parent or adoptive parent when the deceased leaves no spouse or children. The total amount of benefits for the survivors cannot exceed the deceased's pension. If a member dies before having contributed for at least 180 months, survivors will be given a lump-sum allowance. In the event of an insured member's death due to a work accident or occupational disease, employers must pay a monthly pension to survivors.

Invalidity Benefit

Insured persons who become disabled before reaching retirement age will have the right to disability benefits if: They have contributed for at least three years, out of which six months have been in the past 12 months. They have ceased to perform any remunerated activity. They have a medical certificate attesting to the disability of more than 50%. The monthly disability pension is equal to 30% of the insured's average monthly earnings. The pension benefits will be increased by 2% percent for every 12 months of contribution exceeding 180 months. Members who receive disability pension benefits and require constant assistance to perform everyday tasks are entitled to a 40% increase in disability benefits. Employers cover pension benefits for disability due to work accidents or occupational diseases, depending on the type and degree of disability. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

There is an annual personal income tax levied on income received by an individual. The tax year runs from January 1 through December 31. Residents are taxed on their global income, while non-residents are only taxed on their income from sources within Rwanda.  The tax rates vary from 0% to 30%.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Class V-1(s) Single Entry Visa – single entry and shall be valid for a period of not more than 30 days for any purpose other than work Class V-1(m) Multiple Entry Visa – multiple entries and shall be valid for a period of not more than 30 days for a purpose other than work or holidays Class Q1 Transit Visa – granted to a person transiting Rwanda for a period not exceeding 72 hours Class T2 Tourist Visa – granted for tourism, allows stay for up to 90 days Class T3 Tourist – Family Visa – granted to foreign nationals who wish to visit a family member or a close relative residing and working in Rwanda Class T4 Visiting Diplomat – issued to a diplomat visiting for official purposes, valid for up to 2 years Class T6-1: Single Entry – Conference – issued to a person wishing to attend and or speak at a conference, meeting, workshop or seminar, valid for 30 days Class T6-2: Multiple Entry – Conference – issued to a person wishing to attend and or speak at a conference, meeting, workshop or seminar, valid for 30 days Class T7 Business – issued to a prospective investor, entrepreneur or trader to visit and explore business opportunities in Rwanda, valid for up to 90 days, work is not permitted Class T8 Tourist – Medical Treatment – issued to a person who has a need for and has confirmed medical treatment or medical consultations in Rwanda, valid for up to 90 days Class T9 Tourist – Group Tourist – issued to a group of four to ten tourists individually or organized by a tour operator, valid for up to 90 days Class T12 East African Tourist Visa – issued to foreign nationals who want to visit simultaneously the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Uganda for tourism, valid for up to 90 days

Work Permit

Foreign nationals who seek a visa or a residence permit in Rwanda must prove that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay. If a foreigner does not have adequate funds, the Director-General may refuse to grant a visa or a residence permit. A foreign national who intends to reside in Rwanda temporarily may require a guarantor to cover their repatriation costs. Fees charged on residence permits and visas range from RWF 20,000 (Rwandan francs) to RWF 100,000 depending on the area of professional expertise.

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