A new Labour Law has been published

On Thursday 30 August 2028, a new law n° 66/2018 of 30/08/2018 regulating Labour in Rwanda was published in the Official Gazette repealing the law N° 13/2009 of 27/05/2009. 

The main changes of the new Labour Law include provisions on employment relations based on employment contract between an employee and an employer in the private sector, provisions governing contractual staff in the Public Sector.   

The repealed law was applied to informal sector only for issues relating to social security, trade union organizations and health and safety at workplace. 

In this new law, the Minimum age for admission to employment remains at sixteen with the exception where “a child aged between thirteen and fifteen years is allowed to perform only light works in the context of apprenticeship which was not in the repealed law.

This Law provides also tight sanctions to individuals or private agencies employing children in hazardous works.

Under the current law, an employer can suspend an employee in writing in a period not exceeding thirty days without payment but the employee’s salary is calculated, retained and repaid after the employee proves his innocence. 

Other modifications brought by this new Labour Law, also provides that unlawful termination of employment contract gives rise to the payment of damages. Damages paid to the employee victim of unfair dismissal cannot go below three month salary, nor exceed six month salary. However, if the employee has more than ten years of experience with the same employer, damages cannot exceed nine month net salary.

Eric Nzabandora, the Chairman of COTRAF Trade Union said that he welcomed the new Labour Law because they were consulted in drafting it.

“We were brought on board from the beginning . We are happy that the this new law provides for articles that protect the rights of workers for example  the article 122 where successful bidder in Public Tenders if fails to pay the employees’ salaries, the procuring entity retains the amount equivalent to employees’ salaries, until the successful bidder proves that he/she has paid the employees.”Said Nzabandora. 

Mubera Martin, the Chairman of CESTRAR Trade Union, also said that they welcomed the new law because they have been consulted in drafting it.

He said that this new law has more benefits compared to the repealed one on the side of employee and employer.

“There is an article providing for compensation for unlawful termination of contracts where the party that terminates the contract does not pay the salary of the remaining term in the contract which is different to the Labour Law of 2009 we are satisfied with the release of the law and we can not wait for its its implementing orders.” Reiterated Mubera.

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