Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Rwandan Franc
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked nation in East Africa's Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region meets East Africa. Kigali is the capital of Rwanda, one of the smallest countries on the African continent. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is located a few degrees south of the Equator. Its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna in the east, with numerous lakes throughout the region, earning it the nickname "land of thousand hills." The climate ranges from temperate to subtropical, with two rainy and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda is the most densely populated mainland African nation, with a population of over 12.6 million people living on 26,338 km2 of land. The population is mostly rural and young. Rwandans are all Banyarwanda, a single cultural and linguistic community. Within this group, however, there are three subgroups: Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people who are also thought to be Rwanda's first inhabitants. Scholars disagree about the Hutu and Tutsi's roots and distinctions; some claim the differences stem from former social castes within a single people, while others believe the Hutu and Tutsi arrived in the country separately and from different places. The country's most common religion is Christianity, and the primary language is Kinyarwanda, which is spoken by the majority of Rwandans. English and French are also official languages. Rwanda's sovereign state is governed by a presidential structure. The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Paul Kagame has been the country's president since 2000. In comparison to neighboring countries, Rwanda has low levels of corruption today, while human rights organizations report repression of opposition groups, harassment, and restrictions on freedom of expression. Since precolonial times, the country has been ruled by a strict administrative hierarchy; the country is divided into five provinces by boundaries drawn in 2006. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world with a female majority in the national legislature, with Bolivia and Cuba being the other two. In the Stone and Iron Ages, hunter-gatherers settled the region, followed by Bantu peoples later. Clans formed first, followed by kingdoms as the population grew. From the mid-eighteenth century, the Kingdom of Rwanda ruled, with Tutsi kings defeating others militarily, consolidating influence, and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Rwanda was colonized by Germany in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium in 1916 during World War I, both of which ruled by their kings and maintained a pro-Tutsi stance. In 1959, the Hutu population revolted. They massacred a large number of Tutsis before establishing an independent Hutu-led republic in 1962.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

After a year of employment, employees are entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave. Employees under the age of 18 are entitled to 24 paid vacation days per year. In addition, paid leave entitlements for adult employees rise with duration of service. For every three years of service, an additional day of leave is granted, up to a maximum of 21 earned paid annual leave days each year.

Public holidays

There are many holidaysNew Year’s DayNew Year’s HolidayNational Heroes DayTutsi Genocide Memorial DayGood FridayEaster MondayLabor DayEid-al FitrIndependence DayLiberation DayEid-al AdhaUmuganuraAssumption DayChristmas DayBoxing Day

Sick days

Employees can take up to 15 days of sick leave per year if they provide a medical certificate. A committee of three authorized medical practitioners determines long-term illness, which is allowed for no more than three months with pay and three months without pay.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, which begins two weeks prior to the scheduled birth date and can be extended by a month if the mother or the child experience problems. Before beginning maternity leave, a certificate of delivery must be provided.

Paternity leave

Rwanda does not have a statutory paternity leave.

Parental leave

Apart from maternity leave, there are no other provisions in the Rwandan law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Unless there is mutual permission, termination must be in writing. If an employee is terminated for egregious misconduct, he or she must be told within 48 hours after the occurrence of evidence of the same.

Unlawful termination can result in damages ranging from three to six months' salary for the injured person, but can reach nine months' compensation if the employment relationship lasted at least ten years.

Discipline may take the form of an oral warning, a written warning, a brief suspension, or termination.

Notice period

Contracts with an indefinite duration may be terminated for cause, and written notice should be provided to the employee, except in the case of serious misconduct. The following are the notice requirements. A 15-day notice period is required for employees with less than one year of service. A one-month notice period is required for service of more than one year.

Severance pay

After one year of service, employees are generally entitled to severance pay. Severance pay is paid in the following manner. Severance pay is equivalent to one month's salary for employees with less than five years of service. Severance pay for five to ten years of service is equivalent to two months' salary. Severance pay for 10-15 years of service is equivalent to three months' salary. Severance pay for 15-20 years of service is equivalent to four months' salary. Severance pay for 20-25 years of service is equivalent to five months' salary. Severance pay is equivalent to six months' salary for employees with more than 25 years of service.

Probation period

Six-month probationary periods are permitted. During the probationary period, no notice of termination is required.

07. Working hours


There is a cap on the number of hours employees can work each week and a set working day of seven and a half hours, six days per week.


Overtime pay is set in the employment contract.

08. Minimum wage


Rwanda's compensation regulations include industry-specific minimum salaries. Individuals working in the tea business, for example, earn $0.83 a day, while workers in the construction industry earn anywhere from $2.50 to $8.30 per day.

09. Employee benefits


Rwanda features a public/private healthcare system supported by government funds, payroll taxes, and out-of-pocket expenditures. The vast majority of the population contributes to the Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme, which gives access to all public and non-profit health facilities for a 10% co-pay. Private clinic access is not provided.

Car allowance, loans, housing allowance, and phone allowance are some of the most popular employment perks in Rwanda.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

Ready to get started? Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with all your questions, let's connect.