Rivermate | Nepal flag


Discover everything you need to know about Nepal

Hire in Nepal at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Nepal

Nepalese Rupee
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
48 hours/week

Overview in Nepal

Read more

Nepal, nestled within the Himalayas, hosts eight of the world's highest peaks, including Mount Everest. It features diverse ecosystems from the Terai plains to rugged Himalayan heights, supporting unique wildlife like the Bengal tiger and one-horned rhinoceros. Historically, the Kathmandu Valley, a UNESCO site, traces its roots to ancient civilizations and was unified in the 18th century under the Shah dynasty. Nepal transitioned to a federal democratic republic in 2008 after a Maoist insurgency.

The country, with a population of 30 million, is culturally rich, housing over 120 ethnic groups. Despite being underdeveloped, Nepal has progressed in reducing poverty, primarily through agriculture, which remains a significant economic sector. Tourism also plays a crucial role due to Nepal's natural and cultural heritage. Challenges persist in health, literacy, and gender equality, with a notable disparity in labor force participation between men and women.

Nepal's economy benefits from remittances from abroad, while sectors like hydropower and ICT are emerging as significant growth areas. The workforce is largely unskilled or semi-skilled, with education not aligning with market needs, highlighting a skills gap. Nepali workplace culture values indirect communication and strong hierarchical structures, with a need for flexibility and understanding of family-centric social norms.

Overall, while facing infrastructural and political challenges, Nepal's diverse economy—from agriculture to emerging ICT and hydropower sectors—offers potential for future development and job creation.

Taxes in Nepal

Read more
  • Social Security Fund (SSF) Contributions: Employers in Nepal must contribute 20% of an employee's basic salary to the SSF, which covers medical treatment, accident insurance, maternity benefits, dependent benefits, and old-age pensions. Employees contribute 11% of their basic salary to the SSF.

  • Voluntary Contributions and Levies: Employers can voluntarily establish a Provident Fund with matching contributions and may be subject to a skills development levy depending on their size.

  • Tax Compliance: Employers need to register with the SSF, obtain a registration number, and adhere to filing deadlines to avoid penalties. They must also withhold income tax based on current tax brackets and rates provided by the Inland Revenue Department of Nepal (IRD).

  • VAT Regulations: The standard VAT rate in Nepal is 13%. Businesses exceeding NPR 2 million in annual taxable turnover must register for VAT. VAT on services is calculated by applying 13% to the total sales value, offset by input VAT credits.

  • Special Tax Provisions: Services imported into Nepal are subject to VAT, and non-resident businesses providing digital services may need to register for VAT if their turnover exceeds a certain threshold.

  • Tax Incentives: Nepal offers various tax incentives including depreciation allowances, loss carryforwards, and exemptions for specific sectors and locations. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and underdeveloped areas enjoy significant tax breaks to encourage investment.

  • Sector-Specific Incentives: Reduced corporate income tax rates and exemptions are available for manufacturing industries, export-oriented industries, and companies involved in hydropower and infrastructure development.

  • Additional Deductions: Businesses can claim deductions for R&D expenses, training expenses, and investments in shares of certain listed companies.

Leave in Nepal

Read more

Nepal's labor laws provide various types of leave for employees, each with specific entitlements and conditions:

  • Home Leave: Employees earn one day of home leave for every 20 working days after one year of continuous service, which can accumulate up to 90 days. Unused home leave lapses annually.

  • Sick Leave: Employees are entitled to 12 days of sick leave annually at half pay, which can accumulate up to 45 days. Employers may require medical certification for sick leave.

  • Festival Leave: Employees receive paid leave for festivals based on their religion, culture, and tradition, equivalent to their basic monthly salary.

  • Maternity Leave: Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, available before or after delivery.

  • Paternity Leave: Male employees receive 15 days of paid paternity leave.

  • Annual Leave: Employees are entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave per year, with the possibility to accumulate up to 90 days.

  • Bereavement Leave: Employees can take 13 days of paid leave in the event of a family member's death.

  • Compensatory Leave: Employees working on weekly offs are entitled to compensatory leave within 21 days.

These provisions are outlined in the Labor Act 2074 (2017) and Labor Regulations 2075 (2018). Additionally, the text mentions various Nepali and religious holidays, noting that many follow the lunar calendar, affecting their annual dates.

Benefits in Nepal

Read more

In Nepal, labor laws ensure employees receive mandatory benefits including leave, social security contributions, and severance pay. Employees are entitled to annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, and mourning leave. Both employers and employees contribute 10% of the salary to the Social Security Fund, which covers health and accident insurance, among other benefits. Severance pay is also mandated upon employment termination.

Additionally, many companies offer optional benefits to enhance employee packages. These include health and wellness programs, financial benefits like meal and transportation allowances, work-life balance perks such as flexible work arrangements, and other benefits like continuing education opportunities and life insurance. While the Social Security Fund provides basic health coverage, many employers offer private health insurance for broader coverage. The retirement system includes the mandatory Employees Provident Fund and optional employer-sponsored plans, with potential future reforms to introduce a more comprehensive pension scheme.

Workers Rights in Nepal

Read more

The Labour Act 2074 (2017) of Nepal governs employment termination, specifying lawful dismissal grounds, notice requirements, and severance pay. Lawful dismissal can occur due to mutual consent, contract completion, unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, redundancy, and retirement. Notice periods vary based on employment duration, ranging from one day to 30 days, except in cases of misconduct. Severance pay is not universally mandatory but is typical in redundancy and compulsory retirement situations.

Employers must provide written termination reasons and employees can contest unlawful dismissals within 45 days. Nepal's anti-discrimination laws cover various characteristics, including caste, gender, religion, disability, and HIV/AIDS status, but lack explicit protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Victims of discrimination can seek redress through criminal complaints, civil court cases, or bodies like the National Human Rights Commission and the National Dalit Commission.

Employers are responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination policies, ensuring fair hiring practices, equal pay, and a non-hostile work environment. They must also accommodate disabilities and conduct regular anti-discrimination training. The Labor Act sets a 48-hour workweek, mandates overtime compensation, and provides leave entitlements including annual, casual, sick, maternity, and paternity leave.

Workplace safety is emphasized, requiring employers to maintain a safe environment, identify hazards, form safety committees, provide safety training, and supply personal protective equipment. Employees have rights to refuse unsafe work, report safety concerns, and participate in safety committees. The Department of Labor enforces these regulations, with ongoing development needed in the occupational health and safety sector.

Agreements in Nepal

Read more

The Labor Act of 2017 in Nepal outlines various types of employment agreements, including regular, work-based, time-bound, casual, and part-time employment, each with specific characteristics and conditions. The Act also addresses probationary periods, allowing a maximum of six months for employers to assess employee suitability, with the right to terminate employment during this period without notice. Employment contracts must detail job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and working conditions, and may include clauses for confidentiality and non-compete, which protect the employer's business interests but must be reasonable in scope and duration to be enforceable. These agreements and clauses form the legal framework governing employer-employee relationships, ensuring both parties understand their rights and obligations.

Remote Work in Nepal

Read more

Remote work in Nepal is still evolving, with several challenges that need addressing for its effective implementation:

  • Legal Regulations: Nepal lacks specific laws for remote work, relying instead on general labor laws like the Factory and Worker Act, 2075 (2018) and the Labor Act, 2068 (2011). These provide a basic framework but do not specifically cater to remote work scenarios, highlighting the need for companies to develop internal policies.

  • Technological Infrastructure: The country faces significant hurdles in digital infrastructure, with issues in internet reliability and cybersecurity. Efforts like the "Digital Nepal Framework" are in place to enhance connectivity, but much progress is needed.

  • Employer Responsibilities: In the absence of specific remote work regulations, employers must establish comprehensive remote work policies covering eligibility, equipment provision, working hours, communication, performance management, and health and safety.

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: The labor market is adapting with flexible work options like part-time work, flexitime, and job sharing, although specific legal provisions for these are also lacking.

  • Data Protection and Privacy: With the rise of remote work, there is an urgent need for robust data security measures. Employers must ensure secure data handling and provide necessary tools like VPNs, while employees need training on cybersecurity best practices.

Overall, while remote work is gaining interest in Nepal, both legal frameworks and technological infrastructure require significant enhancement to support this modern working style effectively.

Working Hours in Nepal

Read more
  • Daily Work Hours: Employees in Nepal should not work more than 8 hours per day.
  • Weekly Work Hours: The maximum workweek is limited to 48 hours.
  • Overtime: Employees cannot work more than 24 hours of overtime per week, and not more than 4 hours per day. In emergencies, with labor office approval, these limits can be exceeded.
  • Overtime Compensation: Overtime must be paid at 1.5 times the basic salary, except for managerial employees who may have different arrangements.
  • Minors: Those under 18 cannot work more than 6 hours a day or 36 hours a week and are prohibited from working overtime.
  • Breaks: Employees must receive a 30-minute break every 5 hours; minors every 3 hours. Pregnant women or new mothers get an additional 30-minute break.
  • Weekly Rest: All workers are entitled to one day off per week.
  • Night Shifts: Defined as work between 10 pm and 8 am, cannot exceed 7 hours, with a wage premium of double the regular rate.
  • Weekend Work: Employees must receive a rest day each week, typically Saturday or Sunday. Work on these days requires compensation of a substitute rest day or double wages.

For specific situations, variations may apply based on employment contracts, industry standards, or collective bargaining agreements. Legal advice or consultation with the Department of Labor is recommended for disputes or clarifications.

Salary in Nepal

Read more

Understanding competitive salaries in Nepal is essential for attracting and retaining talent. The average monthly salary is NPR 80,985, with variations across regions and industries. Higher wages are typical in Kathmandu, IT, finance, and engineering sectors. Experience, skills, and qualifications also play crucial roles in determining salaries.

Employer size and reputation influence compensation, with larger and established companies generally offering better packages. Nepal's minimum wage as of July 18, 2023, is NPR 17,300, set under the Labor Act, which also mandates compliance and outlines penalties for violations.

Additional compensation includes mandatory bonuses, festival allowances, and other benefits like transportation, meal, housing, mobile phone, and education allowances. These vary by company and position.

Nepal follows a monthly payroll cycle, with salaries paid at month-end. Salary packages include basic pay and a dearness allowance for inflation. Employers must provide payslips, maintain payroll records for three years, and handle tax and social security deductions.

Termination in Nepal

Read more

In Nepal, the Labor Act of 2017 and its Regulations of 2018 outline the legal framework for employment termination, notice periods, and severance pay. Employers must provide notice ranging from 15 days to 3 months depending on the employee's tenure, and employees must do the same when resigning. Either party can waive the notice period by compensating with equivalent salary. Severance pay is mandatory for employees terminated without serious misconduct or due to retrenchment, calculated based on the length of service, with specific exceptions such as eligibility for unemployment allowance or termination for serious misconduct. Various types of termination include voluntary resignation and involuntary termination, with the latter requiring proper documentation and grounds such as poor performance or economic reasons. Employees can contest unfair terminations through the Labour Office or Labour Court.

Freelancing in Nepal

Read more

In Nepal, distinguishing between an employee and a contractor is essential due to its implications on taxes, benefits, and legal protections. The Labor Act 2074 (B.S.) outlines factors such as control, financial arrangements, benefits, and integration into the business to differentiate between the two. Misclassification can lead to legal and financial consequences for employers and loss of benefits for workers.

Contract structures for independent contractors should clearly define the scope of work, deliverables, payment terms, and confidentiality, with specific clauses for termination. Effective negotiation practices include understanding market rates, defining the scope of work, and setting clear payment terms.

Industries like IT, creative sectors, and consulting frequently use independent contractors in Nepal. Intellectual property rights are crucial, with creators holding default copyright unless a contract states otherwise. Freelancers can protect their IP by registering copyrights and using NDAs.

Freelancers must handle their tax obligations, including registering for a Taxpayer Identification Number and filing annual returns. They can also opt into social security contributions and purchase private health and life insurance to secure additional benefits.

Health & Safety in Nepal

Read more
  • Nepal's Labor Act, 2074 (2017) and Labor Rules, 2075 (2018) are key legislations governing occupational health and safety (OHS), detailing employer responsibilities, worker rights, and specific industry regulations.
  • Employer Responsibilities: Include providing a safe work environment, safety training, forming health and safety committees in larger workplaces, and compensating for occupational diseases and injuries.
  • Worker Rights and Responsibilities: Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work, participate in safety committees, report hazards, and must comply with safety regulations.
  • Enforcement and Penalties: Labor Inspectors enforce the laws, with penalties for non-compliance including fines and imprisonment.
  • Specific Industries and Hazards: Additional regulations exist for high-risk industries like construction and those involving hazardous chemicals.
  • Challenges: Enforcement is particularly challenging in informal sectors and small enterprises, with ongoing efforts to improve law enforcement, inspection capabilities, and awareness.
  • Government OHS Agencies: The Department of Labour and Occupational Safety (DOLOS) leads in formulating OHS policies, running educational campaigns, and supporting industries in OHS implementation.
  • Key OHS Standards: Include hazard identification, risk assessment, prevention and control measures, emergency preparedness, and worker participation in safety decisions.
  • Workplace Inspection Procedures: Inspections involve planning, notification, walkthroughs, and reporting, with follow-up actions to ensure compliance.
  • Investigation of Workplace Accidents: DOLOS investigates severe workplace accidents to determine causes and preventive measures.
  • Compensation for Workplace Accidents: Employers must compensate workers for injuries or illnesses related to work, with provisions for medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits.

Dispute Resolution in Nepal

Read more

Labor courts in Nepal handle disputes related to employment, including issues like wages, wrongful dismissal, and discrimination, under the Labor Act, 2074 (2017). The system comprises District Labor Courts, High Labor Courts, and the Supreme Court. Arbitration panels offer an alternative dispute resolution method, governed by the Arbitration Act, 2055 (1999), focusing on flexibility and less formality.

Compliance audits and inspections are crucial for ensuring adherence to legal and regulatory standards, involving labor, social security, environmental, and tax regulations. These are conducted by government inspectors or external auditors, following a structured process that includes notification, document review, on-site inspections, reporting, and corrective actions.

Whistleblowers in Nepal can report violations to government agencies, through internal procedures, NGOs, or the media, although protections are primarily for public sector corruption, with limited scope and enforcement in the private sector.

Nepal has ratified several International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, aiming to integrate these standards into national law through legislation like the Labour Act of 2017 and the Trade Union Act of 1992. Despite progress, challenges in enforcement, the informal sector, and discrimination remain significant. Efforts to improve compliance and align domestic laws with international standards continue, with ongoing legal reforms and collaborations with international bodies.

Cultural Considerations in Nepal

Read more

In Nepal, effective communication in professional settings is influenced by cultural norms that emphasize indirectness, formality, and non-verbal cues. Feedback is often indirect to avoid confrontation, maintaining harmony within the collectivistic culture. Formality is observed, especially in addressing superiors with titles and using formal language. Non-verbal communication, such as maintaining eye contact and avoiding interruptions, is crucial for showing respect.

Negotiation in Nepal prioritizes relationship building and indirect communication, with a significant emphasis on patience and non-verbal cues to maintain harmony and respect. Bargaining is common but should be conducted respectfully. Decision-making in Nepali businesses typically follows a top-down approach, respecting hierarchical structures, which can sometimes slow decision-making and limit innovation.

Nepal's numerous holidays, including national and regional observances, significantly impact business operations. Employers must be aware of these holidays, as they often lead to closures or reduced business hours, requiring careful planning and communication to manage schedules and maintain productivity effectively.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.