Annual Leave and Holidays

This page was last updated on: 2021-01-12

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

The Labour Code provides for annual leave to all workers on completion of one year of service. A fulltime worker is entitled to 18 working days of paid annual leave (one and a half working day for one month of service). If a worker works less than 45 hours a week, his annual leave is determined on the pro-rata basis. A Young worker, under 18 year of age, is entitled to two working days per month (24 working days per year) of annual leave.

Annual leave also increases with the length of service. The increase in annual leave is one day of extra leave for every 3 years of continuous service. Annual leave may not exceed 21 working days in any case.

Worker can enjoy his annual leave within two years of its qualification. Payment in lieu of annual leave is prohibited except in the case of contract termination or expiry before the worker benefited from his annual leave. The payment for annual leave is based either on worker's average actual earnings inclusive of all the benefits he/she is entitled, during the year prior to taking leave.

Public holidays are not part of the annual leave. A compensatory leave is granted if a public holiday falls during annual leave or a worker has to work during annual leave. The days of incidental leave may be deducted from annual leave upon mutual consensus between the worker and the employer.

Source: Articles 53-58 of the Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (aka Labour Code)

Pay on Public Holidays

Workers are entitled to fully paid holidays during Festival (public and religious) holidays. These holidays, determined under the Presidential Order, are usually 11 in number. 

Public holidays includes; New Year’s Day (January 01), Day after the New Year's Day (January 02), National Heroes' Day (February 01), Good Friday (March 29), Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day (April 07), Labour Day (May 01), Rwandan Independence Day (July 01), Rwandan Liberation Day (July 04), Umuganura Day (first Friday of August) Eid-el-Fitr, Assumption Day (August 15), Eid-al-Adha, Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26).

Dates of Muslim festivals are subject to sighting of moon and thus are liable to change. If a public holiday falls on a non-working day, the next or previous working day may be appointed as a public holiday.

Except the public holiday on 7th April (Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day), if an official holiday falls on the weekend, the following working day is declared an official holiday. If two consecutive official holidays fall on a day of weekend, the two official holidays are compensated in giving holiday on the one working day that follows. In case of coincidence of two official holidays, the following working day is an official holiday.

Source: Article 59 of the Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (aka Labour Code); Presidential Order N°42/03 of 30/06/2015 Determining Official Holidays

Weekly Rest Days

Workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week. Labour Code requires that weekly rest day, in principle, should be Sunday for all employees. Weekly rest should be granted at the same time for all the workers in the enterprise, if possible.

No provision could be located in law regarding daily rest period and rest breaks. However, for women and children, daily rest period is 12 consecutive hours.

Source: Article 5 & 52 of the Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (aka Labour Code)

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (Labour Code) / Itegeko rigenga umurimo mu Rwanda, 2009
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