Nepal, Mauritius ink labour pact

Kathmandu, June 11

Nepal has signed a labour agreement with Mauritius to diversify the labour destination of migrant workers.

Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista and Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, minister for Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training of Mauritius inked the bilateral labour agreement in Geneva, Switzerland, today on the sidelines of the 100th anniversary celebrations of International Labour Organisation, in the presence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

As per the agreement, Nepali migrants will now be able to seek employment in hotels and manufacturing sector in Mauritius — the first African country with which Nepal has a labour pact.

Mahesh Prasad Dahal, secretary at the labour ministry, informed via telephone from Geneva that both the countries are committed to employ workers in accordance to the principles of transparency, ethical recruitment, fairness and mutual benefit.

As per the pact, all the costs and fees for recruitment shall be borne by the employer, including the fees paid to the recruitment agencies in Nepal.

“The government of Mauritius has assured that the costs for, including but not limited to, travel expenses, insurance, medical expenses, work permit/labour card fees, service fees paid to the Nepali recruitment agency and other processes related to the recruitment of the worker in Mauritius will be borne by the employer.

Moreover, both the countries are committed to control and regulate costs related to recruitment and employment of workers, and take effective legal measures when workers are charged beyond what is legally stipulated by the parties.

As per Dahal, both the countries shall cooperate to address issues of irregular and/or illegal recruitment of workers as well as matters relating to trafficking and forced labour.

Workers shall have the ability to change jobs legally in case the employer does not abide by the contractual obligations or a business shuts down. In such cases, the worker shall have the right to return to Nepal if he or she so desires and the employer will have to bear all associated costs.

The agreement also has provisions for proper monitoring of timely payment of wages and other benefits.

Likewise, the employer will have to bear the cost of expeditious repatriation of the remains of workers in case of death along with timely settlement of salary, allowances, overtime and other belongings.

Also, Joint Working Group will be set up to ensure proper implementation of the pact and to determine other key items associated with the workers’ recruitment, employment and repatriation, including mutual skills recognition, insurance coverage amount, etcetera. Medical treatment and insurance for workplace injury shall be provided as per the laws of Mauritius.

Other provisions

  • Nepali workers will be paid no less than the minimum wage provided to a Mauritian national, along with equal and fair treatment regarding overtime, working conditions and access to justice
  • Employer shall provide workers decent accommodation with basic amenities that meet minimum standards on safety and health
  • Employer shall arrange free transport to and from the workers’ residence to their workplace
  • If a case is filed at court, worker shall have free legal representation and translation services. Also, worker shall have access to temporary work visa till final verdict
  • Passport and other identification documents shall be with the worker at all times