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Rwanda Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 16, 2024.

Public Holidays in Rwanda for 2024

Date Holiday
January 1 & 2 New Year
February 1 National Heroes Day
March 29 Good Friday
April 1 Easter Monday
April 7 Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day
April 10 Eid al-Fitr
May 1 Worker’s Day
Jun 16 & 17 Eid al-Adha
July 1 Independence Day
July 4 Liberation Day
August 2 Umuganura
August 15 Assumption Day
December 25 Christmas
December 26 Boxing Day

Public holidays are not included and are independent from vacation (annual leave) entitlements.


  • Vacation/Annual Paid Leave

Except for more favorable provisions from collective conventions between employer and employee or individual employment contract, every worker is entitled to a paid leave at the employer’s expenses, based on one and a half working days per month of effective continued service. Any employee who has completed a one-year effective service duration has the right to annual leave.

When the number of leave days is not a whole number, the duration of the leave is rounded up to the immediately superior whole number. In positions where work is not regularly distributed all over the year, the service continuity condition is considered as satisfied whenever the employee has effected on average twenty-one days’ work per month.

The duration so fixed is to be increased according to the length of service in the company, based on one working day per three years of service.

Less than sixteen years old employee is entitled to a two working days’ leave per month of continued work.

The employer must pay the employee, during his/her leave period, an allocation equal to the average of salaries, bonuses, advantages of any kind received by the employee for the last twelve months before he goes on leave, excluding allowances for expenses’ reimbursement; and that salary can not, in any case, be inferior to the employee’s activity salary.

This allocation is to be paid to the employee before his/her departure for leave.

  • Rollovers and payout of unused hours

  • Use-it-or-lose-it policy

The leave period can not be delayed or anticipated by the employer for more than three months.

When employee and employer so convene, the leave period may be postponed. 

  • PTO payout at the termination

In case of contract breach or expire before the employee has been entitled to his/her leave, a compensation indemnity to be calculated based on rights

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Leave due to a Pregnancy-Related Illness, Leave in case of the Death of Mother

Maternity Leave

For delivery purposes, a salaried woman has the right to suspend her work during twelve consecutive weeks, of which two are obligatory before the presumed date of delivery and six weeks obligatory after delivery.

The employer should not give a salaried woman notice of termination, which is included in her delivery leave.

A pregnant woman or a woman with a breastfeeding baby cannot be forced to continue to carry out tasks requiring excessive force or that are dangerous or inconvenient for their condition and health.

During fifteen months starting from the birth of her child, every salaried woman is entitled to two rest periods of half an hour per day, to allow her to breastfeed.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 4 working days of paid leave in case of the delivery of their wives.

Leave due to a Pregnancy-Related Illness

In case a woman is absent from work and stays away for a longer period following an illness certified by a doctor as resulting from pregnancy or delivery and which causes her to be unable to resume work, her employer can not terminate their contract before the expiry of six months.

Leave in case of the Death of Mother

Additional leave of twenty (20) calendar days in addition to incidental leaves shall be granted to the father of the child when the child’s mother dies in childbirth, leaving behind her baby.

Sick Leave

Short-Term Sick Leave

A competent authority may grant to a public servant a short-term sick leave not exceeding fifteen (15) days for reasons of sickness ascertained by a recognized medical doctor.

Long-Term Sick Leave

An employee is entitled to sick leave of up to 6 months if certified by the doctor. The employer may require the worker to submit a certificate signed by three recognized medical doctors if the illness goes beyond 15 days. The employer is not obliged to pay the worker who is absent for more than 2 days without providing a medical certificate. Of the maximum of 6 months of sick leave, the first three months are paid while the last three months are unpaid.

Jury Duty Leave and Voting Leave

Authorized absence for one day maximum not deducted from annual leave may be granted to a public servant by his/her immediate supervisor, for duly justified reasons.

Bereavement Leave

  • in case of death of his/her spouse: six (6) working days;
  • in case of death of the first-degree ascendant: three (3) working days;
  • in case of death of the employee’s child in the direct line in the first degree or adoptive child: four (4) working days;
  • in case of death of the employee’s brother or sister in the direct line in the first degree: two (2) working days;
  • in case of death of the employee’s father-in-law or mother-in-law: two (2) working days.

Military Leave

  • Not specified by law.

Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Rwanda Leave Laws.

To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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