Myanmar is a Southeast Asian country to the east of India and Bangladesh and West of Thailand and Vietnam. It is an emerging economy that has been on the path of liberalization since 2011 to mobilize trading activities by removing bottlenecks to investment. Increase in agricultural exports, industrial expansion due to the constant public and private ventures, and a boost to telecommunication and tourism industry has meant that all the three major sectors of Myanmar’s economy are on the track of high growth. The Investment Law passed in 2016 has eased the flow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country.
Currency: Burmese Kyat
Principal language: Burmese
Government: Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic
Capital City: Naypyidaw
Major Cities: Yangon, Mandalay
The employment contracts in Myanmar must be in writing and drafted in the Burmese language. The duration of contracts can be for a fixed or indefinite term. Though, ever since the government made it mandatory for the contracts to follow a specified format, employers are required to incorporate a fixed-term clause in them. The contracts also contain employees’ compensation, benefits, and termination clauses.
Probation is allowed for 3 months with payment of at least 75% of the basic salary. The employment contract needs to be approved by a Township Labor Office (TLO) within 30 days of an employee’s commencement of work.
An employee is expected to work full time with a regular schedule of 8 hours per day or 44 hours during a week. Employees are supposed to work for more than 48 hours during a week without payment of overtime.
Remuneration for overtime hours is at double the normal rate.
In Myanmar, the government announces the following public holidays which include a leave of 10 days to celebrate Myanmar New Year:
- Jan. 4: Independence Day
- Feb. 12: Union Day
- March 2: Peasants' Day
- Full Moon Day of Tabaung
- March 27: Armed Forces Day
- April 12-21: Maha Thingyan (Water Festival) long holidays
- May 1: May Day
- Full Moon Day of Kason
- July 19: Martyr's Day
- Full Moon Day of Waso (Beginning of Buddhist Lent)
- Full Moon Day of Thadingyut (End of Buddhist Lent)
- Full Moon of Tazaungmone
- National Day
- Dec. 25: Christmas Day
Employees who have completed 1 or more years of service with an employer are entitled to a paid annual leave of 10 days.
Employers pay only a basic salary for 6 days of casual leave every year. Casual leaves are accrued, and employees can take only 3 days’ leave at once.
Employees get 30 days of paid medical leave every year.
Female employees are eligible for a minimum 6 weeks of leave before childbirth and 8 weeks after delivery. Therefore, their total entitlement for maternity leave is at least 14 weeks.
Employees are eligible for a religious leave of 30 days after completing 3 years’ of employment in a company.
Following the enactment of the Social Security Law (2012), Myanmar enforced a Social Security Fund for employees in 2014. The law provides benefits for sickness, death, maternity, employment injury, disability, and superannuation. The Social Security Act enables employees to claim a part of their medical expenses from the Social Security Board.
Injury Fund, Health and Social Care Fund, and Family Assistance Fund have also been established for invalidity, superannuation, survivors, unemployment, and other social security benefits (such as housing plan) are still pending. Employers need to bear 3% of the contributions to these funds while employees need to contribute 2%. The total 5% contribution is up to a prescribed ceiling (currently 300,000 kyats per month).
It is not mandatory for employers to contribute to an employee pension fund.
It is mandatory for employers in Myanmar to take adequate health insurance coverage for their employees. As the law makes it mandatory for employers to pay compensation to employees suffering from a work-related disease or injury, and for this purpose they need to take sufficient coverage to provide for the medical expenses of employees.
Employees who have completed 180 months of contributions to the Health and Social Care Fund are entitled to medical treatment. Employees who get coverage under the Social Security Law of 2012 get the benefit of getting treatment at government hospitals. Other employees get the medical benefit only under the laws that mandate workers’ compensation. Usually, employers provide medical insurance and allowances to their employees as part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility as well as employee retention.
How GPS can Help
With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into Myanmar and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in Myanmar.
- Your candidate is hired via our Myanmar PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
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Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Learn more about our end-to-end international expansion services.