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I am an undergraduate student. I recently got an internship in a company in Mauritius. I started the internship 3 weeks ago but I have a concern. The company has not created any internship contract/agreement yet. During the interview process, we just verbally informed me that they are going to pay me according to the local standards. When I asked about the contract, they told me that we will do it later. It's been 3 weeks now and the company hasn't shown any proactivity regarding creating a contract.

My plan is now creating the contract myself, leaving a blank space where the company can input the amount they are going to pay me. Then, I will come to my manager and tell him to read it, escalate it to the concerned parties in HR, fill the blank and sign if the company agrees. Is it my right to create such contract?

  • It is never forbidden to ask, you just might not get what you're asking for. But, you can't get if you don't ask. – ohwilleke Feb 22 '18 at 17:13
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In general, "a signed piece of paper" is not "a contract". It may be a record of a contract, but the contract itself is the meeting of minds where an agreement is reached and doesn't depend on the existence of the piece of paper. (Depending on the jurisdiction, some sorts of contract are required to be in writing, but this doesn't usually apply to employment contracts; it's usually contracts involving land.)

What is far more worrying to me is that you don't know how much they are going to pay you. That suggests there hasn't been a meeting of minds, and there is no contract. (It might be that "the going rate" is good enough to form a contract - to determine that would require advice from a local lawyer.)

I suggest you don't write up a formal agreement, but nag your boss to decide how much they are actually going to pay you.

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As @Martin Bonner has already answered, a "signed piece of paper" would merely be an evidentiary record of any contract into which you have already entered. Should you ever need to prove the terms that have been agreed, such a document would be useful—but is not strictly necessary.

Whether clear enough terms (for a contract to exist) have actually been agreed does, as Martin says, depend on exactly what was said and how such words would be interpreted within the local context. However, even if a rate of pay was not clearly specified, Remuneration Orders have been made in respect of many sectors and these may impose a minimum wage on the work that you are undertaking. In any event, it would be sensible to confirm how much you are to be paid (not least because you might decide it is insufficient recompense for your time and effort).

It's also worth noting that Section 8(1) of Employment Rights Act 2008 requires employers to give certain employees a written statement of their particulars of employment:

Every employer shall provide to every worker engaged for more than 30 consecutive working days a written statement of particulars of employment in the form specified in the Second Schedule, or in such form, in French or Creole, as may be prescribed, within 14 days of the completion of 30 consecutive working days' service.

Since you have only been working there for 3 weeks, you have not yet completed "30 consecutive working days' service" (whatever that means—"working day" is unfortunately not defined in the Act) and therefore this legal duty to provide you with a written statement of the particulars of your employment within 14 days of such completion has not yet arisen (though there is not, of course, anything stopping them from providing you with such a statement before the legal duty is imposed).

I am not familiar with Mauritius employment norms, but perhaps the fact that the law allows for such statements to not be provided to employees until they have been engaged for 30 consecutive working days is indicative of such delay being common practice? In which case, you might (as a practical point) find that any demands you make for a written statement prior to that time are received badly and cause friction in your relationship with your employer. As @Greendrake has suggested, you may wish to ask about these (non-legal) aspects on The Workplace.

Finally, it's worth considering why you want this document at this time. If it is to obtain clarity over your rate of pay, then merely seeking verbal confirmation may suffice? If it is to obtain evidence of the terms of your employment to protect against the possibility that your employer is acting dishonestly and does not intend to pay you at all, then beware that merely having the piece of paper is unlikely to have much impact: you will probably find yourself having to accept your lot or take them to court irrespective of whether they put anything in writing.

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Legally, yes. You are always allowed to offer contracts.

However, your plan might have adverse effects for reasons not related to the legal aspects of it. Those would be better asked on workplace.stackexchange.com.

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