Skip to content

Hiring in Myanmar

Myanmar, officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Naypyidaw is the capital and Yangon is the largest city of Myanmar. Burmese if the official language and Kyat is the official currency. Agriculture is the largest sector of Myanmar. Myanmar is rich in precious stones such as rubies, sapphires and pearls. Myanmar’s main trading partners are China, India, Hong Kong, Japan, and Germany. Global PEO or Employer of Record (EOR) play a pivotal role in providing companies with services related to hiring employees, and ensuring compliance with Myanmar’s legal and tax regulations. Labor Code stipulates that employees are entitled to 10 days of annual leave. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income; non-residents are taxed on Myanmar-source income only. Global PEO’s or Employer of Record (EOR) facilitate companies by ensuring compliance with Myanmar’s Labor Code and tax laws.

statutory labor requirements

Probation Period

  • Under Myanmar law the maximum statutory probation period shall not exceed three months and is not extendable.

Annual Leave

  • According to the Leave and Holidays Act of 1951 (“Leave and Holidays Act”), an employee is entitled to ten working days of earned leave (annual leave) per year once he/she has completed 12 months of continuous service for the same employer.

Public Holidays

  1. Independence Day (4th January)
  2. Union Day (12th February)
  3. Peasants' Day (2nd March)
  4. Full Moon Day of Tabaung (8th March)
  5. Armed Forces Day (27th March)
  6. Thingyan Eve
  7. Thingyan
  8. Labor Day (1st May)
  9. Vesak
  10. Burmese Martyrs' Day (19th July)
  11. Beginning of Vassa (3rd August)
  12. Thadingyut Festival
  13. Tazaungdaing festival
  14. National Day in Myanmar
  15. Christmas Day (25th December)

Maternity Leave

  • All female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (six weeks before the birth of the child and eight weeks after the birth, with an extra four weeks in case of twins) for each child. 
  • In the case of a miscarriage, a female employee is allowed to take up to six weeks of paid leave.

Paternity Leave

  • A male employee covered under the Social Security Law (2012) is entitled to 15 days of paid paternity leave

Sick Leave

  • Myanmar law provides that employees are only entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave per contractual year after the completion of the first six months of continuous service. 
  • If an employee wishes to take sick leave during probation this will generally be unpaid.

Work Hours

  • Depending on the industry, there are a maximum number of hours that employees can work before they are required to be paid overtime. 
  • For office settings, the maximum number of hours per week is 44, with a maximum of eight hours per day.

Overtime

  • Generally, overtime pay is required for work in excess of normal office working hours (exceeding an eight-hour day) and any work on public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • According to the Shops and Establishments Act of 19516 (the “Relevant Labor Legislation”), overtime “shall be calculated at the rate of double the ordinary rate of wages payable to him”
  • Overtime is usually limited to a maximum of 12 hours per week, or up to 16 hours in special cases.

Notice Period

  • Under the prescribed employment contract template, the employee shall give the employer a minimum of 1 months' notice prior to resignation.
  • The employer may terminate an employee by giving 1 months' notice and severance payment (according to statutory requirement), provided the employee is not terminated pursuant to misconduct or contravention of any laws or regulations.

Severance

  • Employees terminated by notice or with payment in lieu of notice shall be entitled to severance payment as follows:
    • If term of employment is less than 6 months, then no severance payment
    • If term of employment is 6 months to 1 year, then 0.5 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 1 to 2 years, then 1 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 2 to 3 years, then 1.5 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 3 to 4 years, then 3 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 4 to 6 years, then 4 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 6 to 8 years, then 5 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 8 to 10 years, then 6 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 10 to 20 years, then 8 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is 20 to 25 years, then 10 months’ salary
    • If term of employment is more than 25 years, then 13 months’ salary

13th / 14th Month Pay

  • No
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th and 14th month salary.
  • It is however customary for employers to pay employees performance bonuses.
  • Additionally, if there is a bonus that employees have paid for a long time, then they may be liable to pay the bonus.

income tax

  • Resident nationals and foreigners are taxed on their worldwide income under the Myanmar Income Tax Act.
  • Non-resident foreigners are taxed only on income derived from sources within Myanmar.
  • Foreigners working for Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Law (MFIL) or Myanmar Investment Law (MIL) companies may be taxed at the same tax rates as a tax resident, regardless of their period of stay in Myanmar, under the tax incentives that may be granted to the MFIL/MIL companies.
  • No tax is payable if total income under salaries does not exceed 4.8 million Myanmar kyats (MMK) a year.

Type of taxpayer or income

Tax rate

Salaries:

 

Resident foreigners

Progressive rates from 1% to 25%

Non-resident foreigners

Progressive rates from 1% to 25%

Other income:

 

Resident nationals and foreigners

Progressive rates from 1% to 25%

Non-resident foreigners

25%

Non-resident nationals

10%

Capital gains tax:

 

Resident nationals and foreigners

10%

Non-resident foreigners

10%

Rental income

10% on gross

deductible expenses

There are no deductions available for costs related to employment income.

Charitable contributions

  • Donations made to approved charitable organizations or approved government sponsored events are tax deductible, but total donations should not exceed 25% of income.

Life insurance premiums

  • Premiums for life insurance (both of taxpayer and spouse) are deductible.

Social security contribution

  • Social security contributions made by the employee are deductible.

Standard deductions

  • Based on a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, a relief of 20% of the individual’s income is allowed (for Myanmar citizens and resident foreigners in Myanmar). 
  • However, the total of such basic relief should not be more than MMK 10 million of income within an income year.

Personal allowances

  • Allowance in respect of spouse and children of an individual are as follows:
    • MMK 1 million for a single spouse only (provided spouse does not have any assessable income).
    • MMK 500,000 for each child who is under 18 years old and not married.
    • MMK 1 million for each parent staying with the individual.
  • In respect of business income, deductions are allowed for expenditure incurred for the purpose of earning income.

Deductible Expenses

Employment Expenses

  • There are no business deductions allowed for employees, except for a social insurance contribution made by an employee per Social Insurance Law of Mongolia.

Personal Deductions

Charitable contributions
  • Donations made to approved charitable organizations or approved government sponsored events are tax deductible, but total donations should not exceed 25% of income.
Life insurance premiums
  • Premiums for life insurance (both of taxpayer and spouse) are deductible.
Social security contribution
  • Social security contributions made by the employee are deductible.
Standard deductions
  • Based on a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, a relief of 20% of the individual’s income is allowed (for Myanmar citizens and resident foreigners in Myanmar). 
  • However, the total of such basic relief should not be more than MMK 10 million of income within an income year.
Personal allowances
  • Allowance in respect of spouse and children of an individual are as follows:
  • MMK 1 million for a single spouse only (provided spouse does not have any assessable income).
  • MMK 500,000 for each child who is under 18 years old and not married.
  • MMK 1 million for each parent staying with the individual.

Business Deductions

  • In respect of business income, deductions are allowed for expenditure incurred for the purpose of earning income.

immigration

  • Myanmar has introduced a work and stay permit system for foreign employees, particularly in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and under the Myanmar Investment Law 2016. 
  • Expatriate employees under the Myanmar Companies Law who want to live and work in Myanmar must apply for a stay permit based only on an employment contract. 
  • For directors and shareholders, other supporting documents are required to apply for such permit, which has a duration of three months to one year.
  • However, because the Company Registration Certificate is one of the supporting documents required to apply for a stay permit for business executive and employees, in practice, expatriates working in Myanmar before the issuance of such certificate need a Business Visa, which will allow the visa holder to stay in Myanmar for up to 10 weeks.
 

Type of Permit/Visa

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Business Visa

  • 2 passport photos
  • An invitation letter from a local Myanmar registered company that is written on an official company letterhead inviting you to Myanmar to do business
  • A guarantor from the local Myanmar registered company that is inviting you to visit them.
  • Duly filled business visa application form.

10 weeks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • This visa is given to applicants from business organizations which have business establishments in Myanmar or an applicant who intends to establish business in Myanmar.

Stay Permit

  • A recommendation letter from the employer
  • Invitation letter from a Myanmar registered company on its official letterhead
  • Applicant’s CV
  • Authorization letter notarized and legalized by the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate
  • Company documents, including certificate of registration, permit, company affidavit
  • Two recent color photographs
  • Passport valid for at least six months

3 months to

1 year                                                                                                                  

  • Expatriate employees under the Myanmar Companies Law who want to live and work in Myanmar must apply for a stay permit based only on an employment contract.

value added tax

  • Myanmar does not levy a VAT, but a commercial tax is levied as a turnover tax on goods and services
  • The commercial tax rate generally is 5% payable on services, imports, exports and goods manufactured within the country

Commercial Tax Rate

Standard Rate

5%

withholding tax

Dividends

  • No tax is levied on dividends paid to a resident or nonresident

Interest

  • No tax is withheld on interest paid to a resident, but a 15% rate applies on interest paid to a nonresident
  • Registered branches of foreign banks that have nonresident status are exempt from withholding on interest income

Royalties

  • Royalties paid to a resident are subject to a 10% withholding tax; the rate is 15% for royalties paid to a nonresident 

Fees for Technical Services

  • Payments to nonresidents for the procurement of goods and services within Myanmar are subject to a 2.5% withholding tax 

Type of Payment

Residents

Nonresidents

 

Company

Individual

Company 

Individual

Dividends

0%

0%

0%

0%

Interest

0%

0%

0%/15%

15%

Royalties

10%

10%

15%

15%

Technical Service Fee

0%/2%

0%/2%

2.5%

2.5%

termination

  • According to the practices of the Department of Labor, an employee may only be dismissed for reasons specified in the employment contract or work rules.
  • The prescribed employment contract template stipulates: for ordinary misconduct, an employee shall be given a warning for the first and second violation, and upon the third violation, shall sign an undertaking not to violate the employment rules again failing which he or she shall be dismissed without notice and without severance payment. 
  • Should the employee (after providing the undertaking) violate any employment rules within 12 months from the date of the undertaking, he or she can be dismissed without notice and without severance payment. 
  • Employers must take note to pay the employee for work done up till his or her last day of service despite the dismissal. 
  • The employer may terminate an employee by giving 1 months' notice and severance payment (according to statutory requirement), provided the employee is not terminated pursuant to misconduct or contravention of any laws or regulations.

statutory benefits

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Paternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

 payments and invoicing

  • The taxable period of an individual is from 1 April to 31 March. 
  • The income tax period for all taxpayers, including individuals, will be changed to 1 October to 30 September starting from 1 October 2019. 
  • Income earned during the income tax year is assessed to tax in the assessment year, which is the year following the income tax year. 
  • In general, income tax returns must be filed within three months from the end of the income year.  
  • Tax returns for capital gains must be filed within 30 days from the date of disposal of the capital assets. 
  • If a taxpayer discontinues one’s business, returns must be filed within one month from the date of discontinuance of business. 
  • The failure of a taxpayer to file income tax returns, knowing that assessable income has been obtained, is deemed to have ‘fraudulent intention’. 
  • Advance payments are made in quarterly instalments throughout the income tax year based on the estimated total income for the year. 
  • The advance payments and any taxes withheld are creditable against the final tax liability. 
  • The date for settling the final tax liability is within 30 days from the date of notice issued by the IRD.
  • An employer is responsible for deducting income tax due from salaries at the time of payment to employees and must pay the amount within seven days from the date of deduction. 
  • If the employer fails to deduct and pay the tax, the employer is deemed to be a defaulter and held responsible for such payment. 
  • In addition, the employer is also responsible for filing the statement of annual salary within three months after the end of the income year, and failure to file within the stipulated deadline may result in a penalty of 10% of the tax to be deducted on the annual salaries.

ease of doing business

  • The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov, an economist at the Central and Eastern Europe sector of the World Bank Group.
  • Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • According to the World Bank Myanmar ranked 165th in the World in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business.

employee accruals

   
Christmas Bonus%

0%

Christmas Bonus Over Vacations %

0%

Severance per Year %

Employees are entitled to severance pay equal to one month's pay after completion of one year of employment (8.33% of annual salary)

Vacations % Employees are entitled to 10 days of annual leave (2.74% of annual salary)
Notice %

Employees are entitled to a 1 month of notice period for one year of service or more (8.33%)

Christmas Bonus Over Notifications% 0%
Vacations Plus% 0%
Total percentage of Salary (yearly) The total employment accruals as a percentage of salary per anum are equal to 19.4%

 

employer accruals

Additional information (Country Accruals)

   
Maximum social security contribution mmk9000
Social security 3.00%
Maternity 12 weeks
Vacations 6.58%
Description The Social Security Act 2012 requires an employer with more than five workers to provide Social Security Scheme benefits to one’s
workers, such as health and social care insurance as well as insurance against employment-related injuries.
The rates of contribution by employees and employers are 2% and 3% of the total salaries and wages, respectively. The contribution
must be in Myanmar kyats regardless of the currency in which the employee is paid.
With effect from 1 April 2014, the maximum monthly contribution is limited to MMK 9,000 by the employer and MMK 6,000 by the
employee.
Contributions are deductible by the employee for tax purposes. The employer is obligated to withhold the employees’ contributions
from their salaries.

 

Employer Accruals Additional information

    Employment Accruals
Annual Leave According to the Leave and Holidays Act of 1951 (“Leave and Holidays Act”), an employee is entitled to ten working days of earned leave (annual leave) per year once he/she has completed 12 months of continuous service for the same employer. This equals 2.74% (10/365 days) of annual income
Maternity Leave All female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (six weeks before the birth of the child and eight weeks after the birth, with an extra four weeks in case of twins) for each child. This equals 26.9% (14/52 weeks) of annual income
Paternity Leave A male employee covered under the Social Security Law (2012) is entitled to 15 days of paid paternity leave This equals 4.1% (15/365 days) of annual income
Sick Leave Myanmar law provides that employees are only entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave per contractual year after the completion of the first six months of continuous service. This equals 8.22% (30/365 days) of annual income
Overtime According to the Shops and Establishments Act of 19516 (the “Relevant Labor Legislation”), overtime “shall be calculated at the rate of double the ordinary rate of wages payable to him”.
Overtime is usually limited to a maximum of 12 hours per week, or up to 16 hours in special cases.
Normal hourly wage is around 3406 MMK. Overtime is paid at an additional 3406 MMK
Severance Employees terminated by notice or with payment in lieu of notice shall be entitled to severance payment as follows:
• If term of employment is less than 6 months, then no severance payment
• If term of employment is 6 months to 1 year, then 0.5 months’ salary
• If term of employment is 1 to 2 years, then 1 months’ salary
• If term of employment is 2 to 3 years, then 1.5 months’ salary
• If term of employment is 3 to 4 years, then 3 months’ salary
• If term of employment is 4 to 6 years, then 4 months’ salary
This equals 8.33% (1/12 months) of annual income
Social Security The Social Security Act 2012 requires an employer with more than five workers to provide Social Security Scheme benefits to one’s workers, such as health and social care insurance as well as insurance against employment-related injuries.
The rates of contribution by employees and employers are 2% and 3% of the total salaries and wages, respectively.
This equals 3% of annual income

Ready to Get Started?

We understand that you’re working to tight deadlines which is why we’re ready to start supporting you right now.