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Employment in Tanzania

Employment law in Tanzania appears complex and confusing when looking from outside view although in some ways there are many similarities to other countries. Other factors that complicate matters include the differences between regions and an inconsistent approach to adherence to laws in different cities.

For these and many other reasons the following are only guidelines in the broadest sense, and professional legal services are recommended when employing in Tanzania.

Key points on employment in Tanzania

There are several key areas to be aware of within Tanzanian employment regulatory framework, especially for companies that plan to initiate a full local office and human resources department.  These challenges can be mitigated by use of a locally sourced payroll provider who is familiar with all of the local laws and rules for both local employees as well as foreign nationals.

  1. Contracts

    A contract with an employee shall be of the following types:

    • a contract for an unspecified period of time;
    • a contract for a specified period of time for professionals and managerial cadre,
    • a contract for a specific task.

    A contract with an employee shall be in writing if the contract provides that the employee is to work outside the United Republic of Tanzania. 

    An employer shall supply an employee, when the employee commences employment, with the following particulars in writing, namely:

    (a) name, age, permanent address and sex of the employee;

    (b) place of recruitment;

    (c) job description;

    (d) date of commencement

    (e) form and duration of the contract;

    (f) place of work;

    (g) hours of work;

    (h) remuneration, the method of its calculation, and details of any benefits or payments in kind, and

    (i) any other prescribed matter.

  2. Probation Periods

    There is no explicit provision in the Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004 about probation period. However, this act implicitly requires a probationary period of 6 months by saying that a worker with less than 6 months of employment may not bring an unfair termination claim against the employer.

  3. Termination Procedures

    ‘Termination of employment’ includes:

    • a lawful termination of employment;
    • a termination by an employee because the employer made continued employment intolerable for the employee; and
    • a failure to renew a fixed term contract on the same or similar terms in case there was a reasonable expectation of renewal;
    • a failure to allow an employee to resume work after taking maternity leave granted under this Act or any agreed maternity leave;
    • a failure to re-employ an employee if the employer has terminated the employment of a number of employees for the same or similar reasons and has offered to re-employ one or more of them;

    A termination of employment by an employer is unfair if the employer fails to prove:

    •  that the reason for the termination is valid;
    •  that the reason is a fair reason related to the employee’s conduct, capacity or compatibility; or based on the operational requirements of the employer, and
    •  that the employment was terminated in accordance with a fair procedure.

    It is not considered to be a fair reason to terminate the employment of an employee:

    • for the reason that discloses information that the employee is entitled or required to disclose to another person by law;
    • fails or refuses to do anything that an employer may not lawfully permit or require the employee to do;
    • exercises any right conferred by agreement or by law;
    • belongs, or belonged, to any trade union;
    • participates in the lawful activities of a trade union, including a lawful strike;
    • for reasons related to pregnancy, disability and that constitute discrimination under the Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004.
  4. Statutory Leave

    An employee with less than 6 months’ service is not entitled to paid leave under the provisions of the Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004.

    An employee employed on a seasonal basis is entitled to paid leave.

    An employee, with less than 6 months’ service but who has worked more than once in a year for the same employer, is entitled to paid leave if the total period worked for that employer exceeds 6 months in that year.

    An employer shall grant an employee at least 28 consecutive days’ leave in respect of each leave cycle, and such leave must be inclusive of any public holiday that may fall within the period of leave.

    Sick Leave: An employee is  entitled to sick leave for at least 126 days in any leave cycle.

    The sick leave referred to shall be calculated as follows:

    •  the first 63 days shall be paid full wages;
    •  the second 63 days shall be paid half wages.

    An employer shall not be required to pay an employee for sick leave if:

    • the employee fails to produce a medical certificate; or
    • the employee is entitled to paid sick leave under any law, fund or collective agreement.

    Maternity Leave: An employee must give notice to the employer of her intention to take maternity leave at least 3 months before the expected date of birth and such notice must be supported by a medical certificate.

    An employee may commence maternity leave:

    • at any time from 4 weeks before the expected date of confinement;
    • on an earlier date if a medical practitioner certifies that it is necessary for the employee’s health or that of her unborn child.

    No employee shall work within 6 weeks of the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner certifies that she is fit to do so and she may resume employment on the same terms and conditions of employment at the end of her maternity leave.

    An employee shall be entitled, within any leave cycle, to at least:

    •  84 days’ paid maternity leave; or
    •  100 days paid maternity leave if the employee gives birth to more than one child at the same time.

    An employer is only obliged to grant paid leave for 4 terms of maternity leave to an employee.

Outsourcing Employment Through a GEO Employer of Record Service

Compliance with local employment requirements is just one of the issues foreign companies face when employing staff in Tanzania. For companies which intend to employ their staff directly through their incorporated Tanzanian entity, professional legal advice is recommended. Shield GEO provides an alternative path for companies to outsource the employment of their staff in Tanzania.

As a Global Employer Organisation (GEO), Shield GEO acts as the Employer of Record and ensures the employment is compliant with host country regulations regarding employment. In addition Shield GEO will handle payroll processing, tax and immigration. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Tanzania.

The Shield GEO solution is an attractive alternative where

– the company is looking to employ staff quickly

– the company doesn’t have an appropriately incorporated entity in Tanzania

– the company wants to work within a defined budget

– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Tanzania

– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Tanzania

Shield GEO can contract directly with the company to employ and payroll their staff in Tanzania. Shield GEO supplies local employment contracts for the staff which ensure that local statutory requirements are met covering issues such as termination, probation periods, leave entitlements and statutory benefits.  Shield GEO is able to advise companies how to cover local employment regulations whilst still providing consistent global employment policies. Understand more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.

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