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Employment Laws in Tanzania

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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Tanzania, an East African nation, boasts a booming economy driven by diverse sectors like mining, hospitality, agriculture, and manufacturing. One of the fastest-growing economies in Africa with an annual GDP growth of 4.6% (as of 2022), Tanzania offers promising opportunities for any business looking to go global.

For the past few years, the country has experienced sustainable economic growth owing to infrastructural developments, better transport and communication networks, and refinement of the business environment. Such positive developments have created fresh job opportunities, and as of 2021, 23.5 million people were employed in the country.

So, if you plan to establish a presence in the African market, we have prepared a guide on employment laws in Tanzania to help you understand the details.

Contractual Agreements

Employment laws in Tanzania mandate employment contracts for every employee. It should be provided when tenure starts, and the contract can be for indefinite or definite periods.

Exceptions to this rule are those employees who are not working more than 6 days per month for an employer. The labor law in Tanzania also mandates mentioning basic employee details in a contract and employment details like designation, tenure, work expectations, working hours, salary, etc.

Types of Employment Contracts in Tanzania

The Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004 specifies three types of contracts under section 14. Here are the details:

Contract Type Details
Permanent contracts
  • Issued for all employees
  • Mentions the specific starting date mentioned
  • No particular end date
Contracts for specific time period
  • Issued to particular professionals, like managers
  • Specific starting and ending dates mentioned
  • Unless renewed, this contract expires once the end date is over
Contracts for particular tasks
  • Issued to employees engaged in specific tasks
  • Contract mainly given for occasional or seasonal works
  • The contract lapses once the work tenure is over

Obligations and rights for both parties

A contract employment law in Tanzania puts specific obligations on employers and employees. Both the parties are expected to adhere to the same.

Employer obligations:

  • Ensuring equality of pay
  • No discrimination in the workplace
  • Ensuring workplace safety

Employee obligations:

  • Fulfilling the contract terms
  • Diligence of work
  • Adhering to instructions

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Working Hours and Overtime

The Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004 regulates working hours and overtime in Tanzania. 

Regular working hours

In Tanzania, the regular working hours for any employee are 9 per day and 45 per week.

Overtime regulations and compensation

  • Employees may be asked to work overtime in Tanzania; as per Tanzania labor law, compensation is mandatory. 
  • Employees can not be asked to work more than 12 hours a day or 50 hours a week overtime in a month. 
  • A written agreement may or may not be required for overtime, and meals are often included.
  • Overtime pay is 1.5 times an employee’s basic pay.

Minimum Wage and Compensation

According to the employment laws in Tanzania, every employee is eligible for minimum wages according to their work, including remote employees. Employers must adhere to the guidelines given by the Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004. 

The minimum wage rate in 2024

The wage rates are determined and revised by the Wage Boards. The minimum wage rate in Tanzania varies with industries, a few of which are given below:

Industry Minimum wages per day (in Tanzania Shilling or Sh)
Health services 7,501
Trade, Industries, and Commerce 5,770
Financial institutions 22,771
Agriculture 5,385
Private schooling services 7,962
Hospitality services 4,616 to 11,539

Factors affecting wage determination

Wage Boards fix the minimum wage in Tanzania as per the Labor Institutions Order 2007. The board examines the following factors before fixing the wage rate:

  • Standard of living
  • Average wage and income level in the country
  • The country’s economic development
  • Employment level
  • Minimum sustenance level

Employee Benefits and Social Security

Being an employee-friendly nation, Tanzania offers many employee benefits and perks. Tanzania offers many ‘add-ons’ to an employee’s salary, which range from old age benefits, disability benefits, unemployment coverages, etc.

Statutory benefits

As per Tanzania labor law, its statutory benefits are:


  • All pensions are regulated by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
  • Pension is provided for both private and public sector employees.
  • Eligibility for receiving a pension is 60 years of age and 180 monthly contributions towards the pension fund.
  • Early pensions at 55 years of age are also available under special circumstances.
  • A total and an interest amount is paid to the pension holder.

Disability benefits

  • Any person rendered disabled is entitled to employment security in Tanzania.  
  • Disabled Persons (Employment) Act of 1982, updated in 2010, mandates that 3% of the workforce in a company must be reserved for disabled individuals.
  • They are also eligible for monthly pensions after retirement.

Health insurance

  • Tanzania employees’ health insurance is covered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) of 1999 and the Community Health Fund (CHF) of 2001.
  • NHIF is mandatory for all employees and a 6% contribution is given by both employer and employee.
  • CHF, a voluntary scheme, works mainly in the underdeveloped areas.

Work injury benefits

  • As mandated by the Work Injury Benefits Act 2007, any employee who has suffered injury or contracted disease on duty is eligible for compensation. 

Additional perks and benefits

Labor laws of Tanzania offer the following perks and benefits to employees:

  • Maternity allowance
  • paternity allowance
  • Sick leaves 
  • Government holiday leaves
  • Overtime pay
  • Fixed work hours
  • Medical benefits like surgery, medical care, medicine, etc.

Social Security contributions and requirements

Five social security contributions are mandated by the Tanzanian government, along with one health insurance scheme.

  • GEPF, or Government Employees Pension Fund, provides employees retirement benefits. Both employer and employee make contributions. There are other pension schemes in the country as well, like:
    • LAPF, or Local Authorities Pension Fund, is a special fund for the locals of a region
    • PPF pension fund
    • PSPF or Public Service Pensions Fund, which gives old-age benefits, death benefits, retirement benefits, etc.
  • NSSF or National Social Security Fund, where the employer gives 20% of an employee’s salary as a joint contribution.

Vacations and Paid Time Off

In this section are some details regarding vacations and leaves in Tanzania:

Annual leave entitlement

In Tanzania, an employee is entitled to 28 days of paid leave every year, but only after completing a tenure of 12 months. Employees who need more time off beyond the 28 days can take unpaid leave. Additionally, employees are entitled to one day of rest per week, usually on Sundays.

Public holidays and special leaves

Tanzania public holidays include:

  • New Year Day
  • Zanzibar Revolution Day
  • Peasants Day,
  • Maulid Day, Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Workers Day
  • Union celebrations
  • Christmas Day
  • The Mwalimu Nyerere Day
  • Idd-El-Hajj
  • Eid-el-Fitri
  • Boxing Day
  • The Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day
  • International Trade Fair
  • Republic Day

Other than these, a few Muslim festivity holidays are based on the sighting of the moon.

Sick leave

Employees are entitled to 126 sick leaves per leave cycle by producing a medical certificate. Payment is full for the initial 63 days, then half-pay for the remaining days.

Maternity leave

An employee will receive full wages if they are on maternity leave. Its duration and clauses are:

Entitled leaves Clauses
84 days If the employee bears a single child
100 days If the employee bears more than one child

Paternity leave

Employees are entitled to 3 paternity leaves per leave cycle (36 months).

Termination and Severance

Termination of employment cannot happen in Tanzania without giving prior notice and justified reason. There can be various reasons for termination, and each of those are explained below:

Grounds for termination

Some common termination grounds are:

Reason Examples Procedure
  • Violence at the workplace
  • Stealing
  • Negligence of work
  • Investigation of offense
  • Disciplinary hearing
  • Report preparation and decision
Unsatisfactory work performance -
  • Investigation
  • Guiding the employee towards better performance, training, and giving sufficient time for improvement
  • Issuing a notice
  • Organizing a meeting with the employee to discuss the termination terms
  • Illness
  • Work injury
  • Temporary replacement
  • Consultation with the employee and suggesting alternatives
  • Meeting, followed by issuing notice
Incompatibility -
  • Recording the incompatibility incidents
  • Warning and counseling
  • Issuing termination notice
  • Business operational requirements
  • Statement of reason for retrenchment
  • Proper consultation with the employee
  • Issuing termination notice

Notice period and severance pay

  • The duration of the notice period depends on an employee’s tenure. Its details are:
Employee tenure Notice period
One month or less 7 days
After one month of employment (employed on a daily weekly basis) 4 days
After one month of employment (employed on a monthly basis) 28 days
  • Tanzanian employees who complete at least one year with their employer are eligible for severance pay equal to one week's basic pay per completed year (up to a maximum of 10 years).
  • Severance pay is not given if the employee is terminated due to misconduct.

Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Tanzania has strict regulations regarding fairness in the workplace, which are maintained by ELRA. Every employer must maintain compliance with these rules and regulations, which cover wage equality and equality in professional choice. The regulations ensure that there is neither child nor forced labor in the workplace.

Prohibitions against workplace discrimination

Section 7(4) of ELRA strictly prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees on any grounds: nationality, religion, gender, age, political alliance, social origin, etc.

Health and Safety Regulations

The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2003 ensures that no Tanzanian employee has to work in an unhealthy environment. It ensures that the employer is responsible for the safety of their employees. They must:

  • Maintain workplace safety devices.
  • Ensure employees are not exposed to harmful radiation, devices, hazardous machinery, etc.
  • Maintain a healthy work environment in terms of arranging welfare facilities, reducing health risks, etc.
  • Provide PPE kits to those employees engaged in any hazardous work.

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Working with a global team has multiple advantages. So, while you are focused on expanding your business in a foreign nation, let Skuad take care of hiring and smooth payroll processing.

Providing EOR solutions across 160+ countries, including Tanzania, Skuad helps you tap into the global talent pool while ensuring 100% compliance with local laws. Dedicated experts at Skuad are available 24*7, ready to assist with any cross-border hiring and payroll-related concerns. 

Create your global success story with Skuad today!


Q1: What is the labor policy in Tanzania?

A1: The labor law in Tanzania mentions equality of labor. Furthermore, discrimination is strictly prohibited. The law also prohibits any forced or child labor.

Q2: What are the payroll laws in Tanzania?

A2: Some rules guiding payroll in Tanzania are:

  • No employee has to work over 50 hours in a month.
  • Wages and salaries are payable in legal tender.
  • Equal wages must be provided for equal work.

Q3: What is the Employment Act 2004 Tanzania?

A3: The fundamental work rights in Tanzania, including work hours, remuneration, termination, etc., are established by the Employment Act 2004

Q4: What is an employment contract in Tanzania?

 A4: In an employment contract in Tanzania, the employer must specify the essential employment details, such as the employee’s designation, remuneration, and contract tenure.

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