With a population of over 64.5 million people, Tanzania is among the fastest growing economies in Africa. If you’re looking to expand your remote team, you may find the Tanzanian labor market particularly attractive.
Of course, if you want to tap that market and leverage Tanzanian talent, you’ll need to be conversant with local labor laws, including leave policy and holidays. This is critical considering Tanzanian leave laws are governed under the Employment and Labor Relations Act 2004.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about these leave laws when you work with a global employment provider like Skuad, as we will handle all aspects of benefits administration and compliance. So, you can focus on the day-to-day running of your business. But to keep you informed, this post expounds on the leave policy in Tanzania.
Public Holidays in Tanzania
Tanzanian workers are entitled to paid public holidays. These are usually 17 in number including the following:
- New Year's Day – January 1
- Zanzibar Revolution Day – January 12
- Good Friday – April 7
- Easter Sunday – April 9
- Easter Monday – April 10
- The Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day – April 7
- Union Day – April 26
- Labor Day – May 1
- Eid al-Fitr – April 21 to April 22
- Eid al-Adha – June 29
- Saba Saba – July 7
- Nane Nane (Peasants) Day – August 8
- Mwalimu Nyerere Day – October 14
- Maulid Day – October 18
- Independence Day – December 9
- Christmas Day – December 25
- Boxing Day – December 26
The dates for some holidays (especially the religious ones) are liable to change. The dates indicated above are for 2023.
Holidays that fall on Saturday or Sunday are observed on those days and not compensated. However, employers are required to double the normal rate of wages for employees who work on public holidays.
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Weekly Rest Days
The law requires employers to provide 24 consecutive hours of rest every week to their employees. This should occur between the last working day of a week and the first working day of the following week. Typically, this is Sunday for most employees.
However, under special circumstances, an employer can reduce the weekly rest period of its employees to eight hours as long as the rest period is extended accordingly in the following week. In such a case, a written agreement will be required.
In addition, employers are required to offer their employees 12 consecutive hours of rest between the end of a working day and the next. Again, this can be adjusted to eight hours through a written agreement.
Keep in mind that the weekly rest days and rest hours do not apply to employees in managerial positions and emergency workers.
Types of Leave in Tanzania
Tanzanian workers are entitled to various types of leaves, as shown below.
Annual Paid Leave
Employees are entitled to 28 consecutive vacation days per year. Any public holidays and weekends that fall in the period are included in the leave duration. This leave must be taken within six months when it becomes due or within 12 months if the operation of the business requires so and the employee consents. Workers are entitled to normal wages during their annual leave, and the payments are made before the leave is taken.
However, an employee must have worked for a minimum of six months to qualify for an annual paid leave in Tanzania. This doesn't apply to employees working on a seasonal basis or those that have worked several times for the same employer and whose total working period exceeds six months in that particular year.
With the employee's consent, an employer may permit or require the employee to work during their annual leave period, as long as they don’t work for two years continuously. If that’s the case, the employer will pay a one-month salary in place of the annual leave.
Also, in case of termination of employment, an employer is required to pay the employee any annual leave pay for the leave the employee has not utilized and any annual leave pay accrued in an incomplete leave cycle.
A female employee is entitled to at least 84 days of paid maternity leave if she gives birth to one child or 100 consecutive days if she gives birth to more than one child within a leave cycle of 36 months.
To qualify for paid maternity leave in Tanzania, the pregnant worker must notify the employer of her intention to take the leave at least three months before the expected delivery date. A medical certificate should accompany such notice.
The female employee can take the leave four weeks before the expected confinement date or even earlier if their medical practitioner sees it necessary for the employee's health or the health of the unborn child. Within six weeks of the child's birth, the employee is not allowed to work unless she is certified to do so by a medical practitioner.
Also, in the unfortunate incident that the newborn dies within one year of birth, the female worker is entitled to another 84 days of paid maternity leave.
An employer is only obliged to offer paid maternity leave for four terms.
Apart from maternity leave, a nursing mother is entitled to a nursing break of two hours per day. She can use this break to feed or breastfeed her child. There is no specific time when this nursing break should be utilized. So, it’s up to the employer and employee to agree on the most convenient time. Also, the law doesn’t state for how long this break should proceed. So, this is another thing that the involved parties should discuss and agree on.
It’s unfair for the employer to dismiss a female employee because she is pregnant or for any reason related to her pregnancy. The law also requires the employee to resume the same job or position she occupied before going on maternity leave and work on the same terms.
In exercising the right to equal treatment for male and female employees with family responsibilities, Tanzanian law provides for paid paternity leave to allow male employees to take care of their newborn children. The employee gets three days of paid leave in a leave cycle of thirty-six months. The leave is taken within seven days of the child's birth, and the worker must be the father of the child.
The employer may require the employer to provide proof of the child's birth before paying for paternity leave in Tanzania. In addition, the employee must have worked with the same employer for a minimum of six months in the year leading to the child's birth or be a seasonal worker for the same employer.
An employee is entitled to up to four terms of paid paternity leave in the course of their employment with the same employer.
All workers are entitled to paid sick leave for at least 126 days in a leave cycle. The employer is required to pay full wages for the first 63 days of the leave and half of the wages for the remaining 63 days.
To qualify for sick leave in Tanzania, an employee must have worked with the same employer for at least six months in the year preceding the sickness or be a seasonal employee for the same employer.
As per the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2003, employers should not dismiss their workers during their period of sickness. But if an employee cannot continue work due to the health condition, the employer can terminate their contract by following the procedure in the Security of Employment Act, 1964.
There is a provision for employers to provide compassionate leave to an employee who is caring for a sick child or attending the burial of their child, spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. In this regard, employees get at least four days of compassionate leave in a thirty-six-month period.
When it comes to other family or social gatherings, no provision in the law requires employers to offer any leave. However, if an employee needs some time to attend a son's wedding or a daughter’s graduation ceremony, they can request to take some days off from their annual leave
Manage Leave Policy and More in Tanzania With Skuad
Managing leave benefits for a globally distributed workforce can be challenging. In Tanzania, the leave policy has multiple provisions. So, keeping up with all the requirements is not easy. If you have employees from multiple countries abroad, the process becomes even more complicated as each country has its own legal requirements, employee expectations, and cultural practices when it comes to leave benefits.
To avoid these challenges, most employers choose to hire and manage foreign talent with the help of global employment providers (EORs). Since the EOR acts as the legal employment of your international employees, it will take on the administrative and legal burden of hiring abroad. This includes offering a fully compliant leave benefits package that is competitive enough to attract and retain top talent.
If you’re looking to hire talent from Tanzania or any other country worldwide, book a demo with our experts today to see how we can help.