Hire in Malawi
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Malawi.
Currency of Malawi
The Capital of Malawi
Time Zone in Malawi
Important Facts About the Country of Malawi
Introduction to Malawi
What to Know about Malawi's Geography
Climate in Malawi
The Culture of Malawi
Religions Observed in Malawi
Languages Spoken in Malawi
Malawian Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Malawi
Other essential legal sources include:
- Constitution of Malawi
- Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act
- Workers’ Compensation Act
- Pension Act
- Labor Relations Act
Employment Contracts in Malawi
An employment contract may be concluded in one of the following forms:
- For an unspecified period of time
- For a specified period of time
- For a specific task
Employers are required to provide written confirmation of employment terms to their employees within one month of their start date. This written statement must include the following information:
- The names of both parties
- The date of commencement of the employment contract
- The rate of remuneration and the method of calculating it
- The nature of the work to be performed
- The normal working hours
- Termination provisions
- Any disciplinary rules applicable to the employee
Fixed Term Contacts for Malawian Employees
The law does not set requirements on the maximum duration and allowable renewals of fixed-term contracts. It is up to the agreement between both parties.
When a contract for a set time frame or a specific task is used to fill a position tied to routine and permanent activity, it is judged to be an employment contract for an indefinite duration.
Malawi's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period
Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Malawi
In Malawi, the maximum weekly working hours are 48 hours. This excludes overtime. The maximum daily working hours depend on the employee’s work schedule:
- No more than five days per week: 12 hours
- Six days per week: Eight hours
Employers are not permitted to require employees to work for more than six consecutive days without providing a 24-hour rest period. This rest period must be taken on a customary day or a day agreed upon mutually by the employer and the employee.
Malawian Laws Regarding Overtime
- Ordinary overtime for time worked on a working day in excess of the hours normally worked: 150% of the hourly salary
- Day off overtime for time worked on a day on which an employee would otherwise be off duty: 200% of the hourly salary
- Holiday overtime for time worked on a public holiday: 200% of the hourly salary
Malawian Timesheets & Record Keeping
- Salaries and remuneration paid to each employee for the past three years
- The gross amount payable to each employee, any deductions made and the reasons for the deductions.
Under the law, an employer may only dismiss an employee on valid grounds, such as conduct, capacity or retrenchment. In the case of retrenchment, employers must follow a prescribed procedure that includes the following steps:
- Consult with employee representatives
- Notify the Secretary responsible for labor in writing
- Prepare a report within 14 days of retrenchment.
Retrenched employees should be given priority for rehiring when suitable job opportunities arise in the company.
Employers must pay any salary or other payments due to the employee within seven days of termination. Employees can request a certificate of termination from the employer, which should include the reason for termination but should not contain any evaluation of the employee’s work unless requested by the employee.
Lastly, it is considered an offense for an employer to terminate an employee’s employment due to pregnancy. The burden of proof falls on the employer to show that the termination was not pregnancy-related.
Malawi's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
|Remuneration Cycle||Notice Period|
|Monthly||One month’s notice|
|Biweekly||Two weeks’ notice if employed less than five years; One month’s notice if employed at least five years;|
|Weekly||One week’s notice if employed less than two years; Two weeks’ notice if employed at least two years but less than five years; One month’s notice if employed at least five years;|
|Daily or Hourly||One day’s notice if employed less than six months; One week’s notice if employed at least six months but less than two years; Two weeks’ notice if employed at least two years but less than five years; One month’s notice if employed at least five years;|
Under Malawian employment law, employers have the option to make a payment to an employee instead of providing notice of termination. This payment is called “payment in lieu of notice” and it includes the employee’s wages and any additional benefits they would have received if they had worked through the notice period. In other words, the employee is compensated for the time they would have worked if notice had been given.
Redundancy/Severance Pay in Malawi
- Less than one year: No severance pay
- One to five years: Two weeks’ salaries for each completed year of service
- Six to 10 years: Three weeks’ salaries for each completed year of service
- More than 11 years: Four weeks’ salaries for each completed year of service
Under the Employment Act, if an employee is exempt from receiving a pension, their employer must provide them with a gratuity upon retirement, termination of work, or death. This gratuity must be equal to 5% of the employee’s monthly income for each completed month of service.
Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Malawi
Personal Income Tax in Malawi
|Monthly Taxable Income (MWK)||Tax Rate (%)|
|Excess of 2,500,000||35|
Social Security in Malawi
Malawi operates a National Pension Scheme (NPS), which requires both the employer and employee to make contributions as follows:
- Employee: a minimum of 5% of monthly gross salary
- Employer: a minimum of 12% of monthly gross salary (includes 2% admin cost)
Employers must also pay TEVET (Technical, Entrepreneurial, and Vocational Education and Training) Payroll Levy at 1% of the employee’s basic pay.
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
Important Information for Malawian Employees
Wages in Malawi must be paid:
- to the employee or a person designated in writing by the employee
- in the local currency
- via cheque in the sum of the wages payable with consent from the employee
- The employee’s gross wages due at the end of the pay period
- The amount of every deduction and the purpose for each deduction
- The employee’s net wages payable at the end of the pay period
- 18 working days if the employee works six days a week
- 15 working days if the employee works five days a week
Employees must take their annual leave within six months of becoming eligible unless both parties mutually agree to defer and accrue it.
If an employee’s employment is terminated, the employer must compensate them for any accrued but unused annual leave that they were entitled to but did not take before the termination date.
However, an employer is not obligated to offer sick leave unless the employee provides a medical certificate that describes their incapacity for work.
Maternity & Paternity Leave
Benefits to the Employee in Malawi
Malawian Statutory Benefits
In Malawi, employees have legal entitlements to receive national pensions, annual leave, maternity leave and sick leave.
In addition to the minimum entitlements, it is common for employers in Malawi to offer the following supplemental benefits:
- Year-end bonuses
- Private health and life insurance
- Allowances supporting housing, transportation, electricity, water, phone, education, domestic servants, etc.
- Prolonged or additional leave days
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Malawi
Visitors to Malawi are required to obtain a visa, except for those from the 33 visa-exempt countries or countries eligible for a visa on arrival. Visa-exempt countries can stay for up to 90 days for tourism and leisure purposes only, while visa-on-arrival countries can obtain a visa at any port of entry by paying a fee.
Alternatively, visitors can apply for an e-Visa online before traveling, which is available for around 220 nationalities and can be used for tourism, leisure, business or transit. The e-Visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and allows a single entry.
Malawi offers various types of visas based on the purpose of entry, such as tourist visas, official visas, transit visas, diplomatic visas, courtesy visas, work visas and study visas.
Foreign workers who intend to work in Malawi need to obtain a Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) regardless of their country of origin. However, whether they require a work visa or not depends on their nationality.
TEPs are granted to foreigners who have been offered employment by an organization in Malawi and are initially valid for at least six months and up to two years. The TEPs can be renewed twice by submitting the necessary documents and renewal application forms to the Regional Immigration Office at least three months before expiry. Foreign workers who do not have a TEP are prohibited from working in Malawi and it is considered a criminal offense to do so. Applicants for a new TEP must remain outside Malawi until their application has been approved.
According to the Employment Act, where an employee is not on pension due to exemptions extended to them, the employer shall arrange to pay to the employees, on retirement, termination of employment or death, a gratuity equal to 5% of the monthly salary of the employee for each completed month of service.
Public Holidays Recognized by Malawi in 2023
|1.||New Year’s Day||01.Jan.2023|
|2.||New Year Holiday||02.Jan.2023|
|3.||John Chilembwe Day||15.Jan.2023|
|4.||John Chilembwe Day Holiday||16.Jan.2023|
|10.||President Kamuzu Banda’s Birthday||14.May.2023|
|11.||President Kamuzu Banda’s Birthday Holiday||15.May.2023|
|14.||Mother’s Day Holiday||16.Oct.2023|