Hire in Tanzania

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Last updated at December 27, 2023
Aerial view of Dar es Salaam city scapes, Tanzania

Currency of Tanzania

Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)

The Capital of Tanzania

Dodoma

Time Zone in Tanzania

GMT+3

Important Facts About the Country of Tanzania

Introduction to Tanzania

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country located in East Africa and is part of the African Great Lakes region. It has a population of around 62 million, making it the fifth most populous country in Africa. The federal capital is Dodoma, while the largest city and main commercial hub is Dar es Salaam, which also houses most of the government offices. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is in northeast Tanzania.

What to Know about Tanzania's Geography

Tanzania is bordered by Uganda to the north, Kenya to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the east, Mozambique and Malawi to the south, Zambia to the southwest, and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The country’s land area is approximately 950,000 square kilometers.

Climate in Tanzania

Tanzania’s climate varies widely. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C (50°F – 68°F) in winter and summer. In the rest of the country, temperatures rarely drop below 20°C (68°F). The warmest months are from November to February, while the coldest months are from May to August.

The Culture of Tanzania

Tanzania has a diverse and rich culture that is influenced by African, Arab, European and Indian traditions. With over 130 ethnic groups and local languages spoken, it is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa.

Religions Observed in Tanzania

Christianity, Islam, and indigenous African religions are the dominant religions in Tanzania. Christianity is practiced by around 60% of the population, Islam by 35%, and indigenous African religions by 2%.

Languages Spoken in Tanzania

Swahili and English are the official languages in Tanzania, with Swahili being the national language. A total of 130 languages are spoken in the country.

Tanzanian Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Tanzania

The main law governing employment relationships in Tanzania is the Employment and Labor Relations Act of 2004. Other key rules and regulations influencing the country’s labor framework include:

  • The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Wages Order
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • National Social Security Fund Act
  • Public Holidays Ordinance Amendment Act

Employment Contracts in Tanzania

According to Tanzanian labor law, all employees, except those who work less than 6 days in a month for an employer, must be provided with a written employment contract at the beginning of their employment. This contract can be of a definite or indefinite period or for a specific task.

An employment contract must include the following details:

  • Name, age, permanent address, and sex of the employee
  • Place of recruitment
  • Job description
  • Date of commencement
  • Form and duration of the contract
  • Place of work
  • Hours of work
  • Remuneration, the method of its calculation, and details of any benefits or payments in kind, and any other prescribed matter

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all written information in the employment contract is clearly conveyed to the employee in a way that the employee can understand. If any written particulars in the employment contract change, the employer must modify them in collaboration with the worker and communicate the changes to the employee in writing.

Fixed Term Contacts for Tanzanian Employees

Fixed-term contracts in Tanzania are only allowed for professionals or managerial employees. The law does not specify a maximum duration or the number of renewals allowed for such contracts.

For professionals and managerial employees, the fixed-term contract cannot be less than 12 months. The terms must be set out in writing, clearly specifying the duration of the contract, the nature of the work as well as the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee.

Fixed-term contracts automatically expire upon completion of the specified duration or task. No notice of termination is required. However, either party can terminate the contract before its expiry by providing notice or payment in lieu of notice, as per the terms specified in the contract or as required by law. If the employee continues to work after the contract expires without objection from the employer, the contract is considered renewed for an indefinite period.

Employees on fixed-term contracts enjoy the same rights and benefits as permanent employees, including rights related to minimum wages, working hours, leave entitlement and occupational health and safety.

If a fixed-term contract is terminated before its expiry and the employee is not at fault, the employee will be entitled to compensation. This compensation is calculated based on the remaining duration of the contract or the remaining task, whichever is shorter.

Pre-Employment Checks

Before hiring an employee, employers in Tanzania may conduct certain checks, such as verifying identification and residency. Employers may also perform background checks on the potential employee’s job history, including looking into any restrictive covenants imposed by previous employers as well as confirming education, professional qualifications and personal references.

Tanzania's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

While the Employment and Labor Relations Act of 2004 does not explicitly provide for a probationary period, the statute’s language implicitly allows for a six-month probation period as employees with less than six months of employment are unable to make claims of unjust termination against their employer.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Tanzania

In Tanzania, normal working hours are nine hours per day and 45 hours per week. Employees may work up to six days per week but this nine-hour period does not include a lunch break.

Employees are entitled to a one-hour break after working for five hours.

The maximum working hours are 12 hours per day and 50 hours in a four-week cycle.

Tanzanian Laws Regarding Overtime

When an employee works beyond their normal working hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 150% of their ordinary salary. When overtime hours are worked on a weekly rest day or public holiday, the employee is entitled to 200% of their ordinary salary for every hour worked.

Tanzanian Timesheets

Employers must keep employment documents such as contracts for five years following an employee’s termination.

Termination

An employer may terminate an employee for one of the following four reasons deemed to be fair:

  • Misconduct
  • Incapacity
  • Incompatibility
  • Employer operational requirements/retrenchment

In Tanzania, certain groups of employees are protected against termination, including:

  • Employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Employees who are trade union members or participate in lawful trade union activities
  • Employees who are whistleblowers or report any unlawful or improper conduct of the employer or any other person
  • Employees who are absent from work due to illness or injury (for a period not to exceed 36 months in total)
  • Persons with disabilities (unless they cannot fulfill their obligations even with adequate accommodations)

If employers terminate certain groups of workers without a valid reason or proper procedure, they may be held responsible for unfair termination and face legal consequences. When an employee is terminated, the employer is required to provide them with a certificate of service.

Tanzania's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

Either the employee or the employer may terminate the employment contract after serving due notice or paying in lieu of notice. When terminating an indefinite-term contract, the minimum notice period required is as follows:

  • Seven days for the service of one month or less
  • Four days for an employee hired on a daily basis
  • 28 days for an employee hired on a monthly basis

The notice must be given in writing and should include the reasons for termination as well as the date the notice is given. However, the notice should not be given during any period of leave taken by the employee.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Tanzania

If an employee has worked for an employer for at least one year, they are entitled to severance pay in the event of redundancy. The amount of severance pay in Tanzania is at least seven days’ basic wage for each completed year of employment, up to a maximum of ten years.

Severance pay is not applicable if an employee is terminated due to misconduct, incapacity, incompatibility with business requirements or if they refuse alternative employment with the same or any other employer. Severance pay also does not affect an employee’s entitlement to other termination benefits.

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

Employment contracts may include clauses that restrict employees from competing with their employer after their employment has ended. However, these clauses must meet certain standards to be enforceable according to common law. For example, the restrictions must be reasonable in scope and duration.

Data Protection

Tanzania’s Personal Data Protection Act 2022 was passed in November 2022 to provide guidelines for the collection and processing of personal data, ensuring its protection. However, the Act is not yet in effect until a notice is published in the Government Gazette, which has not yet been done as of the date of this document.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Tanzania

Personal Income Tax in Tanzania

Residents of Tanzania are taxed on their income earned worldwide at the following brackets and rates:

 

Monthly Taxable Income (TZS) Tax Rate
0 – 270,000 0
270,000 – 520,000 8% of the amount in excess of 270,000
520,000 – 760,000 20,000 plus 20% of the amount in excess of 520,000
760,000 – 1,000,000 68,000 plus 25% of the amount in excess of 760,000
Over 1,000,000 128,000 plus 30% of the amount in excess of 1,000,000
Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 15% on their employment income in Tanzania.

Social Security in Tanzania

The law in Tanzania requires private-sector employers to make contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and withhold a portion of the employee’s contributions.

Employers who are registered must contribute 20% of the employee’s monthly salary to the NSSF, which is a joint contribution with the employee. The employee’s contribution should not exceed 10% of their monthly salary. Normally, the contribution is split equally between the employer and employee at 10% each.

In addition, private-sector employers are required to contribute 0.5% of the employee’s gross salary to the Workers’ Compensation Fund.

Employers with at least 10 employees must also pay a Skills Development Levy (SDL), which is calculated at 4% of the employee’s gross salary.

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

Important Information for Tanzanian Employees

Salary Payment

Employees can be paid on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. If the employer pays in cash or check, they must do so in a sealed envelope during working hours at the workplace on the agreed-upon payday. Alternatively, salaries can be directly deposited into an employee’s designated bank account.

Payslip

Employers must provide pay slips to all employees, whether they are paid in cash, by check or through direct deposit.

Annual Leave

Employees who have been with the same company for a year are entitled to 28 consecutive days of paid annual leave, including public holidays and weekends that may occur during the leave period. Employees who have been with the company for less than six months are not eligible for annual leave. A leave cycle is comprised of 12 consecutive months of employment.

Employers can decide when employees take their leave, but it must be within six months of the due date.

Employers cannot pay compensation in lieu of annual leave, except on termination of employment.

Sick Leave

Employees who are certified by a physician are eligible for 126 days of paid sick leave within a 36-month leave cycle. To be eligible, the employee must have worked for the same employer for at least six months in the 12 months before the illness began or be employed seasonally by the same employer. The first 63 days of sick leave are paid at full pay, while the remaining 63 days are paid at half pay.

Family Responsibility Leave

Employees in Tanzania are entitled to at least four days’ paid family responsibility leave each year for applicable reasons, including the sickness or death of the employee’s child, employee’s spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees who have worked for the same employer for at least six months are entitled to at least 12 weeks (84 days) of fully paid maternity leave or 100 consecutive days (in the event of multiple births) in a 36-month leave cycle. If the newborn dies within a year of birth, the employee is entitled to 84 days of paid maternity leave within a leave cycle. The days of leave include rest days and public holidays.

Pregnant employees must notify their employer and present a medical certificate three months prior to starting maternity leave. Maternity leave can start four weeks before the anticipated date of childbirth or earlier if a medical professional certifies it is required for the employee or her child. In addition, an employee is not allowed to work within six weeks of giving birth unless she has received medical clearance.

If an employee is breastfeeding, the employer must allow her up to two hours per day to nurse the child during working hours.

Paternity Leave

Male employees who have worked for the same employer for at least six months are entitled to three days paid paternity leave in a 12-month leave cycle. The leave must be taken within seven days of the child’s birth. The statutory entitlement does not increase in proportion to the number of children born during the leave cycle.

Public Holidays

Tanzania celebrates 17 public holidays that include religious holidays, national holidays, commemorations of leaders and other significant events.

Benefits to the Employee in Tanzania

Tanzanian Statutory Benefits

Tanzanian employees are entitled to retirement pension, workers’ compensation insurance, maternity leave, paternity leave, annual leave, family responsibility leave, and sick leave, as prescribed by law and collective agreements.

Other Benefits

In addition to the minimum statutory benefits, it is common for employers to offer the following perks:

  • Year-end bonuses
  • Private health and life insurance
  • Allowances supporting transportation/car, housing/accommodation, and utilities
  • Prolonged or additional leave days

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Tanzania

General Information

Visas

Visitors to Tanzania will need to obtain a visa unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or countries whose residents can get a visa on arrival.

Tanzanian visas can be obtained online or at the port of entry. The online visa allows a single entry into Tanzania or Zanzibar and is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, while the port of entrance visa allows multiple entries and is valid for 90 days from the day of arrival.

Visitors can apply for different types of Tanzanian visas, including ordinary visa (single entry), multiple entry visa, business visa, transit visa, student visa, and gratis visa.

Work Permits

Tanzania offers three categories of work and residence permits:

  • Class A: foreign investors
  • Class B: foreign employees with specialized skills to fill a position for which there are no eligible workers in Tanzania
  • Class C: missionaries, volunteers, students, researchers, etc.

Most foreign employees require a Class B permit, which the employer must apply for on their behalf. The employee must submit supporting documents and the company must demonstrate the need for foreign hire to the Ministry of Labor. The resident permit is valid for two years and can be renewed.

Public Holidays Recognized by Tanzania in 2024

  Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Zanzibar Revolutionary Day January 12
3 Good Friday March 29
4 Karume Day April 7
5 Eid al-Fitr* April 9
6 Eid al-Fitr Holiday* April 10
7 Union Day April 26
8 Labor Day May 1
9 Eid al-Hajj* June 17
10 Saba Saba (International Trade Fair) July 7
11 Nane Nane (Peasant Day) August 8
12 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday* September 16
13 Nyerere Day October 14
14 Independence and Republic Day December 9
15 Christmas Day December 25
16 Boxing Day December 26

* Religious holidays are confirmed closer to the date as they depend on the sighting of the moon.

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