Table of Contents


Table of Contents


Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)

Payroll Frequency


Employer Taxes

14.5% - 19.5%

About Tanzania

Tanzania is an East African country along the Indian Ocean. It is comprised of the isles of Zanzibar and the landmass of Tanganyika. The country is known for its peaceful political climate, enjoyed since its colonial past. Among its natural resources are phosphates, gemstones, iron ore, hydropower, gold, diamonds, tin, and natural gas. 43 percent of the land is agricultural and about 37 percent forested. It is the most populous East African country, with about 54 million people. 95 percent of the population is comprised of Bantu ethnic groups whose numbers make up 130 tribes. People of Arab heritage live mostly along the Indian Ocean coast and the Islands of Zanzibar. The main languages are Swahili, English, and Arabic. In Tanzania, almost 34 percent of the entire population lives in urban areas. Tanzania has maintained a high economic growth of 6 to 7 percent for the last ten years. This, however, has done little to help minimize the poverty rate resulting from high population growth. Today, due to the recent change in government in 2015, 72 percent of Tanzanians believe that corruption has decreased compared to 2014’s 13 percent. There was a 7.1 percent real GDP growth in 2017 and a 33 percent decline in inflation rate as of July 2018.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Per the Employment and Labour Relations Act of Tanzania, employees hired for an unspecified duration of time are permanent employees. These contracts can be terminated at any time by giving a notice period to the other party. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

An employment contract can be formed for a specific period of time or a specific job. Fixed-term contracts can be concluded only for professionals and managers. Such contracts must be concluded for a period of not less than 12 months.  There is no documented limit to the maximum duration (including renewals) of fixed-term contracts. However, these contracts should be in writing and should provide the employer with an employee for more than 6 days per month. If a fixed-term employment contract continues after the expiry of its term, the parties' rights and obligations must remain the same as they were at the time of expiry. 

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Although Tanzania's labor law does not define "temporary" in terms of time, a generally accepted approach that minimizes compliance risk is to ensure that the employment agreement timeframe is bound to a documented end date (i.e., a project plan, a sales season, etc.) noted elsewhere in the organization's paperwork.

Probationary Period

In Tanzania, employees can be put on trial for at least 6 months and the procedure of layoffs will be provided in the manual. Probationary periods cannot exceed 12 months and can be extended after consultation with the employee. To dismiss an employee on probation, employees must be given a statement of their conduct and sufficient time to improve their performance before they are dismissed. Employees on probation are entitled to representation by trade unions.  

Working Hours

In Tanzania, the maximum number of working hours is nine hours per day and 45 hours per week. If a written agreement exists, employees working greater than this number are eligible for overtime, but no more than 50 overtime hours are permitted in any four-week cycle. Employees above 14 and under 18 years of age are allowed to work for no more than six hours a day. Those who are still students can only work for a maximum of three hours per day.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day (January 1), Zanzibar Revolution Day (January 12), Good Friday (April), Easter Sunday (April), Easter Monday (April), The Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day (April7), Union Day (April 26), May Day / International Workers’ Day (May 1), Eid El Fitre, Saba Saba Day (July 7), Nane Nane Day / Farmers Day (August 8), Eid al-Adha, Uhuru Torch Race (October 14), Independence Day Celebrations (December 9), Mawlid Day (December 25), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26).

• Paid Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to 28 days paid annual leave after a year of service. The remuneration is paid in advance and is equal to what the employee would have been paid if they had worked during the leave period. Annual leave can be deferred for a maximum of six months after the end of the leave cycle or 12 months if the extension is justified by the employer's operational requirements, and the employer has obtained the employee's consent. An employee shall be paid a one-month salary in lieu of annual leave if they have not taken the leave within the prescribed period, or they were called upon to work. Employers must pay a pro-rata amount for annual leave accrued at the termination of employment or at the end of each season if the employee was hired on a seasonal basis.

• Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave for 126 days in a leave cycle of 36 months, provided they present a medical certificate. Wages are paid in full for the first 63 days of the sick leave, whereas half of the wages are paid for the leave's remaining 63 days. The employee must have worked for the same employer for at least six months in the 12 months before the sickness. An employer may not dismiss an employee during their sickness and occupational disease period. If an employee is unable to work due to poor health condition even after the sick leave has been exhausted, an employer may terminate the contract following a notice period of not less than 28 days or provide payment in lieu of notice. Employees are not entitled to any other compensation. This dismissal must happen after approval from a Conciliation Board.

• Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 84 days paid maternity leave, or 100 days if they give birth to more than one child at a time. A pregnant employee may commence her maternity leave any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth onwards or earlier if a doctor certifies that it is necessary for her health or that of her child's. She must be provided at least six weeks of leave after childbirth. If the child dies within a year of birth, the mother is entitled to an additional 84 days of paid maternity leave. Maternity leave can be taken up to four times under the same employer.  A pregnant female employee must notify her employer of her maternity leave's commencement at least three months before the expected date of birth with a medical certificate. Pregnant employees must not be made to work in environments hazardous to their health or that of their child's. It is prohibited for employers to dismiss an employee due to her pregnancy.

• Paternity Leave

The Employment and Labour Relations Act of Tanzania provides fathers at least three days of paid paternity leave to be taken within seven days of their child's birth. Reasonable proof of the birth of their child may be required. In the event of sickness or death of the employee's child, the father is entitled to at least four days of paid leave. 

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

According to the Employment and Labor Relations Act of 2004, the notice period is as follows: No less than 7 days if given in the first month A minimum of 4 days’ notice after the first month, if employment is on a daily or weekly basis A minimum of 28 days if the employee is employed on a monthly basis The notice must be given in writing and must state both the reason for termination and the date on which the notice is given. The notice period can be waived by paying the remuneration that the employee would have received during the notice period if they had worked.

• Severance Benefits

In Tanzania, employees who have worked for an employer for at least a year are entitled to severance pay upon dismissal. Severance benefits are paid as 7 days' basic wage for each year of continuous service completed with that employer, up to a maximum of 10 years. Severance benefits are not paid if the employee is dismissed fairly on the grounds of misconduct.