Table of Contents

Zimbabwe

Table of Contents

Currency

Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWL) or United States Dollar (USD).

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

4.5%-5.5%

About Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country bordering South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Mozambique. The country has eight provinces and two major cities, Harare and Bulawayo. Its governing system is semi-presidential with a bicameral parliament for its legislature. The country has undergone a rough political past with violence that sparked after elections in mid-2018, after military action aimed at removing its longest-serving president/dictator, Robert Mugabe. Once known as ‘the jewel of Africa’ for its highly productive agriculture, Mugabe’s tenure resulted in the cratering of the country’s economy with more than half its population living in poverty. As a result, there was a mass exodus of Zimbabweans to South Africa in search of a better standard of living. More than half of Zimbabwe’s population is Christian while the rest of the population is unaffiliated. The major ethnic groups are the Shona and the Ndebele, which are also its official languages, while English is used for business. Zimbabwean culture is enshrined in traditional art incorporated in the ancient Shona sculptures.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Zimbabwean labor law states that an employment contract that does not specify its duration or date of termination, other than a contract for casual work, seasonal work, or for the performance of some specific service, is deemed to be an indefinite term contract. Such contracts can be terminated by giving notice. Although there is no explicit definition of permanent employment in Zimbabwean labor law, the law states that a casual worker becomes permanent if their period of engagement with a particular employer exceeds a total of 6 weeks in any 4 consecutive months.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Zimbabwean labor law defines fixed term contracts as those that clearly indicate a duration of the contract. Employers are not allowed to hire workers on a fixed-term contract for tasks of permanent nature. If a fixed term contract continues for a long time, it is considered to be a permanent contract. This period is determined by collective bargaining agreements pertaining to the industry. Employers must give a notice to fixed-term employees to terminate their contract. 

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Although the Zimbabwean Labor Code does not define "temporary" work, it defines "casual work" as work for which an employee is engaged by an employer for not more than a total of 6 weeks in any 4 consecutive months. A casual worker becomes permanent if their period of engagement with a particular employer exceeds a total of 6 weeks in any 4 consecutive months (unless the employment contract specifies a duration or date of termination).

Probationary Period

Per Zimbabwean labor law, a contract of employment may provide, in writing, for a single, non-renewable probationary period of not more than: 1 day for casual or seasonal work 3 months in any other case During the probationary period, the notice of termination to be given by either party must be at least 1 week for casual or seasonal work and at least 2 weeks in any other case.

Working Hours

The Zimbabwean Labor Act does not define normal working hours for adult employees. Every employee is entitled to at least 24 continuous hours of rest each week, either on the same day of every week or on a day agreed to by the employer and employee. Weekly working hours and overtime regulations are set by collective agreement or individual contract.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

New Year’s Day (1 January), Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday, Independence Day (18 April), Workers’ Day (1 May), Africa Day (25 May), Heroes & Defense Forces Days (2nd week of August), Unity Day (22 December), Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December).

• Paid Annual Leave

Per Zimbabwe's Labor Act, employees are entitled to paid annual leave after completing a full year of service with an employer. An employee is entitled to 30 calendar days of annual leave for each full year of service. A maximum of 90 days of annual leave can be accumulated. The remaining, unused leave may be granted at a later date without any previously unused leave being lost.

• Sick Leave

Per Zimbabwe's Labor Act, sick leave is available to any employee who is prevented from attending their work duties because they are ill, injured, or undergo medical treatment that was not occasioned by their failure to take reasonable precautions. During any 1-year period of service, an employee is entitled to 90 days' sick leave with full pay. The employee must provide a certificate signed by a doctor. If, during the same one-year period of service of an employee, the employee has used up all 90 days of fully paid sick leave, an employer must, at the request of the employee supported by a certificate signed by a doctor, grant a further period of 90 days’ sick leave with half pay if, in the opinion of the doctor signing the certificate, it is probable that the employee will be able to resume duty after such further period of sick leave.

• Maternity Leave

The Zimbabwean Labor Act provides 98 days of fully-paid maternity leave to females employees who have served their employer for at least 1 year. The employer bears the total cost of maternity leave. On production of a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner or State Registered Nurse certifying that the employee is pregnant, the employee may take maternity leave no earlier than the 45th day and no later than the 21st day prior to the expected date of delivery. Employees can request additional unpaid maternity leave.  A female employee is entitled to be granted a maximum of 3 periods of fully paid maternity leave during her total service with any one employer. Paid maternity leave shall be granted only once during any period of 24 months calculated from the day any previous maternity leave was granted.

• Paternity Leave

The Zimbabwean Labor Act does not specifically provide for paternity leave. However, employees are entitled to special leave with full pay not exceeding 12 days per calendar year for "justifiable compassionate grounds." The Labor Act does not clarify whether childbirth falls under this category.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

Zimbabwean labor law allows either the employer or the employee to terminate a contract by serving the other party written notice. The notice period depends on the type of contract between the employer and employee, as follows: 3 months’ notice for an indefinite employment contract or a contract for a period of 2 years or more 2 months’ notice for a contract for a period between 1 and 2 years 1 months’ notice for a contract for a period between 6 months and a year 2 weeks’ notice for a contract for a period between 3 and 6 months or during the probationary period for contracts that are not casual or seasonal 1 week notice during the probationary period for casual or seasonal work 1 day notice for a contract for a period of fewer than 3 months or for casual or seasonal work

• Severance Benefits

The Zimbabwean Labor Relations Act stipulates that an employer who wishes to retrench one or more employees must give written notice of their intention to the relevant works council, employment council, or the Retrenchment Board. The employer must provide the works council, employment council, or the Retrenchment Board, as the case may be, with details of every employee whom the employer wishes to retrench and of the reasons for the proposed retrenchment and send a copy of the notice to the Retrenchment Board. Unless better terms are agreed between the employer and employees concerned or their representatives, a package (the minimum retrenchment package) of at least one month’s salary or wages for every 2 years of service as an employee (or the proportionate amount of 1 month’s salary or wages for a shorter period of service) must be paid by the employer as compensation for loss of employment.