Table of Contents


Table of Contents


Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)

Payroll Frequency

Daily, Weekly, or Monthly

Employer Taxes


About Zambia

Zambia is a south-central African country, bordering Angola and the DRC. Its geography consists of a high plateau, as well as mountains and hills. The region is serviced by two major river basins, the Zambezi and the Congo. The country has a rich set of ecosystems, with the Rhodesian giraffe one of its most well-known species of wildlife. Zambia is also rich in minerals such as copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal gold, silver, and uranium, access to which contributes significantly toward the growth of the country’s economy. By the year 2014, Zambia had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, mostly attributable to the export of natural resources. Christianity is the primary religion and the country is made up of more than 20 ethnic groups. Zambia has more than 70 spoken dialects and English is its official language.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

A permanent contract is defined as a contract of employment that expires upon the employee’s attainment of the retirement age (if not terminated before that date according to the provisions of the Employment Code Act). Permanent employees are hired for work that is not short-term, has regular or systematic hours of work, and that is expected to continue (or is necessary for either the continued or sustainable operation of the company or the company's core objectives). Either party can terminate a permanent contract by giving a notice, except in case of gross misconduct.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

A fixed-term contract is defined as a contract for service concluded for a fixed duration of time (or for completion of a specific task or project). The termination date is fixed in advance by both parties. The duration of long-term contracts must be at least 12 months and can be further renewed. There is no documented limit to the maximum duration (including renewals) of fixed-term contracts. The maximum limit can be determined in individual employment contracts or collective agreements. Fixed-term employees are not allowed to perform work of a permanent nature. At the termination of their employment contract, fixed-term employees receive gratuity payment at the rate of 25% of their earnings during the contract period.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Temporary employment is defined as service under a contract of service where a person is engaged to do relief work in the absence of a substantive employee. Temporary employees cannot be hired for permanent jobs or to replace striking employees. Temporary employees are not entitled to annual leave or severance pay. Employers can hire temporary employees through licensed employment agencies. Temporary employees must receive wages and employment conditions similar to those of the third party's employees who perform comparable tasks.

Probationary Period

Zambia's Employment Code Act provides for a probationary period of up to three months. The probationary period may be extended for a further period not exceeding three months. If, during the probation period, the employer finds that the employee is not suitable for the job, the employer can terminate the contract by giving the employee at least 24 hours' notice. Employees under probation are not entitled to receive severance pay. If an employer is satisfied with an employee's performance, they must notify the employee in writing of the confirmation of employment.

Working Hours

The standard workday duration is eight hours and the standard workweek duration is 48 hours. Any hours over 48 are considered overtime and must be paid accordingly. When prayer and lunchtime are included in work hours, the standard workday must not exceed nine hours. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

1 January – New Years Day; 8 March – International Women’s Day; 12 March – Youth Day; 2 April – Good Friday; 3 April – Holy Saturday; 4 April – Easter; 5 April – Easter Monday; 1 May – Labor Day; 25 May – Africa Freedom Day; 5 July – Heroes’ Day; 6 July – Unity Day; 2 August – Farmers’ Day; 24 October – Independence Day; 25 October – Public Holiday; 25 December – Christmas Day.

• Paid Annual Leave

Workers who have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months with the same employer are entitled to paid annual leave at the rate of two days for each month of service (24 calendar days for a year). The employer offers annual leave in addition to the public holidays or weekly rest days.  Part-time employees are also entitled to paid leave in proportion to the number of hours they worked (a full-time employee works 95 hours in a month to be eligible for paid annual leave).

• Sick Leave

Workers are entitled to paid sick leave with proof in the form of a valid medical certificate as follows: A maximum of 26 days with full pay and a further 26 days with half pay for short-term employees (contract of fewer than 12 months) A maximum of 90 days (three months) with full pay and a further 90 days with half pay for permanent employees and fixed-term employees with contracts lasting more than 12 months. If an employee does not recover from the illness or injury after 6 months from the date of the illness or injury, their employer can terminate the employment contract on medical grounds by paying a lump sum of at least 3 months' basic pay for each completed year of service.

• Maternity Leave

Workers are entitled to at least 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave under the law if they have worked with the same employer for at least 24 months. It can be taken immediately after delivery or preceding the expected delivery date so that at least 6 weeks' leave is taken after delivery. This leave is extended by 4 weeks in case of multiple births. Employees have to provide a written notice and a medical certificate to their employers to take maternity leave. Employees cannot be employed for overtime or nighttime work 2 months before their expected delivery. Employers must provide a safe work environment for the employee and cannot dismiss or otherwise penalize an employee for taking maternity leave.

• Paternity Leave

Male employees are entitled to at least 5 days of paid paternity leave upon their child's birth unless more favorable terms are agreed to in their employment contracts. Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least 12 consecutive months before taking leave are entitled to this benefit. The leave must be taken within 7 days of birth. Employees have to submit a birth record to their employers.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

A terminated employee is entitled to either notice of termination or compensation in lieu of notice (unless they are guilty of misconduct). The notice periods that must be observed are the following: 1 day for contracts of less than 1 month's duration 14 days for contracts of 1 to 3 months' duration 30 days for contracts of more than 3 months' duration. Notice to terminate a contract of employment of more than 6 months must be in writing. Employers must not give notice of termination while the employee is on leave.

• Severance Benefits

According to the Employment Code Act of Zambia, severance benefits are paid as follows: Termination on medical grounds – 3 months' basic pay for each year of employment Termination of fixed-term contracts – 25% of the total basic pay earned by the employee during the period of employment Termination due to redundancy – 2 months' basic pay for each year of employment Termination due to the employee's death – 2 months' basic pay for each year of employment (paid to the employee's estate). Casual, temporary employees and those under probation are not entitled to severance benefits. Employees who have been dismissed summarily for gross misconduct are not eligible for severance.