Engage In Tanzania

Table of Contents

About Tanzania

Capital City

Dodoma

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Tanzania is 67,438,106 people.

Currency

The currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). The currency symbol is Sh.

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Overview

Tanzania, officially known as the United Republic of Tanzania, is a diverse and vibrant country located in eastern Africa. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. With its stunning landscapes, including the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park, and the beautiful Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania has become a popular destination for adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts. The country is home to over 100 ethnic groups, each with its own unique traditions and customs. Swahili and English are the official languages, facilitating communication among the diverse population. Tanzania gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 and subsequently merged with Zanzibar in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. It operates under a unitary dominant-party presidential republic system of government. Tanzania’s economy is diverse, with agriculture, mining, tourism, and manufacturing as key sectors. The country is known for its rich cultural heritage, warm hospitality, and abundance of natural wonders, making it a truly enchanting destination.

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. 

Social Security

Pension

Tanzania's National Social Security Fund (NSSF) provides retirement pensions to insured private-sector employees at the age of 60 years. The employees must have made at least 180 monthly contributions to NSSF. Employees may avail themselves of early retirement at the age of 55 years with 180 monthly contributions. Old-age benefits are paid as an initial lump-sum and monthly pension. The minimum pension is 40% of the sectoral minimum wage, and the maximum is 72.5% of the average monthly salary of the employee in the three best years of the last ten years. Public-sector employees are covered under the Public Service Social Security Fund. Eligibility conditions and calculations of benefits are the same as those for private-sector employees.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Dependents/survivors of people insured under the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) are entitled to survivor's pension if, at the time of death, the insured person was entitled to an invalidity pension or would have been entitled to retirement pension. Dependents include spouses, children under 18 or 21 years if in full-time education, or parents if there is no widow and orphans.  Where an insured person dies while receiving retirement or invalidity pension, the survivors shall be entitled to a lump sum grant equal to 33 times the monthly pension for private-sector employees and 36 times the monthly pension for public sector employees. When an employee dies due to a work-related accident or illness, benefits are provided to their survivors by the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF). Both employees and employers pay contributions to social security. Only employers pay for the Workers' Compensation Fund.

Invalidity Benefit

An invalidity pension is payable by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) of Tanzania to an insured person who is under the retirement age, has lost at least 2/3rd of their earning capacity, and has made 180 monthly contributions to the NSSF, or at least 36 monthly contributions, of which 12 were made in the last 36 months immediately preceding the onset of disability. The benefits for disability due to work accidents or occupational accidents are covered by the Workers' Compensation Fund (WCF). Benefits are paid for temporary and permanent disability. Disability benefits for public-sector employees are covered under the Public Service Social Security Fund Act. Eligibility criteria and pension benefits are the same as those of private-sector employees. Disability pension is calculated in the same manner as the retirement pension and is increased by 1% of the average wage for each year of contributions beyond 180 months. The minimum monthly disability pension is 80% of the national minimum wage.  Both employees and employers pay contributions to social security. Only employers pay contributions to the Workers' Compensation Fund.

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The tax year is the same as the calendar year in Tanzania. Residents are charged on their income from employment, business, or investment for the year irrespective of the source. Non-resident persons are taxed on income derived from employment, business, or investment earned from sources in Tanzania. A person is a resident if they have a permanent home in Tanzania or are present in the country for 183 days in a year.  Income tax rates are dependent on whether an individual or corporation is a resident of mainland Tanzania or Zanzibar or a non-resident person. Residents are taxed at a progressive rate from 9% to 30%, while non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 30%. On Tanzania Mainland and Tanzania Zanzibar, an annual income of TZS 3,240,000 (Tanzanian shilling) or below is not taxable.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Ordinary visa (single entry) – granted to foreign nationals for the purposes of tourism, leisure, holiday, attending a conference, humanitarian and charity activities, family visit, health treatment, or any other purpose, valid for 90 days. US citizens are not eligible for this visa. Multiple entry visa – issued to foreign nationals whose visit purposes call for frequent visits to Tanzania, valid for 12 months, but holders are required to leave the country every three months.  Transit visa – issued to foreign nationals to transit through to another destination outside Tanzania, valid for a maximum of seven days. Business visa – issued to foreign nationals who visit Tanzania for special assignments such as fixing/repairing machines or running short-term training, short-term professional roles, or any other short-term lawful business-related task, valid for 90 days.  Student visa – issued to foreign nationals who enter Tanzania for academic purposes such as research, internship, volunteering, student exchange, and students admitted in recognized and legally registered institutions. It is valid for a maximum of two years.  Gratis visa – issued for a single entry or multiple entries to a holder of a diplomatic, services, or official passport, or to a holder of a travel document of a recognized international organization who is on official duty and their dependents. Referral visa – issued to foreign nationals from countries that require special clearance from the Commissioner General of Immigration or the Commissioner of Immigration (Zanzibar) before issuance of the visa. 

Work Permit

Foreign nationals seeking employment in Tanzania are required to obtain a work permit and residence permit. The Labour Commissioner issues a work permit. An employee must apply for a work permit before entering Tanzania. Applicants must be above 18 years of age. The prospective employer should provide sufficient evidence that there is no suitably qualified employee in the Tanzanian labor market, have a well-known physical address, and be duly registered by the relevant authorities in the United Republic of Tanzania. The Department of Immigration issues a residence permit after the foreign national enters Tanzania. The application for a residence permit must include the work permit issued to the foreign national. The maximum validity of a residence permit is two years. However, it can be renewed.

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