Engage In Zimbabwe

Table of Contents

About Zimbabwe

Capital City

Harare

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Zimbabwe is 16.6 million.

Currency

The currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWD). The currency symbol is Z$.

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Overview

Zimbabwe, officially known as the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. It shares borders with Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia. The country has a total area of 390,757 square kilometers (150,872 square miles) and is characterized by high plateaus and mountains in the eastern region. Zimbabwe gained international recognition and achieved independence on April 18, 1980, following a long period of colonial rule and a 15-year period of white-dominated minority rule. The capital city of Zimbabwe is Harare, formerly known as Salisbury. The country operates under a parliamentary democracy, with the president serving as the chief of state and the prime minister as the head of government. With an estimated population of 15,464,000 in 2023, Zimbabwe’s economy is a mixed one, with limited private freedom and significant government control. It is a member of regional organizations such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Zimbabwe’s rich history, diverse geography, and political system make it a significant country on the African continent.

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.

Social Security

Pension

In Zimbabwe, the Pensions and Other Benefits Scheme was introduced in 1994 and is based on equal contributions from both the employer and the employee. All employees aged between 16 and 65 hired under a permanent, seasonal, or temporary contract are eligible for the national scheme. Every employee who has at least 120 months (10 years) of contributions to the National Retirement Scheme is eligible for a full pension when they reach the age of 60. The retirement age can vary, as follows: 55 years of age for arduous work 65 years of age in case of deferred pension The monthly benefit is 1.33% of the insured's monthly covered earnings in the month immediately prior to retirement multiplied by the number of years of contributions (maximum 30 years) plus 1% of monthly earnings multiplied by the number of years the insured's contributions exceed 30 years. Persons who have made at least 1 year's contribution but do not qualify for old age pension are eligible for retirement grant as a lump sum of 8.33% of last annual income per year of contributions.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Per Zimbabwean pension law, survivors benefits may be provided to dependents if the deceased received, or was entitled to receive, an old-age or disability pension and was covered by the National Pension and Other Benefits Scheme. The widow(er) and children are entitled to a survivors' benefit equal to 40% of the old-age or disability pension the deceased was entitled to or received. If there is more than one eligible widow(er), the benefit is split equally. The parents of the deceased are entitled to a survivors' benefit equal to 12% of the pension, in case of no widow(er) or surviving children. If there is no surviving widow(er), children, or parent, 8% is paid to other eligible dependents. In case of death due to a work-related accident, employers provide funeral expenses and monthly pension equal to to two-thirds of the pension the deceased would have been entitled to. 

Invalidity Benefit

In Zimbabwe, insured employees may receive invalidity pensions under the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme. This benefit is paid out to contributors to the National Pension Scheme, who become permanently incapacitated due to illness or injury. To be eligible for the invalidity pension, employees must meet the following criteria: The employee must be younger than 60 years of age. The employee must have contributed to the National Pension Scheme for at least one year. Employees who have contributed for at least six months will not be eligible for the invalidity pension but are entitled to receive the invalidity grant. The claim application for an invalidity grant must be submitted within five years of invalidity, and the claim for invalidity pension must be submitted within 12 months. The employee must be medically certified as permanently incapable of work as a result of physical or mental ill-health. The permanent invalidity must result from a non-occupational accident, disease, or injury. The amount of pension depends on the years of contributions made by the insured. In case of disability caused by a work accident, employers must provide medical treatment costs, temporary disability allowance for up to 180 days. In case of permanent disability, a lump sum benefit must be provided according to industry standards.

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

All persons earning income from sources in the country are subject to tax. All income derived from contracts made in Zimbabwe for the sale of goods or services rendered in or outside of the country by a resident of Zimbabwe is taxable. Interests, dividends, and certain royalties arising outside of Zimbabwe paid to the residents are considered to be originated in the country and are taxable. The year of assessment is the same as the calendar year. Income tax for Zimbabwe residents and non-residents is calculated at progressive rates between 0 and 40%. An AIDS levy equaling 3% of the income tax liability applies to all taxpayers. 

Immigration

Types of Visas

The following types of visas are available in Zimbabwe according to purpose of visit: Holiday visa –  issued to foreign nationals entering Zimbabwe temporarily for tourism, sightseeing, to visit family and friends or other private purposes. Business visa –  issued to foreign nationals traveling to Zimbabwe for business related purposes such as consultancy or to offer services. It may be granted for a period 30 days and is non renewable. Conferencing visa –  issued to foreign nationals traveling to Zimbabwe for purposes of attending a conference, seminar or workshop. It may be granted for a period of 30 days and is non-renewable. Transit visa – issued to visitors traveling to another country who will have a brief layover in Zimbabwe when the only reason for entering Zimbabwe is to transit. It is non-renewable. Student visa –  issued to people entering the country with the intention of pursuing their studies at any local school or university.  Depending on the number of times a person will enter and exit Zimbabwe, there are 3 types of visas: Single entry – allows only a single entry, with a restriction of entering again without obtaining a new visa. Double entry – allows for 2 entries into the country within a period of 3 months from the date of issue. KAZA UNIVISA – allows entry into Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The visa is valid up to 30 days in any given period of 12 months, as long as the holder remains within Zambia and Zimbabwe

Work Permit

Zimbabwe allows foreigners to perform paid or unpaid work for a company registered in Zimbabwe, in the interest of that specific business. Specialized areas include professionals offering skills not available in Zimbabwe, journalists that are on assignments, short-term employment permits (six months) for short contracts, and foreign researchers cleared by the Research Council of Zimbabwe.

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