Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Malawian Kwacha
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Malawi is a landlocked nation in southeastern Africa that was previously known as Nyasaland. Its official name is the Republic of Malawi. It is bordered on the west by Zambia, on the north and northeast by Tanzania, and on the east, south, and southwest by Mozambique. Malawi has a total area of 118,484 km2 and a population of 19,431,566 people. Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, covers about one-third of Malawi's land area. Lilongwe is Malawi's capital. Blantyre is the second-largest city, Mzuzu is the third-largest, and Zomba, the former capital, is the fourth-largest. Malawi is derived from the Maravi, a traditional name for the Chewa people who live in the region. Because of the friendliness of its inhabitants, Malawi is regarded as "The Warm Heart of Africa." Migrating Bantu groups settled the area that is now Malawi around the 10th century. The region was colonized by the British in 1891, and became known as Nyasaland, a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1953, it joined the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland as a protectorate. In 1963, the Federation was disbanded. The protectorate ended in 1964, and Nyasaland was renamed Malawi and became an independent country under Queen Elizabeth II. It became a republic two years later. It achieved full independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, and by 1970, it had transformed into a authoritarian one-party state under Hastings Banda's presidency, which he held until 1994. Malawi is now a multi-party democratic republic with an elected president. After the May 2019 Presidential Election was annulled due to major electoral fraud, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party led the Tonse Alliance coalition of nine political parties to victory in the court-mandated Presidential Election rerun on June 23, 2020. The Malawian Defence Force, which comprises an army, navy, and air wing, is the country's military. Malawi has a pro-Western foreign policy. It has good diplomatic ties with most countries and is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the African Union. Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations. The economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, and the population is predominantly rural and rapidly growing. Malawi's government is heavily reliant on foreign assistance to meet its development needs, despite the fact that the amount needed has decreased since 2000. Despite widespread unemployment, the Malawian government faces challenges in its efforts to develop and expand the economy, boost education, healthcare, and environmental protection, and become financially self-sufficient.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Those who work a 5-day workweek must take 15 days of annual leave, whereas employees who work a 6-day workweek must take 18 days.

Public holidays

Malawi recognizes twelve public holidays.

Sick days

If the employee has worked for a total of 12 months, they are entitled to 4 weeks of paid sick leave and an extra 8 weeks of paid sick leave.

Maternity leave

Every three years, women are entitled to an 8-week maternity leave during which they are paid in full.

Paternity leave

Malawi does not have a paternity leave law.

Parental leave

Malawi does not have a parental leave law.

Other leave

Work-related injury leave: An employee is entitled to a part of their usual wage for a temporary disability.Employees who are determined to be permanently incapacitated get a lump sum payment of 54 months.Employees who are partially disabled will get a proportion of the 54 months owed to them, according on the degree to which they are considered handicapped.Furthermore, it is the employer's obligation to cover any medical expenditures incurred as a result of the injury.If the employee dies as a consequence of the injury, the family receives a payment for 42 months, less any disability benefits received before to the person's death.

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Termination must be communicated to the other party in writing. The employee must be given an opportunity to respond. Additionally, the employer is required to give the employee with a termination certificate detailing the cause for termination.

Notice period

The notice period is determined by the employee's pay frequency. If the employee is paid monthly, a 30-day notice period is required. If the employee is paid every two weeks, there must be a 15-day notice period if they have worked for less than five years and a 30-day notice period if they have worked for more than five years. If the employee is paid monthly, the notice period is one week if the employee has worked for the company for less than two years; two weeks if the employee has worked for the company for between two and five years; and one month if the employee has worked for the company for more than five years. If the employee is paid on an hourly or daily basis, the notice period is one day for less than six months, one week for six months to two years, fifteen days for two to five years, and one month for more than five years.

Severance pay

Severance pay is only available to employees who are laid off for economic reasons (i.e. redundancy or retrenchment) or who are terminated unfairly. Additionally, the employee must have worked for at least one year. For employees with between one and five years of service, severance pay is equal to two weeks' pay for each year of employment. Severance pay for employees with six to ten years of service is three weeks' pay for each year of employment. Severance pay for employees with more than 11 years of service is equal to four weeks' pay for each year of service.

Probation period

Depending on the contract, the probation period can last up to 12 months.

07. Working hours


The standard workweek is 48 hours spread over five or six days, with an average of eight hours per day. Weekly rest is limited to a minimum of 24 hours.


Overtime hours worked during the regular workday are compensated at 150 percent of the regular rate. Additionally, the employee is entitled to receive compensatory rest for the hours worked in excess of the equivalent amount of overtime. Overtime pay is 200 percent for work performed on a weekend or public holiday.

08. Minimum wage


Malawi's minimum wage is 35,000 MWK per month or roughly 1,346 MWK per day.

09. Employee benefits


The state offers people with universal healthcare in three forms: local healthcare facilities, regional hospitals, and district hospitals. Employers are obliged to provide private healthcare insurance and life insurance policies that provide health benefits to all of their workers.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

Ready to get started? Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with all your questions, let's connect.