Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Zambian 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

Zambia is a landlocked nation at the crossroads of Central, Southern, and East Africa, officially known as the Republic of Zambia. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the north, Tanzania to the east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west are its neighbors. Lusaka, Zambia's capital, is located in the country's south-central region. The population is concentrated mostly in the areas of Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province in the north, which are the country's main economic hubs. The area, which was originally populated by Khoisan peoples, was impacted by the Bantu expansion in the thirteenth century. Following European explorers in the eighteenth century, the British colonized the area in the nineteenth century, establishing the British protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. Northern Rhodesia was formed in 1911 when these two countries combined. Zambia was ruled for the majority of the colonial era by an administration appointed from London on the advice of the British South Africa Company. Zambia gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 24, 1964, and Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda became the first president. From 1964 to 1991, Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party was in power. Kaunda was an important figure in international diplomacy, working closely with the US to find solutions to conflicts in Rhodesia, Angola, and Namibia. Zambia was a one-party state from 1972 to 1991, with the UNIP as the sole legal political party operating under the slogan "One Zambia, One Nation." In 1991, Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy succeeded Kaunda, ushering in a era of social-economic prosperity and government decentralisation. Chiluba's preferred successor, Levy Mwanawasa, ruled over Zambia from January 2002 until his death on August 19, 2008, and is credited with anti-corruption campaigns and raising the standard of living. Rupiah Banda served as acting president after Mwanawasa's death before being elected president in 2008. After losing the 2011 elections to Patriotic Front party chief Michael Sata, Banda stepped down after just three years in office. Sata died on October 28, 2014, making him the second president of Zambia to pass away while in office. Guy Scott served as interim president until new elections on January 20, 2015, when Edgar Lungu was elected as the country's sixth president. In August 2016, he was re-elected. Zambia has a wealth of natural resources, including minerals, wildlife, fisheries, freshwater, and arable land. Zambia was named one of the world's fastest-reforming economies by the World Bank in 2010. Lusaka is the capital of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

During Festival (public and religious) holidays, employees are entitled to paid time off. Memorial and religious festivals are among them (Christian origin).

Workers are entitled to a fully compensated public holiday if they do not skip work on the day before or after the holiday without permission from their employer or other good explanation. The basic salary, the monetary equivalent of any meal that may be supplied from time to time, and any working or other allowances that may be applicable up to one month are included in the amount of payment received during public holidays, but does not include payments in respect of any bonus.

Public holidays

The number of public holidays is generally 11.

New Year's Day, Youth Day (12 March), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Labour Day (1 May), African Freedom Day (25 May), Heroes Day (First Monday in July), Unity Day (Tuesday after Heroes Day), Farmers Day (First Monday in August), Independence Day (24 October), and Christmas Day are among the holidays celebrated.

Sick days

In the case of a temporary disability due to illness or an accident, the Employment Act allows for fully compensated sick leave. A certified medical certificate is required in order to take advantage of fully compensated leave. The employer may continue to pay for a longer amount of time, but the law does not demand it.

The period of paid sick leave varies depending on the type of job. An employee on a short-term contract gets paid full pay for the first 26 days of sick leave, then half pay (50 percent) for the next 26 days of sick leave. Long-term contracts are any contracts that last longer than 12 months.

A worker may be awarded paid sick leave at full pay for the first three months under the General Wage Order and half pay for the next three months under the Shop Workers' Wages Order. Probationary employees are likewise entitled to paid sick leave for a period of 26 working days under the Shop Workers' Wages Order.

Maternity leave

The Employment Code Act of 2019 mandates a 14-week maternity leave, up from the previous 12 weeks mandated by the Employment Act of 1965. Post-natal leave is required for at least 6 weeks. Maternity leave can be extended to 18 weeks in the event of multiple deliveries. A female employee must provide her employer written notice, together with a medical certificate, of her decision to go on maternity leave on a certain date and return to work when the maternity leave is over.

A woman who gives birth to a preterm child is eligible to an extended maternity leave (beyond 14 weeks) if a medical practitioner recommends it. A female worker may take sick, annual, compassionate, or other leave that she is entitled to immediately after her maternity leave ends and before returning to work, with the employer's agreement.

If a woman has worked for the same company for one year and has a miscarriage or has a stillborn child, she is entitled to six weeks of maternity leave after the miscarriage or stillbirth. A medical officer must properly certify the loss or stillbirth.

Paternity leave

Previously, there was no provision for paternity leave under Zambian law. Paternity leave is clearly defined in the Employment Code Act of 2019. A male employee who has worked for the company for at least one year is entitled to at least 5 consecutive working days of paternity leave. The employee must be the father of the kid; the employee must have given the employer a copy of the child's birth certificate; and the leave must be taken within seven days of the kid's birth.

Parental leave

Parental leave, whether paid or unpaid, is not covered by the law.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employers may terminate an employee's employment contract with notice. Additionally, an employer may be entitled to grant compensation in place of notice. In a few limited circumstances, an employee may be dismissed without warning. Redundancy dismissals are subject to special procedures.

Notice period

The notice period is between one day and three months, depending on the length of service of the employee.

Severance pay

Severance is required in some circumstances, including the termination of a fixed-term contract and to employees dismissed for redundancy.

Probation period

There are no provisions in the labor laws specifically tailored to probationary periods in Zambia.

07. Working hours


Employees typically work eight hours per day and can work up to 48 hours per week. Collective bargaining agreements, on the other hand, may specify the hours and days worked.


Overtime is permitted, and employees are entitled to additional compensation for work performed outside of normal business hours.

08. Minimum wage


Zambia's yearly minimum wage is $917.00.

09. Employee benefits


Zambia provides universal healthcare, but private treatment is accessible in more populated regions. Private health insurance is also accessible.

Mandatory benefits postulated by law include a probationary period, pay on annual leaves, public holidays, sick leaves, maternity leave, paternity leave, and overtime pay. Statutory benefits also include social security benefits.

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.

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