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Discover everything you need to know about Tanzania

Hire in Tanzania at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Tanzania

Tanzanian Shilling
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
45 hours/week

Overview in Tanzania

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Tanzania, located on the Indian Ocean in East Africa, shares borders with several countries including Kenya, Uganda, and Mozambique. It features diverse landscapes such as savannahs, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The country has a tropical climate with varying conditions based on topography.

Historically, Tanzania has been inhabited for millions of years with indigenous groups like the Hadzabe and Sandawe. It became a hub in Indian Ocean trade, influencing the development of Swahili culture. It was colonized by Germany and later Britain, gaining independence in 1961 and forming Tanzania in 1964 through the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Post-independence, it pursued African socialism under President Julius Nyerere and later economic liberalization from the 1980s.

Tanzania's population exceeds 60 million, with Dar es Salaam as its major commercial city and Dodoma as the capital. It is ethnically diverse with over 120 ethnic groups and has a mixed economy transitioning from agriculture to more industrialization and services. Swahili and English are official languages, and the country has significant Muslim and Christian populations.

The economy is primarily based on agriculture with key crops like coffee and cashew nuts. The service sector is growing, especially in urban areas, and includes tourism which benefits from attractions like safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro. The mining sector is notable for minerals like gold and diamonds, and there is potential in natural gas and renewable energy sectors.

Challenges include underemployment, the need for skill upgrades, and infrastructure development. The country also faces the need to balance modernization with traditional values in workplace settings, where community and family ties are prioritized, and hierarchical structures are respected.

Taxes in Tanzania

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  • Tax Responsibilities in Tanzania: Employers in Tanzania are responsible for withholding and remitting Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) by the 20th of the month following the deduction. The tax rates are progressive.

  • Social Security Contributions: Employers must contribute to social security funds such as the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Workers' Compensation Fund (WCF), with both employer and employee contributing 10% of the gross salary to NSSF, and employers contributing 0.5% to WCF.

  • Skills and Development Levy (SDL): Employers with ten or more employees are required to pay a Skills and Development Levy, which is 3.5% of total payroll costs, paid monthly alongside PAYE.

  • VAT Regulations: Businesses with a taxable turnover exceeding TZS 100 million must register for VAT, which is generally filed and paid monthly by the 20th. Certain services are exempt from VAT, including financial, medical, and educational services.

  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Incentives: Tanzania offers CIT exemptions and reductions for specific projects in priority sectors, with eligibility criteria including investment size, business location, and job creation.

  • Investment Deductions and Allowances: These include capital allowances for capital expenditures and exemptions on import duty and VAT for specific imported materials used in qualifying projects.

  • Free Economic Zones (FEZs): FEZs provide significant tax and customs duty benefits to attract investments, with specific criteria and application procedures managed by the relevant Free Economic Zone authority.

Leave in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, employees with at least six months of continuous service are entitled to a minimum of 28 consecutive days of paid annual leave. Leave entitlements are based on uninterrupted employment, and unused leave can be carried over or compensated financially upon termination. Vacation scheduling is typically a collaborative decision between employer and employee, with a requirement that employees take at least seven consecutive days at a time.

Tanzania observes numerous national holidays such as New Year's Day, Zanzibar Revolutionary Day, and Independence Day, among others. Additionally, both Muslim and Christian religious holidays are recognized, with dates varying annually based on respective calendars.

Other types of leave include sick leave, maternity leave (84 days), and paternity leave (3 days), all governed by the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004. Bereavement and Compassionate Leave are also available, often at the employer's discretion. Employers may offer more generous leave provisions than the legal minimums, and specific sectors may have additional regulations.

Benefits in Tanzania

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Tanzania's employment law provides a comprehensive range of benefits to employees, enhancing their social safety net and work environment. Key benefits include:

  • Leave Benefits: Employees are entitled to 28 days of paid annual leave, paid time off on 15 public holidays, up to 126 days of paid sick leave, 84 days of maternity leave, and 10 days of paternity leave.
  • Social Security Contributions: Contributions are made to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for private sector employees and the Public Service Social Security (PSSF) for government employees, covering pensions and unemployment benefits.
  • Other Mandatory Benefits: These include notice periods for termination, severance pay based on years of service, and as of 2024, mandatory health insurance coverage through either the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) or private insurance.
  • Optional Benefits: Employers may offer additional perks such as housing and transportation allowances, meal vouchers, gym memberships, flexible work arrangements, on-site childcare, and company phones to attract and retain talent.
  • Retirement Savings: The Public Service Retirement Benefits Act provides a Defined Benefit Pension for government employees, while the NSSF offers a Defined Contribution Pension for private sector employees. Additional private pension plans are also available.

These benefits are designed to support employees' financial, health, and personal needs, contributing to a motivated and productive workforce in Tanzania.

Workers Rights in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, employment contracts can only be terminated for valid reasons such as serious misconduct, incapacity, or operational requirements. Employers must provide written notice, the duration of which depends on the length of service, ranging from 7 to 28 days. Severance pay is mandated in cases like redundancy or unfair termination as determined by a labor tribunal.

Employers are required to follow fair procedures during termination, including providing a clear reason for dismissal and allowing the employee to respond. Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited on various grounds, and victims can seek redress through internal procedures, the Labour Commissioner, or the courts.

The Employment and Labour Relations Act of 2004 sets standards for work hours, rest periods, and ergonomic considerations, stipulating a maximum 45-hour workweek. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 2003 mandates employers to ensure a safe working environment, including providing PPE and conducting health monitoring. Employees have rights to a safe workplace, information, training, and can refuse unsafe work.

Enforcement of these regulations is primarily the responsibility of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA), which conducts inspections, investigates incidents, and ensures compliance with health and safety standards.

Agreements in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 (ELRA) outlines three primary types of employment contracts:

  1. Contract for an Unspecified Period of Time: This indefinite-term contract continues without a predetermined end date and can only be terminated by following legal procedures.

  2. Contract for a Specified Period of Time: These fixed-term contracts are for a specific duration, generally used for project-based or temporary roles, and are limited to professional and managerial positions with a minimum duration of twelve months.

  3. Contract for a Specific Task: This contract ends automatically upon the completion of a designated task or project.

Employment agreements must include essential details such as the parties' information, job role, compensation, benefits, working conditions, and termination procedures. They may also contain clauses on confidentiality and intellectual property, with optional clauses for non-compete and non-solicitation, which should comply with local regulations.

Probationary periods, while not explicitly mentioned in the ELRA, are regulated and cannot exceed twelve months. Employers must provide feedback and guidance during this period, and employees are entitled to a fair assessment and confirmation of employment upon successful completion.

Confidentiality clauses are enforceable and aim to protect the employer's sensitive information. In contrast, the enforceability of non-compete clauses is uncertain without explicit legislation, and their validity often depends on their reasonableness and the protection of legitimate business interests. Legal advice is recommended for drafting these clauses to ensure compliance and protection of rights.

Remote Work in Tanzania

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Tanzania's approach to remote work, largely prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, lacks specific legal frameworks but utilizes existing laws like the Tanzania Employment Act of 1995 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2003 to guide employer-employee relations. Key considerations include defining remote work terms in employment contracts, ensuring safe work environments, and providing necessary technological infrastructure such as reliable internet and communication tools.

Employers are responsible for creating effective remote work policies, managing performance, maintaining communication, and offering training. Flexible work options like part-time work, flexitime, and job sharing are becoming more popular, though they are not explicitly detailed in Tanzanian law, requiring employers to define their own policies within employment contracts.

Additionally, the Tanzania Data Protection Act of 2016 places obligations on employers to protect employee data, emphasizing practices like data minimization, implementing security measures, and ensuring transparency. Employees have rights to access their data and object to its processing. Best practices for data security in remote settings include using secure communication channels, implementing access controls, encrypting data, training employees on cybersecurity, enforcing strong passwords, and having a clear data breach reporting procedure.

Working Hours in Tanzania

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Summary of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 (ELRA) in Tanzania:

  • Standard Working Hours:

    • Maximum of 9 hours per day, excluding lunch breaks.
    • Maximum of 45 hours per week, equating to six 9-hour workdays.
    • Compressed workweeks allowing up to 12 hours per day are permissible with a written agreement, without exceeding 45 hours weekly.
  • Overtime Regulations:

    • Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the regular wage.
    • Employees cannot work more than 12 hours per day, including overtime.
    • Overtime is capped at 50 hours over a four-week cycle.
    • Managerial positions and emergency situations may have exceptions.
    • Collective agreements may allow averaging overtime up to 10 hours weekly over a year.
  • Rest Periods and Breaks:

    • Daily rest of 12 consecutive hours; can be reduced to 8 hours by agreement.
    • One-hour break after more than five hours of continuous work.
    • Weekly rest of 24 consecutive hours, typically on Sundays, negotiable.
  • Night and Weekend Work:

    • Night work (8 pm to 6 am) includes a 5% wage differential.
    • Night shift overtime pays an additional 105% on top of the base wage.
    • Employees are entitled to a 24-hour rest period weekly, which can be adjusted with a compressed workweek agreement.
  • General Provisions:

    • Employers must respect mandated breaks and rest periods.
    • Employees have the right to refuse work without mandated breaks or rest periods.
    • Employers should consider additional benefits for night shifts and strive to avoid unnecessary weekend work to respect personal and family time.

Salary in Tanzania

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Understanding market competitive salaries in Tanzania involves considering various factors such as job title, industry, geographical location, and foreign language skills. Salaries vary significantly across different sectors, with higher wages typically found in urban centers like Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and Arusha. Fluency in English or Swahili can also enhance salary prospects, especially in multinational companies.

Resources for researching salaries include salary surveys from recruitment agencies, job board listings, and government statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Tanzania. These tools help individuals gauge appropriate salary ranges and prepare for negotiations.

Tanzania enforces a sectoral minimum wage system, managed by the Ministry of State, Prime Minister's Office, with variations based on industry and geographic zones. Compliance with these minimum wage regulations is mandatory for employers.

Employers often offer additional benefits such as bonuses and allowances (meal, transportation, housing) to attract and retain employees. Understanding the specifics of these benefits requires careful examination of employment contracts. Payroll processing in Tanzania involves steps like data collection, deductions, payslip generation, and salary payment, with strict adherence to legal requirements for timely wage disbursement and tax compliance.

Termination in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, the Employment and Labour Relations Act (ELRA) governs the termination of employment, specifying minimum notice periods based on the employee's tenure. For instance, employees within their first month require one week's notice, while monthly paid employees after the first month need twenty-eight days' notice. Exceptions to these periods can arise from collective bargaining agreements or specific employment contracts, which may stipulate longer notice periods.

Employers can opt for payment in lieu of notice, which involves compensating employees for the notice period rather than having them work through it. This option still requires a 30-day prior notification to the labour commissioner.

Severance pay is mandated under certain conditions such as redundancy, the employer's inability to fulfill obligations, or an unfair refusal to offer suitable alternative employment. The calculation for severance pay is based on a minimum of seven days' basic wage for each year of service, up to ten years.

The ELRA also categorizes terminations into ordinary termination, summary dismissal (termination with cause), and redundancy termination, each with specific procedural requirements. For example, ordinary termination requires written notice and adherence to statutory or contractually agreed notice periods, while summary dismissal necessitates a thorough investigation and an opportunity for the employee to respond. Redundancy termination involves consultation and fair selection criteria.

Overall, the ELRA ensures that both employers and employees adhere to legal standards during the termination process, providing protections and ensuring fair treatment for employees.

Freelancing in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, distinguishing between employees and independent contractors is essential due to its implications on rights, benefits, and social security contributions. The main factors considered are control and direction, integration vs. independence, and remuneration and social security.

  • Control and Direction: Employees work under an employer's supervision, following specific schedules and instructions, while independent contractors operate autonomously, focusing on delivering specific results with flexible methods.

  • Integration vs. Independence: Employees are integrated into the core operations of a business, performing essential tasks, whereas independent contractors provide supplementary services.

  • Remuneration and Social Security: Employees are subject to minimum wage laws and social security contributions made by their employers. Independent contractors handle their own work arrangements, fee setting, and social security payments.

Contract structures for independent contractors should be well-defined, including scope of work, payment terms, and clauses for termination and dispute resolution, to minimize legal issues. Negotiation practices for contractors involve setting rates based on expertise and market conditions, and clearly defining project terms and client expectations.

Common industries for independent contractors in Tanzania include IT, creative industries, marketing, and translation. Intellectual property rights are crucial, with copyright ownership defaulting to the creator unless contractually assigned to the client. Moral rights remain with the creator and cannot be transferred.

Freelancers must manage their own tax obligations, registering with the Tanzania Revenue Authority if necessary, and possibly consulting a tax advisor. Insurance options for freelancers are limited, with recommendations to explore private health and accident insurance.

Overall, understanding these distinctions and legal frameworks is vital for both employers and independent contractors in Tanzania to ensure compliance and protect their respective rights.

Health & Safety in Tanzania

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Tanzania's health and safety regulations are primarily governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2003, alongside other relevant laws such as the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004, and the Public Health Act, 2009. These laws are supplemented by the Workers' Compensation Act, 2008, and various sector-specific regulations.

Employer Responsibilities include ensuring a safe working environment, conducting risk assessments, providing training and personal protective equipment (PPE), and reporting incidents.

Worker Responsibilities involve maintaining personal and others' safety, using safety equipment properly, and reporting hazardous conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) enforces these regulations through workplace inspections, information dissemination, and policy contributions. OSHA inspectors have broad powers to enter workplaces, conduct inspections, and enforce compliance.

Key Regulatory Areas cover general workplace safety, specific hazards, and industry-specific standards. Employers must identify risks, implement a hierarchy of controls from elimination to PPE, and engage in occupational health surveillance.

Incident Reporting and Investigation are crucial, with employers required to report serious accidents and OSHA responsible for investigating them.

Training and Education are mandated to ensure workers understand safety practices and hazards. Worker participation in safety committees is encouraged to enhance safety compliance.

Despite a robust legal framework, challenges such as limited resources, the prevalence of informal sectors, and low awareness levels hinder effective implementation of health and safety standards in Tanzania.

Dispute Resolution in Tanzania

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Tanzania's labor dispute resolution involves a specialized Labor Court system and the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA), which handle cases like unfair termination and wage disputes through formal hearings and mediation or arbitration, respectively. Additionally, various regulatory bodies conduct compliance audits and inspections across different sectors to ensure adherence to national laws and standards, with consequences for non-compliance ranging from fines to criminal charges.

Whistleblower protections in Tanzania, provided under the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Act (2015), aim to protect individuals reporting misconduct, although practical challenges in enforcement remain. The country's labor laws are shaped by its ratification of key International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, aligning its domestic legislation with international labor standards. Despite compliance in several areas, challenges like child labor, discrimination, and forced labor persist, with ongoing efforts to improve labor law enforcement and address these issues.

Cultural Considerations in Tanzania

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  • Harmony in Indirectness: In Tanzania, communication is indirect to avoid confrontation and maintain group harmony, reflecting the "ubuntu" philosophy of interconnectedness.

  • Formality and Hierarchy: The business culture is formal, respecting hierarchical structures. Titles and polite greetings are important, and communication is deferential to superiors.

  • The Power of Non-Verbal Cues: Non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and body language, is crucial in conveying respect and attentiveness.

  • Building Relationships First: Establishing trust and relationships is prioritized before business negotiations, aligning with the values of "heshima" (respect) and "ujamaa" (familyhood).

  • Patience and Persistence: Tanzanian negotiators value patience and aim for win-win outcomes, showing persistence while respecting all parties involved.

  • Respectful Indirectness in Negotiations: Indirect communication is preferred in negotiations to avoid direct confrontation, with a focus on respectful and courteous interactions.

  • Top-Down Decision-Making: Decision-making is centralized, reflecting traditional respect for elders and authority, though teamwork within this structure is still valued.

  • Leadership Styles: Tanzanian leaders blend authority with approachability, acting as guides and mentors within a hierarchical framework.

  • National and Regional Holidays: Understanding national statutory holidays and regional observances is crucial for planning business operations in Tanzania.

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