Annual Leave and Holidays

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

Annual leave is regulated under the Employment Act. Length of annual leave depends on the working days in a week. Annual leave is

(a)    eighteen (18) working days if the worker works six days a week; and

(b)   fifteen (15) working days if the worker works five days a week.

Where an employee’s length of service in any one year, including the period prior to the completion of the first year of continuous service, is less than the length of service required for the full entitlement set out above, worker is entitled to a period of annual leave with pay proportionate to his/her length of service during that year (pro-rate leave).

Workers are entitled to their wages during annual leave at the rate the employee was receiving immediately prior to the commencement of leave (or termination of employment contract). Annual leave must be taken within six months of its entitlement provided that such leave may be deferred and accumulated by mutual agreement.

The annual leave is granted by the employer, in consultation with the employee, as from a date determined by the employer, but not later than six months after the end of the year in respect of which the leave entitlement arose. Annual leave is not concurrent with any period of sick leave, maternity leave or notice of termination of contract of employment. Furthermore, annual leave is exclusive of the public holidays.

Source: §44 & 45 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010

Pay on Public Holidays

There are eleven public holidays in Malawi which are as follows New Year's Day (January 01), John Chilembwe Day (January 15), Martyrs' Day (March 03), Good Friday,  Saturday following Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (May 01) Kamuzu Day (May 14), Independence Day (July 06), Mothers’ Day (October 15) Eid-al-Fitr/Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26).

If a public holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. Dates of Muslim holidays depend on the sighting of moon are thus liable to change.

Workers are entitled to fully paid public holidays. However, if a worker is absent from work without reasonable cause on a working day(s) preceding the public holiday(s), he/she would not be entitled for payment on the public holiday. Similarly, a worker loses the entitlement for paid public holiday if he/she fails to do so without a reasonable cause.

The normal working hours on a public holiday are paid at twice the rate. The overtime hours on a public holiday are paid at 400% of the normal rate.

Source: Public Holidays Act 1967; Source: §40 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010

Weekly Rest Days

Weekly rest is regulated under the Employment Act. Under the law, a weekly period of rest comprises of at least twenty-four consecutive hours, which is usually taken on a customary day of rest or a day agreed upon between the parties.

No clear provision could be located in law related to daily rest period and breaks.

Source: §36 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • 454001
  • 454002
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