Forced Labour

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labour

The Constitution states that no person will be held in slavery or servitude; that slavery and the slave trade are prohibited; that no person will be subject to forced or tied labor that amounts to servitude

Under the employment Act, “forced labour” means any work or service that is exacted from any person under the threat of any penalty and is not offered voluntarily. Furthermore, no person will be required to perform forced labour, and any person who exacts or imposes forced labour or causes or permits forced labour is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of MK 10,000 and to imprisonment for two years.

Under the Penal Code, any person who unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person will be guilty of a misdemeanor (a minor offence).

Source: §27 of the Constitution of Malawi 1994; §3-4 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010; §269 of the Penal Code

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

As mentioned above, the law of Malawi prohibits the use of forced or compulsory labour and guarantees the right to work. A worker has the right to terminate his/her employment relationship after serving due notice.

The minimum period of notice in respect of a contract of employment for a specified period of time is fourteen calendar days.

For more details on this, please refer to the section on employment security

Source: §27-30 of the Constitution of Malawi 1994; §29 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010

Inhumane Working Conditions

The normal working hours are 48 hours per week. The Employment Act sets the premium pay for overtime hours however does not set the overtime hour limits.

For more information, please refer to the section on Compensation.

Source: §36 & 39 of the Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010

Regulations on Forced Labour

  • Employment Act (No. 6 of 2000), last amended in 2010
  • Constitution of Malawi 1994
  • Penal Code
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