Forced Labour

Forced Labour in Tanzania, What the Law Says about Forced Labour in Tanzania, Forced Labour and Employees and Wages and more on Mywage Tanzania.





What is Forced Labour?

Forced labour refers to bonded labour or any work exacted from a person under the threat of a penalty and to which that person has not consented..

Is there any prohibition on Forced Labour and if yes, any penalty to an employer who contravenes this?

Yes. The law prohibits the procuring, demand and imposition of forced labour and any person who procures demands or imposes forced labour commits an offence. The penalty for someone who does these acts is fine not exceeding five million Tanzania Shillings, imprisonment for a term of one year or both fine and imprisonment.

If my employer forces me to work while I am tired, will it amount to Forced Labour?

By signing your employment contract you submitted yourself to work for your employer, so in such a scenario there is consent from your side and willingness to work. There is therefore no forced labour if your employer asks you to do what you agreed to do in your employment contract. However, if such work was not provided for under your contract and or job description this is another case.
If you are sick you can ask your employer for a day off to see a doctor, but you cannot refuse to work because you are tired.

Does overtime work amount to Forced Labour?

Working overtime can only amount to forced labour if you did not consent to working overtime. In other words if there has never been any agreement between you and your employer to require you to work beyond ordinary working hours and your employer orders you to work overtime, then it will amount to forced labour.

I was punished for refusing to work when there was an emergency as it was not my duty. Doesn’t this amount to an imposition of Forced Labour?

In some scenarios work which might sound like forced labour (no consent of the employee is granted) does not fall within the ambits of forced labour. These scenarios include:

  • Any work exacted in cases of emergency. 
  • Work exacted under the National Defence Act, 1966 for work of a purely military nature.
  • Work that forms part of the normal civic obligations of a citizen of Tanzania.
  • Work exacted from a person who is convicted by a court of law, provided the work is supervised by a public authority and the convict is not hired or placed at the disposal of a private person.

Read more

Find out more about Hours and Overtime in Tanzania.