Maternity Leave

Do you get Maternity Leave Allowance at Work in Tanzania? Know labour law about Maternity Leave Entitlement, Maternity Leave Benefits, Paid Maternity Leave for Pregnant Woman at Work





Apart from Annual Leave, what other forms of leave am I entitled to?

Over and above Annual Leave you are entitled to Maternity/Paternity Leave, Sick Leave and Compassionate Leave. These are forms of leave provided for under the law. However, a Collective Bargaining Agreement or an internal policy can provide for more forms of leave.


How do I become eligible for Maternity/Paternity Leave? 

Maternity Leave is covered under Sub-Part D of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004. An employee becomes eligible for Maternity/Paternity Leave after completion of six months work from the commencement of your employment contract. Another criterion for eligibility of Maternity Leave is the requirement of the law for an employee to give written notice to the employer of her intention to take Maternity Leave at least three months before the expected date of birth. Such notice must be supported by a medical certificate.

You become eligible for Maternity Leave after completion of six months work from the date of commencement of your employment.


Can the employer refuse to give me Maternity Leave for failure to give notice as required?

The Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 only put this as a criteria for one to be able to get Maternity Leave. It is silent on what will happen to you if you do not give the required notice. It is therefore advisable for an employee to give three months notice because an employer can refuse to give you paid Maternity Leave because of your failure to follow the laid down procedures 


How many days of Maternity Leave am I entitled to?

In a Leave Cycle (period of 36 months) you will be entitled to 84 days paid Maternity Leave if you give birth to a single child or 100 days paid Maternity Leave if you give birth to more than one child. These days include rest days and Public Holidays. However if due to any birth/ delivery complications you require extra days you can discuss with the employer in terms of the possibility of using Sick Leave days, or some days from your Annual Leave, or getting extra unpaid leave days.


Is there any condition under the law upon its occurrence that will allow me to get an additional 84 days paid Maternity Leave within the leave cycle?

Yes. If you give birth and the child dies within a year of birth you will be entitled to an additional 84 days paid Maternity Leave.  


Is there any limit on the number of times that I can take Maternity Leave?

According to the laws governing private sectors an employee can have up to four terms of Maternity Leave in the course of employment with the same employer.


In the event that I have exhausted my four terms of Maternity Leave and I become pregnant can I still request another paid Maternity Leave?

No. You can not be refused your Maternity Leave, but it will be without pay.


When can I commence my Maternity Leave?

An employee may commence her Maternity Leave at any time from four weeks before the expected date of confinement or on an earlier date if certified by Medical Practitioner that it is important for the health of the mother or unborn child.


Can I be terminated from employment when I am pregnant or soon after returning to my job from my Maternity Leave?

Yes, you can be terminated from your employment when you are pregnant or soon after returning from Maternity Leave but the reason should not be related to your pregnancy or giving birth. An employer can terminate you for other reasons such as misconduct or underperformance, but only after adhering to the laid down procedures. 


Are there any payments under the law that I am entitled to from my employer during my Maternity Leave? 

An employer is under the law required to give an employee on Maternity Leave only her usual salary that an employee would be entitled if she had attended work. However, if additional benefits have been provided under internal policies of the organisation/enterprises then the employer will be obliged to pay.


What about hospitalisation? Is my employer responsible for my hospital bills associated with pregnancy or delivery?

The law provides that the employer will have a duty to cater for her employee’s medical bills if the employee leave under the employer’s premises or the same has been negotiated and put under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, or if the employer has an internal policy which provides for medical services for employees.


Which other institution can cater for my Maternity Benefits?

Some pension funds like the National Social Security Funds do have a product on Maternity Benefits. Maternity Benefits have two elements, Maternity Medical Care and Maternity Cash Benefit. A woman who is registered with NSSF can receive these, provided she meets the following conditions:

  • In the period between first registering with the fund and the expected week of confinement, she must have paid 36 contributions.
  • In the 36 months immediately preceding the expected week of confinement, she must have paid 12 contributions.

If both those conditions are satisfied, the woman will qualify for both benefits. If either condition is not satisfied, she will not qualify for either of the benefits.


Read more

Find out about Annual Leave in Tanzania.

Find out about Paternity Leave.