Annual Leave and Holidays

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

The Employment and Labour Relations Act 2004 provides for annual leave on completion of a year of continuous service with an employer. A worker is entitled to 28 days paid annual leave, inclusive of any public holidays that may fall during the period of leave. The annual leave may be reduced by the number of days during a leave cycle, which are granted as paid occasional leave by the employer on worker's consent.

A worker with less than six months of service is not entitled to paid leave under the Employment and Labour Relations Act, unless the worker is employed on a seasonal basis or has worked more than once in a year for the same employer, and the total period worked for that employer exceeds six months in that year.

An employer may determine the timing of annual leave provided that it is taken not later than six months once it becomes due. The timing may be extended to 12 month period on worker's consent and if the extension is justified by the operational requirements of the employer.

The employer may not allow a worker to take annual leave in place of any other leave to which the worker is entitled. With the consent of an employee, the employer may require or permit such employee to work for the employer during a period of annual leave on condition that such employee shall not work for a continuous period of two years. The employer should pay the employee one-month salary in lieu of annual leave to which that employee is entitled or was called upon to work. A worker is entitled to his normal wages in the duration of his/her annual leave. The payment has to be made before leave is taken.

The employer is prohibited to pay compensation in lieu of annual leave except on termination of employment or the expiry of each season in respect of a worker employed on a seasonal basis. Apart from this provision, any agreement providing compensation in lieu of annual leave is null and void. The amount of compensation is calculated at the rate of one day's basic wage for every 13 days the worker worked or was entitled to work.

Source: §29-31of Employment and Labour Relations Act 2004; §6 of the Employment and Labour Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2015

Pay on Public Holidays

Workers are entitled to paid Festival (public and religious) holidays.  Festival holidays are announced by Tanzania Government (usually 17 in number).

The public holidays are regulated under the Public Holidays Ordinance, 1966. It includes the following holidays: New Year Day (January 01), Zanzibar Revolution Day (January 12), Maulid Day (January 03), Good Friday (April 03), Easter Sunday (April 05), Easter Monday (April 06), The Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day( April 07), Union Day (April 26), Workers Day (May 01), International Trade Fair/Saba Saba Day (July 07), Nane Nane (Peasants) Day (August 08), Eid-el-Fitri (July 17), Mwalimu Nyerere Day (October 14), Idd-El-Hajj (September 23), Independence and Republic Day (December 09), Christmas Day (December 25), Boxing Day (December 26). Dates of Muslim festivals are subject to the sighting of moon and thus are liable to change.

Holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are kept on those days. Act No.10 of 1994 has been repealed and holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are no longer compensated. 

Source: Public Holidays Ordinance 1966

Weekly Rest Days

Workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week between last working day in one week and the first ordinary working day of the next week. Employment and Labour Relations Act requires that weekly rest day, in principle, should be Sunday for all employees.

A written agreement may provide for a rest period of at least 60 consecutive hours fortnightly or a weekly rest period may be reduced to 8 hours if the rest period in the following week is extended equivalently.

Rest break of an hour is provided to the employees who works continuously for more than five hours. An employer may require an employee to work during a break only if the work cannot be left unattended or cannot be performed by another employee.

A daily rest period of at least 12 consecutive hours between ending and recommencing work is provided under the law. This rest period can be reduced to 8 hours if there is a written agreement to that effect or if the ordinary working hours are interrupted by an interval of at least three hours or if the employee lives on the premises of the workplace.

The provisions on daily rest and rest breaks do not apply to managerial employees or those working in emergency situation.

Source: §17, 23 (1 & 2), 24 of Employment and Labour Relations Act 2004

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • Employment and Labour Relations Act, No. 6 of 2004 / Sheria ya Ajira na Mahusiano Kazini Sehemu ya 6 ya 2004
  • Public Holidays Ordinance, 1966 / Sheria ya sikukuu za kitaifa, 1966
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