Contracts of Employment in Tanzania

Q: How many types of contracts are there?

Ans: Section 14 of ELRA provides for three types of contracts:

    1. A contract for an unspecified period of time
      This is otherwise known as a permanent contract. It has a starting date but no end date. This contract may be issued to all employees depending on the nature of the employment. It may be terminated due to retirement, retrenchment, breach of contract, death, or termination on disciplinary/performance grounds. (Section 14(1) (a) ELRA)
    2. A contract for a specified period of time
      The law clearly stipulates that this is a contract that has a starting and an end date. This contract should be issued to professionals and employees in the managerial cadre. Unskilled or unprofessional employees should not be given this type of contract. This contract expires/terminates automatically when the type lapses; unless the contract itself has stipulated that it shall be renewed. Regulation 11 of The Employment And Labour Relations (General) Regulations, GN 47 of 2017 also stipulates that the minimum period that this contract can be issued is 12 months. (Section 14(1) (b) ELRA)
    3. Contract for a specific task
      This type of contract is issued to an employee in order for them to perform a specific task or work. It is intended to end when the work is complete. This contract is given for work that is seasonal or occasional in nature and not for one which is repetitive or recurrent. (Section 14(1) (c) ELRA)

Q: What are the contents of a contract of employment?

Ans: An employer may have a contract of employment or a written statement of particulars which has the following details: These have to be explained to the employee in a manner that the employee understands.

      • Name, age, permanent address, and sex of the employee
      • Place of recruitment
      • Place of work
      • Date of commencement
      • Form and duration of the contract
      • Job Title and description
      • Hours/Days of Work
      • Remuneration, deductions, benefits, and any other payment 
      • Any other matter.

Q: How are casual employees treated under the law?

Ans: the Employment Labour Relations Act does not provide for casual employment as a form of contract or a form of employment. Instead, there is a contract for a specific task. (Section 14(1) (c) ELRA)

Q: What should I pay my employees?

Ans: Currently the minimum wages are provided under the Minimum Wage Order of 2013 and are dependent on the sector. (Minimum Wage Order GN 196/2013)

Q: What is the law concerning outsourcing employment?

Ans: Should an employer want to outsource a certain area of employment to another company; this shall be in a written contract committing compliance to Labour laws and any other written laws. Also, different treatment of employees for work of equal value outsourced from different sources or arrangements shall be deemed as discrimination in accordance with the Employment and Labour Relations Act. (Regulation 9(1) the Labour Institutions (General) Regulations, GN 45 of 2017)

Q: How long can I have a probation period?

Ans: There is no minimum period for probation however, the probation period can be extended to a maximum time of 12 months. In case of termination by either party during the first month of employment, one week's written notice or payment in lieu is required. (Rule 10 (3) Code of Good Practice, GN 42 of 2007)

Q. Can a contract of employment be done orally?

Ans: Yes, an employment contract can be oral or written. However, when an employee is to work outside Tanzania, the contract has to be in writing. (Section 14(2) ELRA)

Employees’ Rights at the Workplace