Maternity Leave

All about Maternity Leave in Tanzania, Employers and Maternity Leave in Tanzania, Maternity Leave and Wages and Salaries in Tanzania and more on AfricaPay Tanzania

Apart from Annual Leave, what other forms of Leave am I supposed to grant to my employees?

Over and above Annual Leave employees are entitled to Maternity/Paternity Leave, Sick Leave and Compassionate Leave. These are forms of leave provided for under the law. However, an employer can provide for more forms of leave as the law provides minimum standards.


How does an employee become eligible for Maternity 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 from commencement of her/his employment contract. Another criterion for eligibility of Maternity Leave is the requirement of the law for an employee to give 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.


How many days of Maternity Leave is an employee entitled to? 

In a Leave Cycle (period of 36 months) an employee is entitled to 84 days paid Maternity Leave if she gives birth to a single child or 100 days paid Maternity Leave if the employee gives birth to more than one child. These days include rest days and Public Holidays. However if due to any birth/ delivery complications the female employee requires extra days she can discuss this with the employer concerning using sick leave days or some days from her Annual Leave, or getting extra unpaid leave days.

The duration of Paternity Leave is three days in a leave cycle which is thirty six months. The three days are the total number of days irrespective of the number of children that are born within the leave cycle. 


Is there any condition upon its occurrence that will require me to give an employee an additional 84 days paid Maternity Leave within the leave cycle?

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


Is there any limit on the number of times that an employee 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 her employment with the same employer.


If the employee has already exhausted their four terms of Maternity Leave but becomes pregnant and requests another paid Maternity Leave can I refuse her?

No. You can not refuse her Maternity Leave, but you can allow her Maternity Leave with no pay. 


When am I required to allow the employee to commence her 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 a Medical Practitioner that it is important for the health of the mother or unborn child.


Can I terminate an employee who is pregnant or soon after resuming work from Maternity Leave?

Yes, you can terminate the employment of an employee who is either pregnant or soon after returning from Maternity Leave but the reason should not be related to her pregnancy or her giving birth. If you have other reasons like misconduct or underperformance you can terminate by following the laid down procedures. Further an employee can not be terminated when she is serving her Maternity Leave for any reasons. If the employer wants to terminate an employee who is on Maternity Leave for reasons not related to her pregnancy the employer is required to wait until this employee completes her Maternity Leave and returns back to work.


Are there any other payments under the law that I am required to give the employee who is proceeding on Maternity Leave? 

If benefits have been provided under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, Contract of Employment  or internal policies of the organisation/enterprises then the employer will be obliged to pay.


What about hospitalisation? Am I as her employer supposed to pay her hospital bills associated with her pregnancy or delivery?

The law provides that the employer will have a duty to cater for her employee’s medical bills if the employee leaver 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 at its cost.


Which other institution can assist me in providing for Maternity Benefits for an employee?

Some pension funds like the National Social Security Funds do have a policy 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 more about Annual Leave in Tanzania.

Find out more about Paternity Leave in Tanzania.

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