Contracts of Employment

If you are employed or about to be employed in Tanzania you need to sign a Contract of Employment - including employment contract law, job security, probation period, contract rights



What laws govern Contracts of Employment in Tanzania?

Generally, the Law of Contract Act governs all types of contracts in Tanzania. But for specific types of contracts there are specific laws governing the same. For example the Employment and Labour Relations Act specifically provides for Employment Contracts. It is therefore correct to state that the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 together with the Law of Contract Act govern employment contracts.

Are there many types of contracts?

There are mainly three types of contracts under which you can be employed and these are:

  • A contract for an unspecified period of time: As the name explains, for this type of contract the duration of employment is unspecified, meaning not provided for. Some call it a permanent contract.
  • Contract for specified period of time: This is a type of contract in which the duration is specified. Under this contract if the specified duration has expired then the contract automatically comes to an end. A contract for a specified period of time could be of a duration of one month, three months, one year,  two years etc.
  • Contract for a specific task: This is a kind of contract in which a person is employed to perform a specific task. Once the task is completed then that contract comes to an end. For example, it could be that a person is employed to offload crates of soda from a truck and once that task has been completed then the contract ends.

As an accountant or any other professional, can I be employed on a contract for a specified period/permanent contract?

Yes. According to section 14 (1) (b) a contract for a specified period of time is for professionals and those employees in managerial ranks. However, this provision is often complained about, as one cannot employ someone who is not a professional on the same basis. The law provides that they should be employed under contract for a specific task or for an unspecified period/permanent contract.

What is a Written Statement of Particulars and what are its ingredients?

A written Statement of Particulars is a list of information about an employee and terms of engagement which the employer must supply to an employee once an employee commences employment. A Written Statement of Particulars must contain the following information about an employee;

  • Name, Age, Permanent Address and Sex of the employee
  • Place of Recruitment
  • Job description
  • Date of commencement
  • Form and duration of Contract
  • Place of Work
  • Hours of Work
  • Remuneration, method of calculation and details of any benefits or payments in kind;and
  • Any other prescribed matter.

If the particulars stated above are stated in a written contract which has been supplied to an employee the employer may not furnish the employee with the Written Statement of Particulars. It is also the duty of the employer to make sure that all written particulars or the ingredients of the contract are explained to the employee in a manner that an employee understands. It is necessary to put the contract in a language that is easily understood by the employee, be it English or Swahili. 

Can I be employed in an Oral Contract?

Oral contracts are permissible; however an employee must be supplied with a Written Statement of Particulars containing terms listed above. It is however not advised to enter into an oral contract of employment because in case of any legal proceedings the burden of proving or disproving an alleged term of employment shall be on the employer. If an employer fails to produce a contract of employment or written statement of particulars he/she will then fail to prove any term contained therein and the dispute might be decided against him/her. It is therefore very important to supply an employee with a written contract or at least a Written Statement of Particulars.

Do I as an employee have to provide a  Written Statement of Particulars or sign a Contract of Employment with someone who employs me for only a few days?

A Written Statement of Particulars or a Contract of Employment or any of the above mentioned terms shall not apply to an employee who works less than six days in a month for an employer. 





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