Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2021-01-25

Minimum Wage

In accordance with the provisions of Employment Act, wages may be fixed through a contract of employment, collective bargaining agreement and through a wage order by the President on the recommendations of the Wages Advisory Board. The Wages Advisory Board has representation from all the concerned social partners, i.e., workers, employers, government, representative of informal sector and independent experts. The Board advises the government (Minister for Labour) on wages and other matters concerning the wage payment and reduction of wages in the public and private sector. It can also advise the Minister on minimum wages and proposals for fixing minimum wages for all or any group of employees in Zanzibar. While fixing or proposing the wages, the ability (of the employers) to pay the wages, cost of living in the country, and the impact on employment, poverty reduction and operation of small businesses is taken into consideration. The minimum wages for public and private sector employees in Zanzibar are announced through a Presidential Order.

No worker may be paid less than minimum wage however employers are not prohibited from paying more than the minimum wage agreed under a collective agreement or an individual employment contract.

Compliance with provisions of Employment Act including minimum wages is ensured by the labour inspectorate. If a worker is paid less than the minimum wage, he/she may file a complaint with the Labour Commission. Payment of wages at a rate lower than the minimum wage is a liable offence and punished with a fine of at least 400,000 shillings and imprisonment of at least three months.

Source: § 91-97 & 106 of the Employment Act No. 11 of 2005

For updated minimum wage rates, please refer to the section on minimum wage.

Regular Pay

The Employment Act requires that wages must be paid in the legal tender, i.e., Tanzanian Schillings and any agreement to the contrary is deemed null and void. A ministerial order may provide for partial payment of wages in kind however not in the form of alcoholic beverages and noxious drugs. Wages, whether paid through cash or cheque, have to be paid during working hours on the working days and at the workplace. Wages are usually paid through cash however with the consent of the worker, the wages may directly be deposited into a bank account designated by the employee. Wages must be paid to an employee in person and in the event of death of such employee, the legal representative(s) are paid the wages and other terminal benefits.

An employer is required to pay the wages to the workers if the worker was present at the workplace however the employer failed to provide work in accordance with the contract. An employee, on the other hand, is not entitled to wages in respect of any period for which she is absent from work without a good cause. Unless there is a prior written agreement between the worker and the employer, a worker engaged for one day is paid at the end of the day; a worker engaged by hour is paid at the end of that hour, day or week; a worker paid by fortnight or month is paid at the end of that fortnight or month; and an employee engaged in piecework is paid at intervals of no longer than a fortnight. 

An employee cannot be obliged to make use of any shop(s) established by the employer for the use of his or her employees or services operated in connection with the undertaking. On the termination of contract, an employee must be paid wages and any other remuneration and accrued benefits to which he/she is entitled.

Deductions from workers' wages are not allowed unless these are deductions required or permitted for certain payments by the employer on the employee’s behalf including taxes or contributions due from the worker to any provident, medical or pension fund or any other approved fund; any amounts ordered by a court for direct remittance to the spouse or other dependent relatives of the employee; and trade union dues/contributions.

Deduction can also be made to reimburse an employer for loss of damage only if the loss or damage occurred in the course of employment and was due to the worker's fault however the total deductions should not exceed one quarter (25%) of employee's remuneration.

Employers are required to provide pay slips to the workers indicating the amount and manner in which pay was calculated; indicate deduction(s), its purpose and the net wages paid.

Nonpayment of wages and illegal deductions from wages are both liable offences punished by a fine of at least 400,000 shillings and imprisonment of at least three months (only in case of illegal deductions).

Source: §98-106 of the Employment Act No. 11 of 2005


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