Child Labour

What do you know about Child Labour and work in Zambia? provides information including child slaves, child labour age, child labour act, Child exploitation

Is Child Labour legal in Zambia?

No. According to provisions of the Employment of Young Persons and Children Act of Chapter 268 of the Employment Act, no person shall, except under conditions to be prescribed, employ or cause to be employed, any person under the age of fifteen years. And any person who contravenes the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of an offence.

Are there any variations on the law?

Yes. The Employment of Young Persons and Children Act 2004 states that: “A child between 13 and 15 years may be engaged in light work which is not likely to harm that child’s health or development; or which is not prejudicial to that child’s attendance at an institution of learning or participation in vocational orientation”. A child under 13 years of age cannot work under any circumstances.

What is the minimum contractual age of service?

The Employment Act, Chapter 268 of the laws of Zambia, sets out the minimum contractual age as 16 years. It stipulates that an employer must pay  for repatriation of workers who have been moved from their home to work by the employer; must provide paid leave to employees who have worked for them for over six months; and maternity leave to women who have worked for two over two years. 

Under what circumstances can a child under 16 enter into a contract of service?

If that happens:

  • The contract shall be deemed to be a daily contract notwithstanding any agreement, whether oral or in writing to the contrary; and
  • The employer shall cause the contract to be attested by the proper officer;

However these provisions shall not apply-

  • In the case of a person, under the age of fifteen years, who is receiving full-time education at a school recognised as such under the Education Act, if she/he is employed during school vacations.
  • In the case of a person, under the age of fifteen years, who has failed to secure admission to a suitable school or whose enrolment has been called or terminated by the school authorities or for a good cause by a parent;

Provided, however, that in either case, such child shall be employed only if the terms, conditions and nature of his employment are approved by a proper officer.

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Find out more about Minimum Wage in Zambia.


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