Employ Candidates Compliantly in Zambia

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  1. Overview: Zambia
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Zambia

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Zambia Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

Companies hire international workforce for various reasons but in most cases they are:

  • entering the foreign markets to sell company products. To do so, the company hires sales representatives who would represent their product and sell it to their local client base.
  • hiring a global talent with unique skills that is unavailable in the local market or costs the company less than the talent with similar skills hired in the home country.

Before entering a certain foreign market or engaging a global talent, it is crucial for the company to understand how it can make local hires and reward its workers on a monthly basis. Growing companies often face a challenge of paying benefits and bonuses to the commission-based independent sales representatives they are working with.

If you intend to hire and pay your foreign workforce in full compliance with labor laws and regulations of Zambia, then the Global Employer of Record service from Acumen International may be the best way for you to go. We are an International PEO company and we specialize in global employment, meaning we can employ your employees in Zambia and act as their legal employer on your behalf. We will payroll your foreign workforce monthly and provide benefits to them through our global network so you don’t have to set up your own legal entities there.

We are experts in global workforce employment in Zambia, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Zambia.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in Zambia or contact us if you need to employ workers in Zambia or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Zambia Guide

# Employment contracts
In accordance with the Employment Act, there are two types of contracts only, i.e., oral and written contracts. It does not focus on fixed term and permanent/indefinite term contracts. Employment Act does not require contracts to be in writing unless required by this Act or some other law. Even in the case of oral contracts, the law requires preparation of a “record of service” in duplicate to be handed over to an employee within one month of commencement of contract. The record of contract must contain the following: the name and sex of the employee and his nationality; the name, address and occupation of the employer; the date of the employee’s engagement and the capacity in which he is to be employed; the type of contract; the place of engagement; the rate of wages and any additional payments in kind; and the intervals of payment.

The written contract is required in the case of contracts of six months or longer duration or contracts of Foreign Service or for some specific tasks which is expected not to be completed within six months. A written contract of service will include all particulars of an employee, employer, wages, place of work, etc. The written contract must be signed by the employee or he/she puts the thumb/finger impression to indicate his/her consent and agreement to the terms and conditions specified in it. This contract is enforceable after attestation in triplicate under the relevant office, one copy for each party and third copy for the relevant government office. A written contract of service should not be binding on the family of an employee.

# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in Zambia

# Hours of work:
According to the law, your normal working hours per day are 8 hours and these should not be more than 48 hours per week. By including the lunch and prayer time in hours of work, working hours should not be greater than 9 hours a day.

# Probation period:
Laws do not specify maximum duration of probationary period.

# Annual leave:
The Employment Act provides for annual leave to all workers on completion of six months of service. The full-time workers are entitled to two days of annual leave/paid holidays for one month of service. The total annual leave is 24 calendar days per year and it is independent of weekly rest days and Public Holidays.

Employees are entitled to one month’s basic pay as well as other allowances for a period of one month prior to proceeding on leave. Part time employees are also allowed paid leave of absence in proportion to the number of hours worked in a month (a full time worker works 195 hours in a month to be eligible for paid annual leave). An employer pays the entire amount, including holiday allowance, immediately before the worker proceeds to leave.

Schedule of annual leave is mutually agreed between the parties. If the employment contract expires before a worker could acquire the right to annual leave, compensation for leave is paid as two days full pay for each completed month of service.

# Parental leave:
Every female employee who has completed at least two years of continuous service with her employer from the date of first engagement or since the last maternity leave taken, as the case may be, shall, on production of a medical certificate as to her pregnancy signed by a registered medical practitioner, be entitled to maternity leave of twelve weeks with full pay.

Female employees are entitled to at least 12 weeks of maternity leave on the provision of medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner. The maternity leave is equal to 120 days under the Orders issued in pursuance of Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act.

# Sick leave:
The Employment Act provides for a fully paid sick leave for a total duration of 26 working days in the event of temporary incapacity due to sickness or some accident. In order to avail fully paid leave, the worker must provide a valid medical certificate. The employer may continue to pay for longer period however it is not required under the law.

In accordance with the General Wage Order and Shop Workers’ Wages Order, a worker may be granted paid sick leave at full pay during the first three months and thereafter at half pay for the next 3 months. Shop Workers’ Wages Order also provides for paid sick leave for 26 working days for the probationary employees.

# Overtime:
In accordance with the General Wages Order 2011, Domestic Workers Wages Order 2011 and Shop Workers’ Wages Order 2011, maximum working hours in a week are 48 hours (for both general and domestic workers) and 45 hours (for shop workers, other than managers). The weekly hour limit for watchperson is 60 hours, spread over 06 days. Daily working hours limit is not specified by the law except for shop workers. Normal working hours limit for shop workers is eight and a half hours per day and for workers employed in butcheries, bakeries and dairies, it is ten and a half hours per day.

Work done in excess of normal weekly working hours is considered as overtime and it is compensated by the premium of at least 150% of the normal hourly wage rate. Law does not clearly specify the limits to overtime.

# State minimum salary:
Zambia’s minimum wage is determined by category of employment. 522,400 Zambian kwacha per month for domesticworkers,1,132,400 Zambian kwacha per month for shopkeepers, and between 1,132,400 and 2,101,039 Zambian kwacha for general workers’ in 5 separate categories. Wages are inclusive of transportation, lunch, and housing allowances. Zambia’s minimum wage was last changed in July 2012.

# Employee dismissal:
A written contract of service shall be terminated:

  • by the expiry of the term for which it is expressed to be made;
  • by the death of the employee before such expiry; or in any other manner in which a contract of service may be lawfully terminated or deemed to be terminated whether under the provisions of the Act or otherwise.

Where owing to sickness or accident an employee is unable to fulfill a written contract of service, the contract may be terminated on the report of a registered medical practitioner.

Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in Zambia by providing you with our Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly without any need to set up a legal entity first or afterwards.

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