Child Labour

All about Child Labour, Child labour under the Employment and Labour Relations Act (ELRA), 2004, can I Employ a Child? and more on AfricaPay Tanzania

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How has the child been defined under the Labour Laws?

Section 4 of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 defines a child as a person under the age of fourteen years but for the purpose of employment in hazardous sector , it is defined as a person under the age of eighteen years.

Is there any other law regulating the employment of a child?

Yes, there are various other laws providing for employment of a child and some of these are the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, the Law of the Child Act, and the Vocational Education and Training Act to mention a few. But when it comes to employment and labour matters, the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 is the most relevant one.

Is employment of a child permitted under the law?

Generally the law prohibits employment of a child under the age of fourteen years. It further prohibits employment of a child under the age of eighteen years in a mine, factory, as a craw in a ship, or any other work site including non-formal settings and agriculture where work conditions may be considered hazardous by the Minister.

However, the law permits employment of a child of fourteen years in light work which is not likely to be harmful to the child’s health and development and does not prejudice the child’s attendance at school, vocational orientation or a training programme. The general welfare of the child must not be prejudiced.

Is there any penalty under the law if I am caught employing a child contrary to the provision of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004?

It is an offence to employ a child contrary to the provision of the mentioned act and the sanction thereof is provided for under section 102 (2) of the act which empowers a District and Resident Magistrate’s Court to impose a penalty amounting to a fine not exceeding five million shillings, imprisonment for a term of one year or to both fine and imprisonment as the Court may deem fit, depending on the circumstance of the case.

How will I as an employer be aware that my enterprise is hazardous?

The law employs the Minister to prepare a list of hazardous sectors and make it available to the public. Currently there is a draft list by the Minister for Labour and Employment but the same has not come into effect.

Will I be held guilty of employing a child if I was not aware and I was misled by the child as to their age?

If you claim to have been unaware that the person you are employing is a child or you were misled you will have a duty to prove that it was reasonable for you or any other prudent person to believe that the child was above the prohibited age. You must show that there was enough due diligent exercise which led you to believe that you were not employing a child. Evidence of a birth certificate, interview records with their parents, and any other relevant evidence to establish that you were misled could set you free of the said offence.

My enterprise deals with procuring maids for my clients. Will I be guilty if I procure them a child?

The law prohibits both employment of a child and procuring a child for employment. If all evidence establishes there was procurement of a child by you, you will be guilty of the offence of procuring a child which is the same as that of employment of a child.

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Section 4 of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 defines a child as a person under the age of fourteen years but for the purpose of employment in hazardous sector , it is defined as a person under the age of eighteen years.

Is there any other law regulating the employment of a child?

Yes, there are various other laws providing for employment of a child and some of these are the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, the Law of the Child Act, and the Vocational Education and Training Act to mention a few. But when it comes to employment and labour matters, the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 is the most relevant one.

Is employment of a child permitted under the law?

Generally the law prohibits employment of a child under the age of fourteen years. It further prohibits employment of a child under the age of eighteen years in a mine, factory, as a craw in a ship, or any other work site including non-formal settings and agriculture where work conditions may be considered hazardous by the Minister.

However, the law permits employment of a child of fourteen years in light work which is not likely to be harmful to the child’s health and development and does not prejudice the child’s attendance at school, vocational orientation or a training programme. The general welfare of the child must not be prejudiced.

Is there any penalty under the law if I am caught employing a child contrary to the provision of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004?

It is an offence to employ a child contrary to the provision of the mentioned act and the sanction thereof is provided for under section 102 (2) of the act which empowers a District and Resident Magistrate’s Court to impose a penalty amounting to a fine not exceeding five million shillings, imprisonment for a term of one year or to both fine and imprisonment as the Court may deem fit, depending on the circumstance of the case.

How will I as an employer be aware that my enterprise is hazardous?

The law employs the Minister to prepare a list of hazardous sectors and make it available to the public. Currently there is a draft list by the Minister for Labour and Employment but the same has not come into effect.

Will I be held guilty of employing a child if I was not aware and I was misled by the child as to their age?

If you claim to have been unaware that the person you are employing is a child or you were misled you will have a duty to prove that it was reasonable for you or any other prudent person to believe that the child was above the prohibited age. You must show that there was enough due diligent exercise which led you to believe that you were not employing a child. Evidence of a birth certificate, interview records with their parents, and any other relevant evidence to establish that you were misled could set you free of the said offence.

My enterprise deals with procuring maids for my clients. Will I be guilty if I procure them a child?

The law prohibits both employment of a child and procuring a child for employment. If all evidence establishes there was procurement of a child by you, you will be guilty of the offence of procuring a child which is the same as that of employment of a child.

Read more

Find out more about Minimum Wages in Tanzania.

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