Forced Labour

All about Forced Labour in Tanzania, Forced Labour and Pay and Wages in Tanzania, Forced Pay and Employers and the Labour Laws and more on AfricaPay Tanzania.

What is Forced Labour?

Forced labour refers to bonded labour or any work exacted from a person under the threat of a penalty and to which that person has not consented. The law prohibits forced labour.

Is there any prohibition on Forced Labour for an employer? And if yes, any penalty thereto?

Yes. The law prohibits the procuring, demand and imposition of forced labour and any person who procures demands or imposes forced labour commits an offence. The penalty for someone who does these acts is fine not exceeding five million Tanzania Shillings, imprisonment for a term of one year or both fine and imprisonment.

Does requiring my employees to work when they are tired amount to Forced Labour?

By signing employment contracts employees submit themselves to work for you, so in such a scenario there is consent from their side and willingness to work. There is therefore no forced labour if employees are required to do what they agreed to do in their employment contract. If employees are sick that is a different story, as they can follow the right procedure to seek sick leave.

Does overtime work amount to Forced Labour?

Working overtime can only amount to forced labour if an employee did not consent to working overtime. In other words, if there has never been any agreement between you and your employees to require them to work beyond ordinary working hours and you order them to work overtime then it will amount to forced labour.

If I order employees to work in cases of emergency can I be charged with imposing Forced Labour?

Some work which might sound like forced labour (no consent of employee is granted) does not fall within the ambits of forced labour. These scenarios include:

  • Any work exacted in cases of emergency. 
  • Work exacted under the National Defence Act, 1966 for work of a purely military nature.
  • Work that forms part of the normal civic obligations of a citizen of Tanzania.
  • Work exacted from a person who is convicted by a court of law, provided the work is supervised by a public authority and the convict is not hired or placed at the disposal of a private person.

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Find out more about Child Labour in Tanzania.