Health and Payment

Work and Sickness, Sickness and Health, Sick Leave, Do I Get Paid When I Am Sick? on AfricaPay Tanzania.

What do the labour laws say about me and my family’s medical treatment?

The Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 has retained the provision of Medical Treatment and Burial of Deceased Employee and Dependents that was in the Employment Ordinance. Medical Treatment section 100 of the Employment Ordinance provides that an employer shall cater for medical treatment only for those employees and dependents who reside under the same roof, and only if they reside at the employer’s premises. 

However, recognising that sickness affects productivity the majority of employers opt to cover for medical treatment of their staff. With public servants the employer is obligated under the prevailing law to cater for medical expenses and the same is done through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

 What action do I take in the event of prolonged illness?

The prevailing labour laws provide for a maximum of one hundred and twenty six (126) days of paid sick leave in a thirty six months cycle, for an employee who provides a medical certificate to certify his/her sickness.

 However, not all 126 days are fully payable. An employee will be entitled to his/her full salary during the first 63 days and to half salary for the remaining 63 days. If sickness is prolonged after the expiry of the 126 days and the employee can still not work the employer can opt to terminate the employment of that employee on medical grounds. 
However, before terminating the employee one is required to consider alternative for a light job if such is available. There is no special provision for illness such as HIV and AIDS under the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 therefore the laws apply cross-cuttingly. Collective bargaining agreements and internal policies of the company can take care of such illness.

What happens if the illness is related to the job?

Although the law does not put an obligation on an employer to provide medical treatment for an employee, for most employers the practice has been to cater for the treatment of all employees injured while on duty. This can be certified by signed collective bargaining agreements and Human Resource Policies/Manuals.

Further, under the Workers Compensation Act, 2008 the employer is obligated to pay compensation to an employee who has sustained personal injury or death as a result of accidents sustained in the course of employment. Under this new law , a fund has been established and all employers will be required to contribute to that fund. In the event of any injury sustained in the course of employment the fund will compensate the injured employee.

What is the role of the social security schemes in terms of employees’ medical treatment?

There is no mandatory requirement by the regulator requiring schemes to provide for medical treatment packages. However, some social security funds like the NSSF have gone further, to provide medical benefits to its member with no further payment from a member. So if one is a member of the NSSF and your employer does not cater for your medical treatment, then you can approach NSSF. If you meet their requirements they will pay for your treatment in their designated hospitals.

Does a female employee get similar treatment/ compensation as a male in event of injury?

The Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004, Workers Compensation Act, 2008 and the mother law i.e the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania do not allow any form of discrimination on the grounds of gender. Both women and men have the right to equal treatment, protection and equal benefit of the law. Regardless of the gender of an employee, treatment/compensation in respect of the same injury will not be biased.