Working Hours

Hours of Work, Overtime and Pay, Wages and Overtime on AfricaPay Tanzania.

What laws govern working hours in private sectors in Tanzania?

Sub Part B of The Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 provides for Working Hours in Tanzania.

What are the maximum ordinary working hours in a day that one is allowed to work under the law?

The maximum ordinary working hours that an employee is allowed under the law to work is forty five (45) hours meaning nine (9) hours a day. The nine hours are exclusive of the one hour daily lunch break. The lunch break is to be provided after five hours continuous working time. Lunch break is unpaid time and is the employee's own time because they are not paid for lunch breaks. Any hour (s) in excess of the forty five hours must be compensated as overtime hours. It is also prohibited for an employee to work more than twelve hours in a day.

An employee is permitted to work six days in a week and the seventh day must be a resting day.

Is there a limitation to the number of overtime hours that my employees can work? Can I negotiate for the extension of overtime hours?

The law prohibits you to require or permit an employee to work overtime except in accordance with an agreement. However, even under an agreement employer and employee can not negotiate for more than the average number of overtime hours provided for under the labour laws i.e 50 hours. The law puts a limitation on the number of overtime hours that an employee can work. Section 19 (3) (b) prohibits an employee to work more than 50 overtime hours in any four week cycle.

How much am I supposed to pay an employee who works overtime?

In the event your employees work overtime you will be required to pay them one and one half times the employee’s wage for any overtime worked. In the event the overtime hours are worked on a resting day on a public holiday then the employee will be compensated at the rate of double the ordinary rate for every hour worked.

What about night work? Do I as an employer have to pay extra money for work done at night?

 The law defines night as the hours after 8pm and before 6am. If the employee works at night they shall be compensated at least 5% of that employee’s basic wage for each hour worked at night; if the hours worked are overtime hours, the 5% shall be calculated on the employee’s overtime rate. However, not all employees who work at night are entitled to the 5% - it is only those who work in the event of emergencies that occur at night. People like watchmen, nurses working on shift, and waitresses working on shift are not entitled to the 5%.

Is there any group of people prohibited to work at night?

The following group of people are prohibited to work at night:

  • Children under 18 years of age
  • An employee who is medically certified as unfit to do night work
  • A pregnant employee two months before the expected date of confinement 
  • A pregnant women a bit earlier than the two months before expected date of confinement If medically certified as no longer fit to work at night
  • Mothers for a period of two months after the date of birth 
  • Mothers if a medical certificate is produced that she is not yet fit to perform night work or that the baby’s health does not permit the employee to work night shift. 

Is there any circumstance which allows me to enter into agreement with the employee to extend working hours up to twelve hours without overtime?

Yes, an employee under a written agreement shall be required to work up to twelve hours in a day inclusive of any meal interval without receiving overtime payment. However, under this system employees shall not be required to work more than five days a week, more than 45 hours a week and more than 10 hours overtime in a week. 

A collective agreement entered between the employer and trade union can also provide for an averaging of ordinary and overtime hours of work over an agreed period. As with the written agreement, the collective agreement shall not permit an employee to work more than an average of forty ordinary hours of work per week calculated over the agreed period, ten hours overtime per week, and it shall not permit an averaging for a period longer than a year.

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