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Work Hours


The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in the southeastern region of Africa. Malawi's official language is English. The economy of Malawi is primarily based on agriculture. The country recently has had an influx of foreign investment in the energy and mining sectors.

An employment contract in Malawi must be written in the local language. There are three types of contracts in Malawi: fixed-term contracts, indefinite-term contracts and job-completion contracts. The probation period should be agreed upon in the contract, provided it does not exceed 12 months. The contract should include:

  • names of the employee and the employer,

  • date of commencement of the contract,

  • salary and method of calculating remuneration,

  • payment intervals,

  • work to be performed,

  • work hours

  • termination procedures, and

  • disciplinary rules.

The standard workweek in Malawi is capped at 48 hours over five or six days, with eight hours per day. Weekly rest is set at a minimum of 24 hours per week. Employees who work overtime are entitled to receive a compensatory rest equivalent to the total hours worked beyond the regular working hours in addition to overtime pay.

Employees are entitled to 12 weeks per year of sick leave in Malawi after 12 months of service, provided they produce a medical certificate. Employees receive their full pay for the first four weeks, and half pay for the following eight weeks.

Female employees receive eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave in Malawi for every three-year period for which they have worked. This leave can be extended for pregnancy-related illnesses.

Malawi has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common in Malawi. Employers typically pay bonuses annually for the achievement of a target.

After 12 months of employment, employees in Malawi receive 18 days of paid annual leave (excluding weekends and public holidays) if they work a six-day workweek, and 15 days (excluding weekends and public holidays) if they work a five-day workweek. An employee who works for less than 12 months gets annual leave in proportion to their length of service during that year. Annual paid leave may be deferred and accumulated by mutual agreement, and collective bargaining agreements may increase the annual leave up to 30 days per year.

In Malawi, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • John Chilembwe Day

  • Martyrs' Day

  • Good Friday

  • Holy Saturday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Kamuzu Day

  • Independence Day

  • Mother's Day

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

Malawi provides universal healthcare to citizens in three channels: local healthcare centers, regional hospitals and district hospitals. Employers are required to offer private health and life insurance to all their employees.

Either the employer or the employee may terminate an employment contract in Malawi. The employer is required to provide a written termination notice that states reasons for the termination and give notice of up to 30 days. During the probation period either party can terminate the contract without notice. A fixed-term contract or task-based contract automatically terminates on their expiration date or completion. These types of contracts do not require a termination notice; however if the employee is terminated before the expiration or completion date, then a minimum of 14 days’ termination notice is required. Employees are entitled to severance after 12 months of employment.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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