Country Information

The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country located in the south-central region of Africa. The official language is English, although several indigenous languages are spoken regionally. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Zambia hosts a robust copper mining industry, and its construction and textile industries have seen recent growth. Zambia has vast potential and is an ideal location to expansion into South African markets.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Zambia must be in writing if the contract term is for six months or more in a one-year period, or for a number of working days which, combined, total more than six months. A written contract should include:

  • The name and official address of the employer
  • The name of the undertaking in which the employee will work
  • The nature of the employer’s business
  • The employee’s name, age, sex, permanent address, nationality, identity and social security number, workplace and any other details required to identify the employee
  • The date of the contract’s commencement and the type and duration of the contract
  • The date the employee’s service began, which may include employment with a previous employer
  • The workplace, or the geographical area within which the employee will work
  • The employee’s normal working hours and working days
  • The employee’s wages, rate of pay and/or the method of calculating the employee’s wages and any other benefits and the interval at which the employee will be paid
  • The details of any other payments or benefits the employee will receive
  • Any food or cash equivalent of food to be provided per the contract, if applicable
  • Any deductions to be made from the employee’s wages
  • The employee’s job description
  • Any other significant details
Working Hours

Employees can work up to 48 hours a week and typically work eight hours a day. However, collective bargaining agreements may determine the hours and days worked. Overtime is allowed and employees are entitled to extra pay for any work performed above normal hours.

Sick Leave

Employees receive between 52 days and six months of sick leave, depending on the length of their employment contract. Employees receive full pay for 26 to three months of leave and then partial pay after that.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 14 weeks of maternity leave. At least six weeks of maternity leave must be taken after the birth of the child. Maternity leave can be extended for the birth of twins or multiples.New father received five days of paternity leave following the birth of a child. The leave is unpaid.


Employers do not have to include bonuses within employees’ compensation package but may choose to do so. Some employers in Zambia pay employees a 13th month salary in December.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive 24 days of paid leave after completing a year of service. Employees accrue two days of vacation per month, beginning on the first day of the employee’s second year of service.

Public Holidays

The following public holidays are observed in Zambia:

  • New Year’s Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • Youth Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labour Day
  • African Freedom Day
  • Heroes’ Day
  • Unity Day
  • Farmers’ Day
  • National Day of Praye
  • Independence Day
  • Christmas Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Zambia has universal healthcare, although private healthcare facilities are available in more urban areas. Likewise, private health insurance is available.

Employment / Termination / Severance

An employer can terminate an employment contract by providing notice. The notice is between one day and three months depending on the employee’s length of service. An employer may also be able to provide pay in lieu of notice. An employee can be dismissed without notice in a few limited circumstances.Special procedures apply to redundancy dismissals.Severance is required in some circumstances, including the termination of a fixed-term contract and to employees dismissed for redundancy.

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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Partner with Atlas

Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Zambia, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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