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This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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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 for expansion into African markets.

Employment contracts in Zambia must be in writing if the contract term is for six months or more. A written contract should include:

  • name and official address of the employer,

  • name of the company,

  • nature of the employer’s business,

  • employee’s name, age, sex, permanent address, nationality, identity and social security number, workplace and any other identifying details,

  • contract commencement date and duration,

  • date the employee began service, which may include employment with a previous employer,

  • workplace,

  • normal working hours and working days,

  • wages, rate of pay, calculation method and payment interval,

  • details of any other payments or benefits,

  • any food or cash equivalent of food to be provided, if applicable,

  • any deductions to be made from the employee’s wages,

  • employee’s job description, and

  • any other significant details.

Employees in Zambia can work up to 48 hours a week and typically work eight hours a day. 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.

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

Female employees receive 14 weeks of maternity leave in Zambia. At least six weeks of maternity leave must be taken after the birth of the child. Maternity leave is paid if the employee worked for her employer for at least two years. New fathers receive five days of unpaid paternity leave in Zambia.

Employers do not have to pay bonuses in Zambia but may choose to do so. Some employers pay a 13th-month salary in December.

Employees receive 24 days of paid leave in Zambia 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.

In Zambia, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • International Women's Day

  • Youth Day

  • Good Friday

  • Holy Saturday

  • Easter Monday

  • Kenneth Kaunda Day

  • Labor Day

  • Africa Freedom Day

  • Heroes' Day

  • Unity Day

  • Farmers' Day

  • Prayer Day

  • Independence Day

  • Christmas Day

Zambia has universal healthcare. Private healthcare facilities are available in urban areas. Private health insurance is available.

An employer can terminate an employment contract in Zambia 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 termination of a fixed-term contract and 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.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    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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