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> GOVERNANCE - home > Employment protection legislation database - EPLex > Zambia

Zambia - Types of employment contracts


+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that sec. 26B(4)(d) of the Employment Act excludes employees on probation from termination of the contract of employment on the basis of redundancy. The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order also under Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Employment Act (Amendment) No 15 of 2015 introduced sections 28A, 28B and 28C to the principal Act, regulating short term and fixed term contracts. A fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

      a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
      b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

      Note that there is a thin difference between the categories of “casual employee”, “short-term” worker and “fixed-term contract”: Where a casual employee continues to be employed after the expiration of 6 months temporal limit, the employee ceases to be a casual employee and the contract is deemed to be a short-term contract (section 28A EA, added by 2015 Amendment). If an employee is engaged on a short-term contract and continues to be employed on expiry of this contract (in excess of 12 months), the contract is deemed to be a fixed term contract (section 28B EA, added by 2015 Amendment). On the expiry of cumulative period of fixed term contract, the contract of service is deemed to be a permanent contract (Section 28C EA, added by 2015 Amendment).

      A causal employee (Art. 3EA as amended in 2015):
      - is not permanent in nature;
      - does not require any skill in the performance of the work to be done
      - terms provide for payment at an hourly rate, payable at the end of each day,
      And excludes, according to the new section 12(A)(1): (i) work under a consultancy agreement (ii) piece work (iii) seasonal work (iv) temporary employment (v) part term employment and (vi) flexibilization. Note that the provisions relating to casualisation do not apply to Micro and Small Business enterprise except if the undertaking shall comply with the MWCEA with respect to its employee (Section 3 of the Employment (Amendment) Act of 2015, adding Section 12A to EA)

      On the other hand, a “short term” contract is defined in the 2015 amendment as: contract of service of six months but not exceeding twelve months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • There is not a maximum number of successive FTCs, however the 2015 Amendment, section 28C (1) refers to a cumulative temporal maximum: FTC may be renewed for subsequent terms, except that the cumulative duration of the successive fixed-term contracts of employment with an employer shall be as prescribed.

      Note sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)

Notes / Remarks
Fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that sec. 26B(4)(d) of the Employment Act excludes employees on probation from termination of the contract of employment on the basis of redundancy. The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order also under Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Employment Act (Amendment) No 15 of 2015 introduced sections 28A, 28B and 28C to the principal Act, regulating short term and fixed term contracts. A fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

      a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
      b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

      Note that there is a thin difference between the categories of “casual employee”, “short-term” worker and “fixed-term contract”: Where a casual employee continues to be employed after the expiration of 6 months temporal limit, the employee ceases to be a casual employee and the contract is deemed to be a short-term contract (section 28A EA, added by 2015 Amendment). If an employee is engaged on a short-term contract and continues to be employed on expiry of this contract (in excess of 12 months), the contract is deemed to be a fixed term contract (section 28B EA, added by 2015 Amendment). On the expiry of cumulative period of fixed term contract, the contract of service is deemed to be a permanent contract (Section 28C EA, added by 2015 Amendment).

      A causal employee (Art. 3EA as amended in 2015):
      - is not permanent in nature;
      - does not require any skill in the performance of the work to be done
      - terms provide for payment at an hourly rate, payable at the end of each day,
      And excludes, according to the new section 12(A)(1): (i) work under a consultancy agreement (ii) piece work (iii) seasonal work (iv) temporary employment (v) part term employment and (vi) flexibilization. Note that the provisions relating to casualisation do not apply to Micro and Small Business enterprise except if the undertaking shall comply with the MWCEA with respect to its employee (Section 3 of the Employment (Amendment) Act of 2015, adding Section 12A to EA)

      On the other hand, a “short term” contract is defined in the 2015 amendment as: contract of service of six months but not exceeding twelve months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • There is not a maximum number of successive FTCs, however the 2015 Amendment, section 28C (1) refers to a cumulative temporal maximum: FTC may be renewed for subsequent terms, except that the cumulative duration of the successive fixed-term contracts of employment with an employer shall be as prescribed.

      Note sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)

Notes / Remarks
Fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that sec. 26B(4)(d) of the Employment Act excludes employees on probation from termination of the contract of employment on the basis of redundancy. The Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order also under Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Employment Act (Amendment) No 15 of 2015 introduced sections 28A, 28B and 28C to the principal Act, regulating short term and fixed term contracts. A fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

      a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
      b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

      Note that there is a thin difference between the categories of “casual employee”, “short-term” worker and “fixed-term contract”: Where a casual employee continues to be employed after the expiration of 6 months temporal limit, the employee ceases to be a casual employee and the contract is deemed to be a short-term contract (section 28A EA, added by 2015 Amendment). If an employee is engaged on a short-term contract and continues to be employed on expiry of this contract (in excess of 12 months), the contract is deemed to be a fixed term contract (section 28B EA, added by 2015 Amendment). On the expiry of cumulative period of fixed term contract, the contract of service is deemed to be a permanent contract (Section 28C EA, added by 2015 Amendment).

      A causal employee (Art. 3EA as amended in 2015):
      - is not permanent in nature;
      - does not require any skill in the performance of the work to be done
      - terms provide for payment at an hourly rate, payable at the end of each day,
      And excludes, according to the new section 12(A)(1): (i) work under a consultancy agreement (ii) piece work (iii) seasonal work (iv) temporary employment (v) part term employment and (vi) flexibilization. Note that the provisions relating to casualisation do not apply to Micro and Small Business enterprise except if the undertaking shall comply with the MWCEA with respect to its employee (Section 3 of the Employment (Amendment) Act of 2015, adding Section 12A to EA)

      On the other hand, a “short term” contract is defined in the 2015 amendment as: contract of service of six months but not exceeding twelve months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • There is not a maximum number of successive FTCs, however the 2015 Amendment, section 28C (1) refers to a cumulative temporal maximum: FTC may be renewed for subsequent terms, except that the cumulative duration of the successive fixed-term contracts of employment with an employer shall be as prescribed.

      Note sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)

Notes / Remarks
Fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Employment Act (Amendment) No 15 of 2015 introduced sections 28A, 28B and 28C to the principal Act, regulating short term and fixed term contracts. Fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

      a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
      b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

      Note that there is a thin difference between the categories of “casual employee”, “short-term” worker and “fixed-term contract”: Where a casual employee continues to be employed after the expiration of 6 months temporal limit, the employee ceases to be a casual employee and the contract is deemed to be a short-term contract (section 28A EA, added by 2015 Amendment). If an employee is engaged on a short-term contract and continues to be employed on expiry of this contract (in excess of 12 months), the contract is deemed to be a fixed term contract (section 28B EA, added by 2015 Amendment). On the expiry of cumulative period of fixed term contract, the contract of service is deemed to be a permanent contract (Section 28C EA, added by 2015 Amendment).

      A causal employee (Art. 3EA as amended in 2015):
      - is not permanent in nature;
      - does not require any skill in the performance of the work to be done
      - terms provide for paymentat an hourly rate, payable at the end of each day,
      And excludes, according to the new section 12(A)(1): (i) work under a consultancy agreement (ii) piece work (iii) seasonal work (iv) temporary employment (v) part term employment and (vi) flexibilization. Note that the provisions relating to casualisation do not apply to Micro and Small Business enterprise except if the undertaking shall comply with the MWCEA with respect to its employee (Section 3 of the Employment (Amendment) Act of 2015, adding Section 12A to EA)

      On the other hand, a “short term” contract is defined in the 2015 amendment as: contract of service of six months but not exceeding twelve months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • There is not a maximum number of successive FTCs, however the 2015 Amendment, section 28C (1) refers to a cumulative temporal maximum: FTC may be renewed for subsequent terms, except that the cumulative duration of the successive fixed-term contracts of employment with an employer shall be as prescribed.

      Note sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)

Notes / Remarks
Fixed-term contract is, according to Section 3 EA, as amended by section 2(a) of 2015 Amendment, a contract of service for:

a) a period exceeding twelve months, renewable for a further term, subject to section twenty-eight C; or
b) the performance of a specific task or project to be undertaken over a specified period of time; and whose termination is fixed in advance by both parties.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period. However, note that Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order Section 6 mentions some provisions only applicable to workers on probationary period, which indicates that it is a lawful legal institution.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.

+ show references

Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Remarks:
  • No statutory provisions on the probationary period.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: No
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the reasons for resorting to FTC.
      A distinction is made between oral contracts and written contracts, the former being the standard form of contract and the most commonly used in practice (Sec. 17 EA stipulates that all contracts of service other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing, may be made orally)
      Contracts required to be in writing under Part V, sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a fixed period of service exceeding six months; contracts stipulating conditions of employment which differ materially from those customary in the district of employment for similar work; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • The EA does not distinguish between fixed-term and permanent contracts. There are therefore no such rules as those regarding the maximum number and/or duration of a fixed-term contract.

      The only rule regarding the renewal of a contract is sec. 19 EA which relates to the renewal of an oral contract not exceeding 1 month:
      "Each party to an oral contract for a period not exceeding one month shall, on the termination of such contract, be conclusively presumed to have entered into a new oral contract for a further period of the same duration and subject to the same terms and conditions as those of the contract then terminated unless-
      (a) notice to terminate the employment under section twenty has been given by either party and the period of notice has expired; or
      (b) the contract has been terminated by payment in lieu of notice; or
      (c) the contract has been summarily terminated by either party for lawful cause; or
      (d) the contract has been otherwise lawfully terminated under the provisions of this Act:
      Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to-
      (i) contracts expressed to be terminable without notice or to which this section does not apply;
      (ii) contracts specifically expressed to be for one period of fixed duration and not to be renewable;
      (iii) daily contracts where the wages are paid daily."

      No statutory provision regulating renewals of written contracts.

  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Notes / Remarks
The EA does not establish a distinction between contracts according to their duration (i.e fixed term contract v. contract of indefinite duration). The distinction under Zambian employment law is between oral contracts of employment and contracts which are required by law to be written, which are not in practice the usual form of employment contract in Zambia. This dichotomy is reflected in the provisions regulating termination of employment.
Contracts required to be in writing under sec. 28(1) EA, are those which are made for a period of service exceeding six months; contracts of foreign service; and contracts to be performed personally in relation to some specific work (a fixed task) which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within six months.