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Zambia
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • The Employment Act [EA], Chapter 268, (Act No. 57 of 1965, as last amended by Act No. 20 of 2017)
    Date: 19 Dec 2017; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Industrial and Labour Relations Act, [ILRA] 1993 (No. 27 of 1993), as amended by the Industrial and Labour Relations (Amendment) Act, 1997 (No. 30 of 1997)
    Date: 18 Dec 1997; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Industrial and Labour Relations (Amendment) Act, 2008 (No. 8 of 2008)
    Date: 24 Sep 2008 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act, Cap. 276 [MWCEA], No. 25 of 1982, as amended by Act No. 13 of 1994
    Date: 1994; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (General) Order [MWCEGO], 2010 (S.I. No.2 of 2011)
    Date: 30 Dec 2010; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (General) (Amendment) Order, 2012 (Statutory Instrument No. 46 of 2012)
    Date: 04 Jul 2012; view website »
  • Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) Order [MWCESO], 2010 (S.I. No. 1 of 2011)
    Date: 30 Dec 2010 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Industrial and Labour Relations (Amendment) Act (No. 19 of 2017)
    Date: 19 Dec 2017; view website »
  • Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Shop Workers) (Amendment) Order, 2012 (Statutory Instrument No. 47 of 2012)
    Date: 04 Jul 2012; view website »
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: police; army; judiciary; prison personnel; state security corps

Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: no limitation

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
  • 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.

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; social origin; trade union membership and activities; lawfully taking leave; ethnic origin

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers on temporary leave following an occupational disease or a work injury

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: no specific form required

Notice period:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • oral contract ≥ 1 week - non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • oral contract ≥ 1 week - non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • oral contract ≥ 1 week - non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • economic dismissal - 1 month(s).
      • oral contract ≥ 1 week - non economic dismissal - 30 day(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Notes / Remarks
    - This section deals with individual terminations of oral contracts.
    Termination of written contracts is regulated by sec. 36 EA which reads as follows: "(1) A written contract of service shall be terminated
    (a) by the expiry of the term for which it is expressed to be made; or
    (b) by the death of the employee before such expiry; or
    (c) in any other manner in which a contract of service may be lawfully terminated or deemed to be terminated whether under the provisions of this Act or otherwise except that where the termination is at the initiative of the employer, the employer shall give reasons to the employee for the termination of that employee’s employment.
    (2) Where owing to sickness or accident an employee is unable to fulfill a written contract of service, the contract may be terminated on the report of a registered medical practitioner.
    (3) The contract of service of an employee shall not be terminated unless there is a valid reason for the termination connected with the capacity, conduct of the employee or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking.
    (4) Reasons that are not valid for termination of contracts include
    (a) union membership or participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours;
    (b) seeking office as, acting or having acted in the capacity of, an employee’s representatives;
    (c) the filing of a complaint, the participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violation of laws or recourse to administrative authorities;
    (d) race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion or affiliation, ethnicity, tribal affiliation or social status of the employee; or
    (e)absence from work during leave or a rest period in accordance with a written law. "

    No further information is given as to termination of a written contract.
    - Individual terminations for reason of redundancy are dealt with under the section on collective dismissals.

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2018    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    There is no definition of collective dismissal in the EA.
    The EA provides for a specific procedure applicable to any redundancy which is defined as an individual termination for economic reasons.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Notes / Remarks
    The procedure described in this section is applicable to any individual termination for reason of redundancy.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 10 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 20 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 40 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 10 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 20 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 40 month(s)

    Notes / Remarks
    Compensation is only available in the following cases:
    1) Termination on medical grounds: severance pay
    2) Summary dismissal not considered justified by the labour officer: severance pay
    3) Termination by reason of redundancy: redundancy payment
    4) Termination for any other reasons: no severance pay

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    When the competent labour officer decides that the circumstances of the case do not warrant summary dismissal, the employee so dismissed in entitled to "payment of severance benefits" of not less than 2 months basic pay for each completed year of service" (MWCEGO sec. 12(3) and MWCESO: sec. 11(3)).

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Existing arbitration: No

    Source of additional information - 2019    

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    Links

    ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158 »
    Direct Request (CEACR) - adopted 2016, published 106th ILC session (2017)
    Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) - Zambia (Ratification: 1990)