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Hire in Zimbabwe

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Zimbabwe.

A Zimbabwe sunset with Elephants

Zimbabwean Currency

US Dollar (USD), Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWL)

The Capital of Zimbabwe

Harare

Time Zone in Zimbabwe

GMT+2

Important Facts About the Country of Zimbabwe

Introduction to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country in southern Africa. The country has a population of approximately 15 million people. Harare is the capital and largest city. Zimbabwe is well-known for its rich stone sculpture tradition and natural tourist attractions such as the Great Zimbabwe Falls and Victoria Falls. The British began its activities in the region in the 1880s, leading to the colonial era in Southern Rhodesia. Zimbabwe gained its official independence in 1980.

What to Know about Zimbabwe's Geography

Zimbabwe’s area is around 400,000 square kilometers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east and northeast. The majority of the land is elevated. The landscape of the highlands is renowned for its natural beauty.

Climate in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has a subtropical climate with many regional differences. The south is known for its heat and aridity, while parts of the central plateau experience frost in the winter. The rainy season in the country lasts from late October to March, and the hot climate is moderated by increasing altitude.

The Culture of Zimbabwe

There are numerous cultures in Zimbabwe, with Shona beliefs and traditions being prevalent. Traditional Zimbabwean arts include pottery, basketry, textiles, jewelry, and carving. Shona sculpture in modern times has evolved into a synthesis of African folklore and European influences. It is highly regarded throughout the world, making an impact on the global sculpture scene.

Religions Observed in Zimbabwe

Christianity is the predominant faith in Zimbabwe, with Protestantism as the main denomination. About 80% of the population adheres to one of the Christian denominations. Even though the majority of the population is Christian, the vast majority also adhere to indigenous religions to varied degrees.

Languages Spoken in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, the most common of which are Shona, Ndebele, and English. The Shona and Ndebele peoples make up roughly 60% and 20% of the population, respectively. Most people can communicate in at least two languages.

Zimbabwean Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Zimbabwe

The Labor Act is the primary employment-related statute in Zimbabwe. It provides a legal framework for promoting fair labor standards and outlines the fundamental rights of employees. The Act regulates employment conditions, as well as the formation, registration and function of trade unions and the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

There are, however, additional sources of legislation that employers in Zimbabwe must consult to remain in compliance. The principal ones are:

  • Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme Notice
  • The National Social Security Authority Act
  • Factories and Works (General) Regulations
  • The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Scheme
  • The Pension and Provident Fund Act

Employment Contracts in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, an employment contract can be oral or written but the employer is required to provide the following particulars in writing upon the start of work:

  • The name and address of the employer
  • The period of time, if limited, for which the employee is engaged
  • The terms of probation (if any)
  • The terms of any employment code
  • Particulars of the employee’s remuneration, its manner of calculation and the intervals at which it will be paid.
  • Particulars of the benefits receivable in the event of sickness or pregnancy
  • Hours of work
  • Particulars of any bonus or incentive production scheme
  • Particulars of vacation leave and vacation pay.
  • Particulars of any other benefits provided under the contract of employment.

Zimbabwe's Contract Terms

In Zimbabwe, the employment contract can be open-ended or fixed-term. If the duration is not specified, the contract is deemed to be indefinite. Fixed-term contracts can only be used in cases of casual work, seasonal work or for the performance of a specific service. Hiring fixed-term contract workers for tasks of permanent nature is not allowed.

When a casual worker works for a particular employer for more than six weeks in four consecutive months, he or she is deemed to have entered into an indefinite employment contract.

Pre-Employment Checks

There are no specific regulations on employee reference and background checks by employers. However, they are commonplace in many industries.

Zimbabwe's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period

For a casual or seasonal worker, the probation period is one day. For other cases of full-time employment, the standard probation period is three months.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Zimbabwe

The law does not define normal working hours for adult employees but the common standard for professionals is eight hours per day and 40 hours per week.

Employees are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week. For non-shift employees, the 24-hour rest period is taken at the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).

Zimbabwean Laws Regarding Overtime

When employees are required to work beyond their normal working hours, the minimum overtime rate is 150% of their regular wage. When employees work on a holiday, they are usually compensated 200% of their regular wage.

Zimbabwe's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

The minimum notice period requirement depends on the period of the contract:

  • Indefinite or over two years: three months
  • Over one year but less than two years: two months
  • Over six months but less than one year: one month
  • Over three months but less than six months: two weeks
  • Less than 3threemonths/casual work/seasonal work: one day

Termination

An employment contract can be terminated by giving notice in the following scenarios:

  • According to the terms of the employment code
  • Mutual agreement in writing
  • Employment of the employee based on a fixed-term contract
  • Pursuant to retrenchment

An employer can dismiss an employee when the employee has committed an act of misconduct or when the employee has exceeded a total of 180 days of sick leave in one year.

In the case of dismissal for misconduct, the employer must adhere to certain procedures. In general, termination procedures typically require that employees be given a chance to be heard through fair disciplinary proceedings that are both procedurally and substantively just before their employment contract is terminated.

An employer may retrench its employees for business-related reasons such as restructuring, redundancy or technological advances. In the case of retrenchment, the employer is required to provide work councils or comparable organizations with written notification outlining the reasons and specifics of the affected employees.

Restrictive Covenants

There are no specific regulations prohibiting such covenants, but they must be reasonable in their scope and duration.

Severance Pay in Zimbabwe

According to the Labor Act, only retrenched employees are eligible for severance pay. This consists of one month’s salary for every two years of service. Employees terminated due to misconduct or incapacity are not eligible for severance pay.

Data Protection

The Cyber and Data Protection Act is the main legal framework in Zimbabwe concerning data. In essence, the law requires all businesses to adhere to data protection and privacy principles when collecting data such as their customers’ or employees’ personal information. According to the law, employers must obtain written consent from their employees before collecting any sensitive personal information.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Zimbabwe

Personal Income Tax in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, employees will have pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) deducted according to predetermined tax brackets. The employer is solely responsible for deducting the correct PAYE.

The economy of Zimbabwe operates using multiple currencies, the major two being USD and ZWL. Any remuneration in foreign currency is translated into USD. Employers tend to pay employees in USD.

The below tax brackets and rates apply to employment income:

Monthly taxable income Tax rate Deduct
0 – 91,666.67 (ZWL)

0 – 100 (USD)

0% 0
91,666.68 – 320,000.00 (ZWL)

100.01 – 300 (USD)

20% 18,333.33 (ZWL)

20 (USD)

320,000.01 – 548,000.00 (ZWL)

300.01 – 1,000 (USD)

25% 34,333.33 (ZWL)

35 (USD)

548,000.01 – 776,000.00 (ZWL)

1,000.01 – 2,000 (USD)

30% 61,733.33 (ZWL)

85 (USD)

776,000.01 – 1,000,000.00 (ZWL)

2,000.01 – 3,000 (USD)

35% 100,533.33 (ZWL)

185 (USD)

1,000,000.01 and above (ZWL)

3,000.01 and above (USD)

40% 150,533.33 (ZWL)

335 (USD)

Individuals must pay a 3% AIDS levy in addition to income tax. The AIDS Levy is calculated after any tax credits the individual is eligible for are deducted. The funds are managed by the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe.

At least 50% of the funds are used for the purchase of antiretroviral medications. The allocation of funds from the AIDS Levy to different program areas is done through an annual work plan and budget approved by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare. The AIDS Levy has helped Zimbabwe become less reliant on donor funding for its HIV response. This initiative is seen as a ‘homegrown’ solution that provides country ownership and reduces dependence on donor funding.

Social Security in Zimbabwe

Every working Zimbabwean aged between 16 and 65 is required to be a member of the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme administered by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA). The scheme is financed from monthly contributions by both employers and employees. Employers must ensure contributions are deducted and paid. The total contributions need to be paid to the nearest NSSA office before the first day of each month.

Besides NSSA, employers are also required to contribute to Workers Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF)​, Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF), and Standards Development Fund (SDF).

The contribution rates are as follows:

Type Employer Contribution Rate (%) Employee Contribution Rate (%)
National Social Security (NSSA) 4.5 4.5
Workers Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF) 2 – 11 (depending on the risk of the position) N/A
Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) 1 N/A
Standards Development Fund (SDF) 0.5 N/A

Important Information for Zimbabwean Employees

Salary Payment

Unless otherwise specified, wages should be paid at regular intervals on working days at or near the place of employment directly to the employee. A cash-paying employee should not receive compensation in the form of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, liquor, etc.

Generally speaking, employers are not permitted to deduct wages unless authorized by law. The total amount of permissible deductions from an employee’s compensation in any pay period cannot exceed 25% of the employee’s gross compensation for that period.

Payslip

All remuneration must be accompanied by a written statement containing the following information:

  • The name of the employer and employee
  • The amount of remuneration and the period for which it is paid
  • The portion of remuneration representing any bonus or allowance
  • Any deductions
  • The net amount received by the employee

Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to 30 days or one month of leave after one year of continuous employment. The accrual is capped at 90 days. Weekends and public holidays are included in the vacation leave days.

Public Holidays

Zimbabwe celebrates 10 national holidays. Typically, the Easter holiday spans four days. According to Zimbabwean law, the president retains the discretionary authority to declare one-time or recurring national holidays. When employees are required to work on official holidays, they are entitled to compensation equal to 200% of their regular salary.

Sick Leave

An employee is entitled to 90 days of fully paid sick leave upon request, supported by a certificate signed by a licensed physician. If an employee has exhausted their 90 days of sick leave in a given service year, they may request an additional 90 days of sick leave at half pay. Again, the request must be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed medical professional.

During any 12-month service period, an employer may terminate an employee’s employment if his or her sick leave exceeds 180 days.

Maternity Leave

Female employees who have worked for an employer for a year are entitled to 98 days of fully paid maternity leave. They can start their maternity leave anytime between 45 to 21 days before their expected delivery date. Paid maternity leave is granted once every 24 months, calculated from the date of the last paid maternity leave. Furthermore, the law limits a female employee to take maternity leave no more than three times while employed by a single employer.

In addition to maternity leave, female employees are also entitled to paid nursing breaks for the duration of breastfeeding, or up to six months, whichever is shorter. These breaks must be at least one hour or two 30-minute breaks.

Other Leave

Employees are entitled to 12 calendar days of paid special leave for immediate family-related personal matters, such as the death of a spouse, parent, child, legal dependent or on any other justifiable compassionate ground.

Benefits to the Employee in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Statutory Benefits

In Zimbabwe, statutory benefits include pension rights, dependents/survivor’s benefits, unemployment benefits and invalidity benefits. Employees are also entitled to public holidays, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave for female employees as well as special leave.

Other Benefits

In Zimbabwe, fringe benefits can include various perks such as board, accommodation in living quarters or a residence, use of furniture or a motor vehicle. Other fringe benefits may involve tangible or intangible property such as a loan, school-fee assistance, travel allowance and any other forms of benefits that provide use or enjoyment to the employee.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Zimbabwe

General Information

Zimbabwe requires a visa from the vast majority of foreign nationals. In terms of entry requirements, the country categorizes foreign nationals into three distinct groups:

  • Category A includes nationals of countries that do not require a visa to travel to Zimbabwe.
  • Category B applies to foreign nationals from a selection of countries, including the US, the UK and many nations that are member states of the EU. Category B nationals can get a visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe.
  • Category C includes nationals of India, Pakistan, and several EU member states, along with a number of other countries. These individuals will need to obtain a visa before traveling to Zimbabwe.

Foreign nationals who wish to travel to Zimbabwe are eligible for a variety of visas. Visas issued most frequently include tourist visas and short-term business visas. Zimbabwe additionally issues work permits to foreign employees. Work permits are available for the following categories of expatriates:

  • Journalists
  • Professionals with uncommon, specialized skills in Zimbabwe
  • Foreign researchers with permission from the Research Council of Zimbabwe
  • Short-term workers on six-month contracts with local businesses

Public Holidays Recognized by Zimbabwe in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Robert Mugabe National Youth Day February 21
3 Good Friday March 29
4 Easter Saturday March 30
5 Easter Sunday March 31
6 Easter Monday April 1
7 Independence Day April 18
8 Workers’ Day May 1
9 Africa Day May 25
10 Heroes’ Day August 12
11 Defense Forces Day August 13
12 National Unity Day December 22
13 National Unity Day Holiday December 23
14 Christmas Day December 25
15 Boxing Day December 26

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