Malawi

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Malawi. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

According to Malawi's Employment Act, the minimum notice period in respect of fixed-term contracts is 14 calendar days. An indefinite term contract may be terminated by either party after a written notice is provided.

The length of the notice period for an indefinite term contract depends on the wage period. For example, the required notice period is one month for workers who get paid monthly.

Either party can waive its right to notice and can also accept payment in place of notice. Instead of providing notice of termination, an employer can pay an employee a sum equal to the compensation they would have received during the notice period and confer on the employee all other benefits due to them up to the required notice period's expiration.

Work Permits

Foreigners offered employment in Malawi must apply for a Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) before starting employment. The employer is responsible for applying for the permit on behalf of the applicantThe local employer should prove that the skills that the expatriate is bringing are not available in Malawi.

The TEP is valid for a period not exceeding two years and is subject to renewal.

Required documents (non-exhaustive) include the following:

  • Application form for a TEP
  • Employment contract
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Valid passport
  • Advertisement for the vacancy
  • Academic qualifications
  • The TEP is valid for at least six months and no more than two years.

Paid Annual Leave

Every three years, a female employee in Malawi is entitled to at least eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave provided by the employer. In the event of illness certified by a registered medical practitioner that arises out of pregnancy or confinement and affects the employee or her child, the employer must provide additional paid leave as the employer may deem fit.

Pregnant employees are entitled to reduced working hours or a more flexible schedule. Upon recommendation by a registered practitioner, pregnant shift workers can change to a shift that is better for their health and pregnancy.

Where a female employee applies for maternity leave again before the 3-year period expires, the period of absence will be treated as unpaid leave or annual leave if not already taken.

When an employee is on maternity leave, her regular benefits and entitlements, including her contractual rights and seniority accumulation, shall continue uninterrupted. Her period of employment shall not be considered to have been interrupted, reduced, or broken.

Working Hours

Malawi's Employment Act stipulates that an employee's regular working hours be set out in the employment contract, provided that no employer require or permit any employee (other than certain specifically exempted employees, such as security guards) to work for more than 48 hours during any week, excluding overtime.

An employer may not require or permit an employee to work for more than six consecutive days without a rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours, which must be taken on a customary rest day or a day agreed upon between the parties.

Maternity Leave

Every three years, a female employee in Malawi is entitled to at least eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave provided by the employer. In the event of illness certified by a registered medical practitioner that arises out of pregnancy or confinement and affects the employee or her child, the employer must provide additional paid leave as the employer may deem fit.

Pregnant employees are entitled to reduced working hours or a more flexible schedule. Upon recommendation by a registered practitioner, pregnant shift workers can change to a shift that is better for their health and pregnancy.

Where a female employee applies for maternity leave again before the 3-year period expires, the period of absence will be treated as unpaid leave or annual leave if not already taken.

When an employee is on maternity leave, her regular benefits and entitlements, including her contractual rights and seniority accumulation, shall continue uninterrupted. Her period of employment shall not be considered to have been interrupted, reduced, or broken.

Minimum Wage

The  minimum wage in Malawi is MWK 1,923.08 (Malawian kwachas) per day or MWK 50,000 per month.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Malawi.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Malawi.