Zambia: A Guideline to Payroll and Employer of Record

Establish your presence globally with Neeyamo as we help you go beyond borders to manage your international payroll and hire new talent in Zambia.

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Zambia may not be home to the widest and highest waterfall, but it is home to the biggest curtain of falling water in the world, surpassing Niagara Falls and Angel Falls. The Victoria Falls are 1700 meters wide and go up to 108 meters in height; Victoria Falls is also split between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zambia also shares other similar aspects with ZImbabwe, such as a dedicated and talented workforce.

Do your organization’s expansion plans require you to hire employees in Zambia? Do you lack a physical entity in the country – a key requisite to hire local talent? Neeyamo assists organizations worldwide with onboarding and managing employees in Zambia -processing payroll and payroll accounting, managing local compliance requirements, benefits, and more.

Tools And Instances

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Global Payroll

Neeyamo’s global payroll solution covering 180+ countries

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Global Work

A tech-based EOR solution to manage your extended workforce

Facts And Stats




Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)  

Official Language


Fiscal Year

1 January - 31 December

Date Format


Country Calling Code


Time Zone

UTC +02:00 

Global Payroll


Payroll: Meaning

Payroll is the list of compensation to be paid to employees of a company or organization for a set period or date. Global payroll provider companies allow organizations to outsource their payroll, allowing employers to focus on other aspects of their business. 

What is Global Payroll?

Handling payroll for a widespread workforce can pose a significant challenge for any organization, and the added complication of compliance can make things worse. If companies spend more time processing payroll, it directly impacts day-to-day operations and their overall productivity. The solution to this is using payroll management services such as Neeyamo.

What is a global payroll system?

Over the years, Neeyamo – payroll service providers have observed these complexities and strived to provide global payroll solutions through a single technology platform – Neeyamo Payroll. Neeyamos global payroll systems ease the process for companies looking to outsource their global payroll requirements and aid them in maneuvering the tricky payroll system in Zambia. Neeyamo's payroll software provides the perfect solution for all your global payroll needs – for employees working in primary geographies, the long-tail region, remote or internationally located.

How is payroll calculated?

Neeyamo acts as your personalized Payroll Calculator. Ensuring adherence to local regulatory requirements using multi-level controls. Providing timely and accurate payroll, courtesy of our experts worldwide and using a tech-based integrated smart helpdesk solution with seamless support experience manned by payroll experts - Neeyamo has all your payroll needs covered.

Payroll Taxes

Payroll tax is the percentage amount retained from an employee's salary and paid to the government to invest in the general population's welfare. These are statutory in nature and are levied from both the employer and employee. Additional statutory contributions are made by employers towards aiding both short-term and long-term benefits for their employees.

Employee Taxes

The employee taxes in Zambia is computed as follows:

Social Security Rate - 5%  

National Health Insurance Contribution - 1%  

The tax slab is done as follows:

First ZMW 24,000,000  0%
Next ZMW 9,600,000 25%
Next ZMW 34,800,000  30%
Balance over ZMW 68,400,000 35%

Employer Taxes

The employer taxes in Zambia are computed as follows: 

  • Social Security Rate - 5%  
  • National Health Insurance Contribution - 1% 

Payroll Cycle


Undoubtedly, payroll is a critical process for any organization. The pay cycle in Zambia refers to the period for which an organization pays its employees, and this can vary depending on the pay frequency that the organization chooses to adopt.


In Zambia, the payroll frequency is monthly.  

13th Month Cycle

In Zambia, there is no legal requirement for a 13th-month payment.

Global Work


An Employer of Record (EOR) service provider helps you eliminate the hassle of handling complexities while onboarding a new employee in an international location. They help bridge the gap that otherwise mandates organizations to have a local registered entity and a local bank account, prior to making a job offer to an international hire.

An EOR service provider acts as a legal employer, facilitates salary payments, and manages other statutory requirements such as health insurance, payroll taxes, and employee benefits ensuring compliance with local tax laws and regulations.

This allows organizations to focus on collaborating with the employee in Zambia for operational tasks, with the knowledge that they have a cost-effective solution support their global payroll & HR requirements, as they continue their global expansion.

HR Mandates and Practices

Minimum Wage

The monthly net minimum wage in Zambia is ZMW 700,000 per month. 


The normal weekly working hours should not exceed 48 hours. Work performed over 48 hours a week is to be paid overtime at one and a half times the worker's hourly pay rate. Work performed on paid public holidays or on a Sunday (where Sunday is not part of the normal working week) should be paid at double the worker's hourly pay rate. 

Data Retention Policy

The Data Protection Act sets conditions for the retention of personal data under Section 51, wherein it states that a data controller and data processor shall keep personal information for as long as that personal information is used for the specific purpose for which the personal information was collected and for as long as the personal data is relevant for that purpose and at least one year. 

Hiring and Onboarding Requirements


The law provides that when filling a vacancy, an employer must prioritize a Zambian citizen unless the Zambian citizen does not possess the requisite skills for the job or doesn't apply. In terms of discrimination, the Employment Code imposes a general obligation on employers to promote equal employment opportunities and eliminate workplace discrimination. The Code prohibits discrimination against an employee or prospective employee in policy, practice, or recruitment, training, promotion, the terms and conditions of employment, and termination of work based on specific grounds, including color, nationality, race, and social origin. 


Ensuring the employee is onboarded seamlessly and is cognizant of the company's policies.


Zambia's Employment Code Act of 2019 prescribes a probationary period for a maximum term of 3 months to determine a worker's suitability for appointment. The probationary period can be extended for three months, making the total duration six months. Both employee and employer may terminate the employment contract after serving 24-hour notice.  

A worker re-hired by the same employer for the same job within two years from the contract termination date is not required to go through probation again, provided the termination was not performance-related. 


Public Holidays

There are 14 National Public Holidays, including Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, which always fall on weekends.

  • January 1 - New Years' Day  
  • March 8 - International Women's Day  
  • March 12 - Youth Day
  • April 15- Good Friday  
  • April 16 - Easter Saturday  
  • April 18 - Easter Monday  
  • April 28 - Birthday of Kenneth Kaunda  
  • May 1 - Labour Day  
  • May 25 - Africa Day  
  • July 4 - Heroes' Day  
  • July 5 - Unity Day  
  • August 2 - Farmers' Day  
  • October 18 - National Prayer Day  
  • October 24 - Independence Day  
  • December 25 - Christmas Day

Sick Leave

An employee who is unable to perform that employee's normal duties due to illness or injury not occasioned by the employee's default shall notify the employer of the illness or injury and proceed on sick leave on the production of a medical certificate from a health practitioner.  

Where an employee is incapacitated due to illness or injury not occasioned by the employee's default, the employee is entitled to sick leave under subsection (1), and—  

  1. An employee on a short-term contract shall be paid full pay for the equivalent of twenty-six working days of the sick leave and, after that, half pay for the equivalent of the next twenty-six working days of the sick leave; or  
  2. An employee on a long-term contract shall be paid full pay during the first three months of the sick leave and half pay for the next three months.

Maternity Leave

Female domestic workers are entitled to 120 calendar days of maternity leave without pay upon providing a medical certificate. 

However, two years of continuous service are required since the first engagement or last maternity leave. The maternity leave is in addition to any other leave the worker is entitled to. If the worker becomes ill due to pregnancy and cannot perform her duties temporarily, she shall be entitled to paid sick leave. An employer shall not impose any penalty or disadvantage upon a domestic worker for reasons connected with the worker's pregnancy. 

Paternity Leave

A male employee who remains in continuous employment with the same employer for twelve months immediately preceding the beginning of leave under this section is entitled to at least five continuous working days of paternity leave if —  

  • the employee is the father of the child;
  • the employee has submitted to the employee's employer a birth record of the child; and
  • the leave is taken within seven days of the birth of a child


Notice Period

The notice to terminate a long-term employment contract must be given in writing. The minimum duration of notice specified as per Zambia's Employment Act is as follows:   

  • twenty-four hours for a contract of employment not exceeding one month;  
  • fourteen days for a contract of employment of more than one month but not exceeding three months. 

Severance Pay

The employee is entitled to severance pay in the following cases: 

  • Terminating the employment contract of a fixed duration - at least 25% of the employee's basic pay.  
  • Termination of employment due to redundancy - 2 months' basic pay for each completed year of service.  
  • Employee's death - 2 months' basic pay for each completed year of service.  
  • Termination on medical grounds: at least three months' basic pay for each completed year of service. 



The Zambia government issues the following types of visas to foreign nationals:

  1. Single-entry visa, which allows the holder to enter the territory of Zambia only once for the duration the visa is issued  
  2. Double-entry visa, which allows the holder to enter Zambia twice for the duration the visa is issued  
  3. Multiple-entry visa, which allows the holder several entries into the country for the duration of the visa  
  4. Zambia Transit visa, issued to foreigners who will transit through the territory of Zambia on their way to a third country. The visa is valid for seven days  
  5. Zambia Day-Tripper visa, issued to foreigners who want to visit Zambia for only one day. You can get a Zambia Day Tripper Visa at the Victoria Falls and Kazungula Border Controls, and you must exit through the same point you have entered.  
  6. KAZA Visa, a universal visa for Zambia and Zimbabwe, allows the holder to travel between those two countries for a maximum of 30 days. Only certain nationals are eligible for the KAZA visa – see below.  

Visas for Zambia are also categorized depending on the reason for which you're traveling to Zambia. For example:

  1. Zambia Tourist Visa, for foreigners traveling for tourism and leisure  
  2. Zambia Business Visa, for foreigners traveling for short-term business-related purposes  
  3. Zambia Work Visa, also known as an Employment Permit, is issued to foreigners traveling to Zambia for long-term employment  
  4. Zambia Student Visa, also known as a Student Permit, is issued to foreigners traveling to Zambia to study in one of its educational institutions.

Employee Background Checks

Legal and Background Checks

The Employment Code does not expressly prohibit employers from conducting background checks on applicants. Further, whether the employer conducts its checks or hires a third party does not make a difference. Following background checks in Zambia:  

  1. Academic
  2. Employment
  3. Reference
  4. Passport verification
  5. Credit
  6. Civil
  7. Address
  8. FSA
  9. Bankruptcy
  10. GDB
  11. Open media

Last updated on April 30, 2023

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