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Zambia Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on April 5, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Zambia

Vacation (Annual Leave) Quota

24 days

An employee is, after six months’ continuous service, entitled to a holiday with full pay at the rate of two days in respect of each period of one month’s service. The time when the vacation can be taken is up to an agreement between an employer and an employee.

The vacation will be in addition to any public holiday or weekly rest period, whether fixed by any law, agreement, or custom, in respect of which the employee is not required to work under his contract of service.

Payment of Unused Vacation on Termination

Provided that where a contract of service is terminated otherwise than by an employee’s desertion, resignation, or summary dismissal before he has qualified for a holiday as aforesaid, the employee is entitled to be paid two days’ full pay for each completed month of service.

Sick Leave in Zambia

Up to 6 months.

Employees receive between 52 days and six months of sick leave in Zambia, depending on the length of their employment contract.

All employees with at least 12 months of service or more are entitled to employer-paid sick leave for up to six months, with the first three months at 100% of pay and the last three at 50%. Individuals engaged under shorter-term contracts are entitled to 52 days of leave at 100% of pay for the first 26 days and then 50% for the next 26 days.

Family Responsibility Leave

Employees with at least six months of service are entitled to seven working days of paid leave to care for a sick child, spouse, or dependent.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Zambia

14 weeks

Every female employee who has completed at least two years of continuous service with her employer from the date of first engagement or since the last maternity leave taken, as the case may be, shall, on the production of a medical certificate as to her pregnancy signed by a registered medical practitioner, be entitled to maternity leave of 14 weeks with full pay.

The maternity leave is exclusive of any other leave to which a female employee may otherwise be entitled.

In case of illness which arises out of pregnancy and results in a female employee becoming temporarily incapable of performing her official duties, such employee is entitled to sick leave.

An employer is forbidden to terminate the services of a female employee or impose any other penalty or disadvantage upon such employee for reasons connected with such employee’s pregnancy.

Paternity Leave in Zambia

5 days

Male employees with at least 12 months of service are entitled to five consecutive working days of unpaid paternity leave.

Parental Leave in Zambia

7 days

In Zambia, there is no specific legislation addressing parental leave. Nonetheless, workers may be eligible for both maternity and paternity leave, in addition to already mentioned Family Responsibility Leave. This type of leave is available to employees who have completed a minimum of six months of service. It permits them to take up to 7 paid days off per calendar year to attend to a sick spouse, child, or dependent. For 3 of these 7 days, employees receive their full salary from their employer.

Bereavement Leave in Zambia

Up to 12 days.

Employees are entitled to 12 days of paid compassionate leave for the death of a spouse, child, parent, or dependent. The leave is non-accumulative.

Jury Duty Leave in Zambia

Jury duty leave is not specified by law.

Military Leave in Zambia

Military leave is not specified by law.

Voting Leave in Zambia

Voting leave is not specified by law.

Public Holidays in Zambia for 2024

Public holidays which fall on a Sunday are moved the next Monday.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
March 8 International Women’s Day
March 12 Youth Day
March 29 Good Friday
March 30 Easter Saturday
April 1 Easter Monday
April 28 Kenneth Kaunda Brithday
May 1 Labor Day
May 25 Africa Day
Jul 1 (First Monday in July) Heroes’ Day
Jul 2 (Tuesday after Heroes’ Day) Unity Day
August 5 (First Monday in August) Farmers’ Day
October 18 Prayer Day
October 24 Independence Day
December 25 Christmas


  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/zambia

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Zambia, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/zambia/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Zambia, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/Zambia

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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