What you need to know about The Employment Code of 2019: Employment of Expatriates – Part 7

The Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019 provides for the Hiring of Expatriates.

However, before we review what the code states, it might be appropriate to refer to what the Immigration and Deportation Act of 2010 states;

On application being made in the prescribed manner, the Director-General of Immigration may, in consultation with the Ministry responsible for labor, issue an employment permit to any foreigner outside Zambia who—

(a) is not a prohibited immigrant;

(b) belongs to Class A (Any person who intends for gain to engage in any trade, business, profession, employment or other occupation — (a) for which the person is fitted by virtue of the person’s academic or professional qualifications, standard of education, skill and financial resources; (b) in which, having regard to the productivity and efficiency of the persons already engaged therein, there is not already a sufficient number of persons engaged or available in Zambia to meet the requirements of the inhabitants of Zambia; or (c) which is likely to be of benefit to the inhabitants of Zambia generally.);

(c) is employed by the Government of the Republic of Zambia or a statutory body; or

(d) is a volunteer or missionary.   

In view of this consultative background, the Employment Code, representing the Ministry responsible for labor, has the following provisions in regards to the hiring of expatriates;

Duties of employer employing expatriate

  • Subject to the other provisions of this Act, an employer who employs an expatriate in an undertaking shall—

(a) where practicable, designate an understudy of that expatriate;

(b) submit to the Labour Commissioner a schedule of training programmes and management succession of the understudy; and

(c) submit to the Labour Commissioner annual returns in the prescribed manner and form. (

Prohibitions relating to employment of expatriates

Subject to the Immigration and Deportation Act, 2010, an employer shall not—

(a) employ, in the name of the employer, an expatriate to engage in work that is not a critical skill under a list prepared by the Critical Skills Advisory Commitee;

 (b) cause the expatriate to engage in work other than that authorized under the permit issued in accordance with the Immigration and Deportation Act, 2010;

(c) dismiss or lay off a citizen or resident as a result of having employed an expatriate; or

(d) exert coercion, threat, or any other illegal means on an expatriate for the expatriate to engage in work without the consent of the expatriate.

Register of expatriate staff in Republic

The Labour Commissioner shall keep and maintain a Register of expatriates which contains—

 (a) the name and nature of business of the undertaking in which an expatriate is employed;

(b) the name, sex and nationality of the expatriate;

(c)the qualifications of the expatriate;

(d) the position in which the expatriate is employed; and

(e) any other information that the Labour Commissioner may determine.

Currently, not all the structures are in place for this, i.e The Critical Skills List, thus we await further guidance. However, what might be convenient would be The Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Home Affairs having one synergized and aligned system as opposed to two separate systems which might necessitate registering the same indvidual with two government ministries. The Immigration website is not only functional but relatively user friendly, and when in doubt the various Immigration Officers provide assistance. Thus, my personal hope is that the Ministry of Labour capitalize not only on Home Affairs successes but on their large database as well.

Thank you so much for joining me for this particular series on The Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019. We have come to the end, but in case of anything leave something in the comments section and let’s have a conversation.

To download the Employment Code, click here.