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  • International Labour Office

    DECENT WORK IN TANZANIA What do the Decent Work Indicators tell us?

  • INTRODUCTION Work is central to people's lives, and yet many people work in conditions that are below internationally accepted standards.

    The Tanzania Decent Work Country Profile (ILO, 2010) was developed in 2009 through discussions with the Government of Tanzania (not covering Zanzibar), Tanzanian trade unions and employers and the National Bureau of Statistics. It provides an important milestone in terms of measuring progress to decent work using ILO decent work indicators, and clearly outlines the challenges remaining.

    This brief is intended as a more accessible version of the full document which can be found on the ILO website. This first country profile for Tanzania indicates that the country is making some progress on decent work, but much work remains to be done in terms of developing relevant statistical indicators to measure the multiple dimension of decent work and monitoring the informal economy, where more than 80% of the population is employed. The overall trends indicate that not enough employment opportunities are being created. They also reveal that in spite of the fact that real earnings in non-agricultural sectors are increasing, for most of the population, earnings are not adequate enough to pull them out of poverty. Most international and national policies put into place apply to the segment of the population that is employed in the formal sector, leaving a majority of the population vulnerable and unprotected by law in the informal sector.

    The Government of Tanzania has not yet ratified the following International Labour Conventions

    The Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122) The Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) The Holidays with Pay Convention, 1936 (No. 52) The Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised) 1970, (No. 132) The Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) The Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) The Employment Injury Benefits Convention, 1964 (No. 121) The Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129)

  • 1 Employment opportunities

    The Tanzanian government remains committed to full employment, and a new Employment Bill is now at an advanced stage. However, little progress has been made in implementing the National Employment Plan, the National Employment Creation Program and the National Employment Policy. Employment opportunities in Tanzania have improved from the early 1990's to 2006. The employment to population ratio has grown slightly between 2000/01 and 2006, and unemployment fell marginally by 1.3 percentage points. Unemployment insurance has still not been put in place. While these statistics do not reveal much about the quality of jobs, it is encouraging that the

    The Medical Care and Sickness Benefits Convention, 1969 (No. 130) The Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) The Labour Statistics Convention, 1985 (No. 160) The Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No.155) The Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health

    Convention, 2006 (No. 187)

    Hours of Work Convention (Industry) Convention, 1919 (No. 1) Hours of Work (Commerce and Offices), 1930 (No. 30)

  • share of own-account workers and contributing family workers in total employment (often called 'vulnerable

    employment') fell marginally from 90.4% to 87.7%. Likewise, the share of workers who are considered to be in informal employment declined slightly, from 95.0% to 93.3%, meaning that a higher proportion of workers were able to access the security and protection that formal employment offers. The situation of

    the youth population, particularly those in urban areas, is critical, with over 24% unemployment.

    Together with some improvements in school enrolment rates, this suggests that more youth are

    remaining in school. The urban economy is unable to absorb new entrants to the labour market, including those who migrate from rural areas. Unemployment rates are consistently worse for women than for men, which might be explained by prevailing gender norms which limit women's access to employment. The effects of the current global crisis, though not yet showing in the statistics, could create additional challenges, particularly in the tourism industry and export-oriented sectors, and most workers dont benefit from unemployment insurance.

    2 Adequate earnings and productive work Tanzania ratified the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention of 1970 (No. 131), and has adopted the Labour Institutions Act of 2004, which prescribes minimum wages on a sectoral basis and the Employment and Labour Relations Act, which provides the modes, formulas and timing of payment of wages. It has also established wage boards, which make recommendations on the cost of living, amongst other things. Average monthly incomes in the non-agricultural sector increased significantly, although the increase was higher for males than for females and higher in urban areas than in rural areas. The median monthly earning (low pay rate) rose by over 40%, and there was little change in the structure of earnings at the lower end of the spectrum.

    Despite high employment-to-population ratios, earnings are still inadequate for a substantial proportion of the Tanzanian population, and are insufficient to pull a large number of people out of poverty. The working poor remain a significant challenge, with over one third of workers still living in poverty1. The situation is generally better for those predominantly in paid employment, and expanding access to paid employment thus represents an important policy challenge.

    1. Based on the Basic Needs Poverty Line

  • 3 Decent hours Tanzania has made little progress on this front in the last few years, although it has put into effect the Employment and Labour Relations Act of 2004, which stipulates a maximum of 45 hours per week, with a daily limit of 9 hours, and 28 days of paid leave per year. While many Tanzanians continue to work excessive hours (i.e. more than 48 hours per week), more and more Tanzanians lack an adequate volume of work, and therefore involuntarily work fewer hours than they want to. The proportion of workers with decent hours of work is low, and has fallen from 55.3% to 32.6% over the past years, with a 10% decrease in the last 6 years alone. The effective implementation of the legal framework for maximum hours of work that has been set up could redress this situation, but it applies to only a small percentage of the population that is employed in the formal sector. Increasing productivity and the returns to work would be an important policy element to explore further, particularly for the informal economy.

  • 4 Combining work, family and personal life Tanzania has enacted the Employment and Labour Relations Act and the Labour Institutions Act of 2004, both of which provide for employees to balance their work, family and personal lives. These Acts provide for various forms of leave, including compassionate leave, maternity leave and benefits, paternity leave and a regulation of working hours. While there is an increasing trend towards implementation of the law, there is a lack of social care services to support the balance of work and family responsibilities.

  • There are large gender discrepancies with respect to combining work, family and personal life. While men spend 71 minutes more per day on economic work than women, they are also able to spend 22 more minutes on their own personal development (through learning and mass media), and 35 minutes more on social and cultural events. Women spend 140 minutes more per day on unpaid household work, and have much less time to spend on learning. Because women generally need their work hours to be more flexible in order to accommodate their household obligations, they are more inclined to take up jobs in the informal economy, and are thus less protected by the laws and institutions which can offer security and safety.

    5 Work that should be abolished Tanzania ratified the Conventions on Minimum Age, 1973 (No. 138), Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182), Forced Labour, 1930 (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour, 1957 (No. 105). The Government adopted a new Employment and Labour Relations Act (2004) prohibiting both child and forced labour. It outlaws employment of children under age 14, forbids their employment in situations injurious to health, and repeals the earlier ordinance under which compulsory labour could be imposed for public purposes. The Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act (2008) covers trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation purposes. Implementation to eliminate child labour has been assisted by ILO since 1994, and one key achievement was the inclusion of a national indicator on child labour in the monitoring system of MKUKUTA and in national budget allocations for action plans. Yet challenges remain. To

  • Customary law allows marriage at age 15, although the statutory law

    stipulates 18 as a minimum

    determine trends, a module on child labour has been included in the ILFS 2000/01 and 2006. Every fourth child was considered to be in child labour (24.6%, 2006), representing a decrease from 30.6% (2000101), yet still reflecting their role in supplementing household income in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Most were

    rural (29.3%) and male (27.4%). The target is to reach less than 10% by 2010. Rural


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