Leave refers to the amount of hours or days an employee of an organization is permitted to be away from their employment position within a year’s time without consequences. The Labour Act Chapter 28:01 and partly the Constitution of Zimbabwe deals with various types of leave in Zimbabwe. In this article we explore the various types of leave in Zimbabwe.

  1. Annual/Vacation Leave

In terms of Section 14A of the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 the leave may be accrued to a maximum of  (90) ninety days paid vacation leave unless the employee can prove that he/she was declined to take leave for operational reasons.

So what it means is that if the employee continues to work without proceeding on vacation leave say for five years which would translate the leave days to 100 days (22 multiply by 5 years, the employee’s leave days will cease to accrue at 90 days then the counting of leave days will restart at zero.

The employer has discretion to determine when the employee shall proceed on leave.

All Saturdays Sundays and public holidays falling within the period of the vacation leave shall be counted as part of the vacation leave.

An employee who becomes ill or is injured during a period of vacation leave may cancel the vacation and apply for sick leave.

  1. Unpaid leave

There is no obligation on the employer to grant unpaid leave however in terms of Section 14A (5) of the Labour Act the employer may grant vacation leave without pay where an employee has no vacation leave accrued but wants to go on leave.

  1. Sick leave

In terms of Section 14 of the Labour Act, the employee is entitled to

  • 90 days in one calendar year with full pay of sick leave which is supported by registered medical practitioner.
  • If the fully paid 90 days are exhausted in one calendar month, the employer shall grant a further period of up to 90 days sick leave on half pay where in the opinion of the a medical doctor the employee will be able to resume duty after such period of sick leave.

If the period of 180 days granted in both (a) and (b) are granted and the employee has still not recovered, the employer may terminate the employment.

  1. Compassionate/Special Leave

In terms of Section 14B of the Labour Act, an employee is entitled to a maximum of twelve (12) days in a calendar year on compassionate grounds which are justifiable.

  1. Maternity leave

In terms of Section 18 of the Labour Act as read with Section 65 (7) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe women have a right to a fully paid maternity leave for at least three months if they have served for at least one year.

The contents of this article are for general information purposes only and do not constitute our legal or professional advice. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage of whatsoever nature which may arise from reliance on any of the information published herein.

Copyright © Marume & Furidzo Legal Practitioners 2018


  1. Victor

    Thank you for such an insightful publication. I however need to be educated on the maternity leave, is there no legal way of according a husband a leave or time of duty to help his wife during the maternity leave. I am asking this question background against the background that during this period the wife will be in need of help.

  2. Grant Marume

    Can you help me ,I left my job for 20 days without telling my employer that I have left job and he refuses to pay me my money

  3. yeukai

    hello,please help understand something,i have leave days on my payslip say 20 and i take 10 days leave is my pay supposed to be deducted for that month

  4. Mathew Simango

    May you please help
    Are employers allowed to force employees to go for a forced leave when their leave days a less than 90 days


    Thanks for shading light on Leave days


    Can an employee on sick leave continue to have vacation leave days accrue


    Can an employee on sick leave continue to have vacation leave days accrue

  8. Florence Shamiso Kanhukamwe

    Thank you. However l wanted to know if unpaid leave can continue for more than a year

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