Basic Facts

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Lake Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the east and south, and Zambia to the west. The country has a total land area of 118,480 square kilometers. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, employing nearly 80% of the population.


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Malawi.

Capital :
Currency :
Malawian Kwacha (MWK, MK)
Languages spoken :
English, Chichewa, Chinyanja, Chiyao, and Chitumbuka
Population :
19.1 million (2020 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
MK 50,000 per month
Cost of Living index :
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
2.8% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2024.


Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year's Day
January 15
John Chilembwe Day
March 3-4
Martyrs' Day
March 29
Good Friday
April 1
Easter Monday
April 10
Eid al-Fitr
May 1
Labor Day
May 14
President Kamuzu Banda's Birthday
June 6-8
Independence Day
October 15
Mother's Day
December 25
Christmas Day
December 26
Boxing Day

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Malawi is 14 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • Termination of employment without a valid reason based on misconduct, incapacity or operational requirements is deemed unfair.
  • Severance pay is only given in cases of employment termination based on redundancy or operational requirements of the employer and unfair dismissal.
  • The notice period for indefinite employment termination is based on the payroll cycle.

Labor Conditions

Working Hours

An employee’s normal working hours should be set out in the employment contract provided that no employer may require or permit any employee to work more than 48 hours during any week, excluding overtime.



There are three classes of overtime known respectively as ordinary overtime, day off overtime, and holiday overtime.


Overtime ClassOvertime Pay
Ordinary overtimeHourly rate of not less than one and one-half the wage for one hour.
Day off overtimeHourly rate of not less than twice the wage per hour.
Holiday Overtimenot less than twice the normal hourly rate
Probation Period

The parties may agree on the duration of the probationary period provided that the period does not, in any event, exceed 12 months.

Termination Notice Period

In indefinite employment, the contract termination notice depends on the wage period as presented below:

Wage PeriodNotice
Workers paid wages on a monthly rate.1 month notice
Workers Paid fortnightly
  • 5 days for workers with less than 5 years of service
  • 30-day notice for workers with at least 5 years of service
Workers paid on a weekly basis
  • 1 week notice for workers with less than 2 years of service
  • 2 weeks notice for workers with 2 to 5 years of service
  • 1 month notice for those with at least 5 years of service
Daily/Hourly rate
  • 1 day notice for employees with less than 6 months of service
  • 1 week notice for those with no less than 6 months but less than 2 years
  • 2 weeks notice for employees continuously employed for a period of not less than 2 years but less than 5 years


Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

The length of annual leave depends on the working days in a week. Annual leave is:

  • 18 working days if the worker works six days a week;
  • 15 working days if the worker works five days a week.

This leave should be taken within six months of the entitlement to the leave falling due provided that the leave may be deferred and accumulated by mutual agreement.


Sick Leave

An employee is entitled, after completing 12 months’ continuous service, to at least four weeks’ sick leave on full pay and eight weeks’ sick leave on half pay during each year. During sick leave, an employee is paid the normal rate of wages.

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

A female employee is entitled, within every three years, to at least eight weeks of maternity leave on full pay.

During the period when an employee is on maternity leave, her normal benefits and entitlements, including her contractual rights and accumulation of seniority, should continue uninterrupted and her period of employment should not be considered to have been interrupted, reduced, or broken.

Paternity Leave

There is no statutory provision for paternity leave in Malawi.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Employees are paid for only three days while on strike. Any employee who continues to strike after three days should be paid by their union.

Unpaid Leave

There are no statutory provisions for unpaid leave in Malawi.

Statutory Benefits

Under the National Pension Scheme (NPS), the employer contributes 10% of the employee’s pensionable emoluments. Contributions by the employer are tax deductible up to a maximum of 15% of the employee’s pensionable emoluments while those made by the employee are not.

BenefitEmployer Contribution Rate
National Pension Scheme10%

Health Insurance

There is no mandatory health insurance in Malawi. The healthcare system is funded through general taxation.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

Accidental insurance is the employer’s liability, governed through a private carrier.

To qualify for benefits, one must be assessed for a work injury or occupational disease and be certified by a medical doctor to be unfit for work for at least seven days. Accidents that occur while commuting to and from work are covered if the employer provides transportation.

Unemployment Insurance

There is no unemployment insurance in Malawi.

Public Pension

Employers contribute 10% to the public pension.

To qualify for the old age pension, one must be aged at least 50. The pension is also accessible to people at any age if they are permanently emigrating or with at least 20 years of contributions.

The insured has three payment options: purchase an annuity, make programmed withdrawals, or receive a lump sum up to a limit that varies depending on the insured’s age at retirement.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.