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Residency permit and change of employment

I am a foreigner employed in a certain company which assisted me to get a permit class B which allows me to work in Tanzania. Whilst in employment in the country I got a better offer from another company and wish to move on. How can I go about this?

JI, Dar

The Immigration Act specifically provides that if a person to whom a class B residency permit has been granted fails or ceases to be engaged in the employment specified in the permit or is engaged on any terms in any employment other than the employment specified in the permit, the permit shall immediately cease to be valid and the presence of that person in Tanzania shall be unlawful. Hence once your employment ends with the current company, the residency permit is also automatically terminated and you have 30 days to leave the country.

You must appreciate that as an expatriate, the law here does not allow job hopping. It is not in the interest of the Tanzanian registered entity that you work for nor in the interest of public policy.

However it must be stated that the Director of Immigration has discretion to vary the conditions of the permit as he deems fit. You may make such an application to the Director to authorize you to work for the other company. This consent is also subject to a no objection letter from the current employer.

Poor customer care by mobile company

I am a subscriber to a mobile company in Tanzania whose customer care system is very poor. I have to call customer care repeatedly and am put on hold for ages. Sometimes it takes ten calls to get through- the standard message is “all our customer representatives are presently busy, stay online and you will be attended by the next available representative.” It takes sometimes up to 30 minutes before I get attended to. In between the call, the customer care rep also hangs up and I start all over again. Do I have any rights and how do I defend myself against this mobile company. They are bullying me.

TK, Mwanza

Your bullying can be intervened by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority which is the institution responsible for managing all mobile companies in Tanzania. The Electronic and Postal Communications (Quality of Service) Regulations, 2011 provide that, the average waiting time before a customer is attended by a call centre operator should be less than five minutes.

Hence you may lodge a complaint to the mobile company explicitly stating your complaint and the mobile company is required to reply to your complaint within 21 days from the receipt of the complaint. If you are unsatisfied with their reply, you may proceed to lodge the complaint to TCRA. TCRA shall conduct an investigation on the complaint and may request the mobile company to submit any documents if need be.

Once TCRA finalizes the investigation, it shall write to both parties advising them on the need for a hearing of the complaint and stipulate the date of the hearing or if there is no need of a hearing, then advice the parties on how TCRA shall proceed to determine the matter. After a hearing, TCRA shall proceed to determine the complaint and shall make a directive including, as appropriate, payment of a fine. Many people do not know about their rights against the mobile companies some mobile operators are also unaware of this. It also seems like you are always calling your mobile operator- we do hope that the problem is now solved.

Employees forming a trade union

I own a big company with about fifty employees. Grapevine has it that the employees want to establish a trade union mainly because of one employee who is masterminding this. I don’t support this idea as it is hard to control. How can I prevent them from forming this trade union? I also want to fire this employee for gross indiscipline. How should I go about this?

EK, Arusha

The Employment and Labor Relations Act provides that, every employee has the right to form or join a trade union and participate in the lawful activities of the trade union. The Act also provides that no employee shall be discriminated against because he is a member of a trade union or he participates in the lawful activities of the union.

With the above, you can neither stop your employees from forming or joining a trade union, nor can you fire the employee for asking for his rights. If you do so, you are surely going to end up in the commission for mediation and arbitration and are likely to lose the case. Move with caution as in Tanzania, as in other countries, generally speaking you can only fi re if you follow the right procedure and have grounds to terminate employment. Your attorney can guide you further.

Time to file labour disputes

I was terminated in my job and feel the termination is unfair. I have taken some time to think of what to do and have been told that I can refer the matter to labour Court within 30 days. I am afraid that I may be time barred by a day or two. Do I need to count Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays? Please guide.

BN, Rukwa

You seem to want to challenge this unfair termination and are not sure how the 30 days to fi le this complaint are to be counted. Provisions of the Labour Institutions (Mediation and Arbitration) Rules, takes care of how to count days. The Rules provide that in calculating any period, the first day shall be excluded and the last day shall be included.

However, the last day must be excluded if it falls on Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday. In the event the time has expired, the law allows you file an application for extension of time/ condonation provided you give sufficient reasons for your delay. You are advised to consult labour practitioners for further guidance.

over 7 years ago