I am a graduate of Computer Science and am about to sign a contract of employment with a Company operating in Tanzania. I have read the contract just to note that there is one clause in it which prevents me ‘not to disclose any information of the employer to any government authority’. Is this clause valid under Tanzanian law? In case I sign the contract, can the employer in future successfully terminate my employment if I contravene this clause? I find the clause very awkward.
Employees are only duty bound to abide to legitimate terms and conditions of their employment contracts. An employee cannot be compelled by their employer, in the contract of employment, not to disclose information to the government if the information assists the government to discover organised crimes, corruption offences, unethical conducts, illegal and dangerous activities and the like.
Section 14 of The Whistleblower and Witness Protection Act, 2015 (the Act) prohibits inclusion of a provision in a contract of employment or other agreement between an employer and an employee if it seeks to prevent an employee from disclosing wrongs for safeguarding the public interest. The section bars even inclusion of the clause which discourages employees from making disclosure of wrongs. If such a clause is included in the contract of employment, the law states that it is void. Even if you sign the contract, the employer cannot successfully fire you for contravention of such a clause as the same is void. In case the employer terminates your employment based on contravention of that clause, you can successfully defend your case for being unfairly terminated. Moreover, you can apply to the authority to which you made a disclosure for protection if you disclosed the information in good faith, you had a reasonable cause to believe that the information of the wrongdoing reported was substantially valid and you made the disclosure in a manner prescribed by the Act.