Q&A – 29 January 2024

Sanitary facilities at work places

The management of our company has been confronted by a trade union demanding that the employer is bound by the law to provide the employees with sanitary and welfare facilities at the workplace. The union came up with a big list of the facilities which they need to be provided by the employer. Some of the facilities they demand look very awkward and I doubt if we have the obligation to provide them under our law. The union’s demands include the provision of sanitary towel disposal bins for female employees, running premixed hot and cold water showers, water closet pan having a seat with a seat cover, clean drinking water and disposable cups for drinking water from coolers and containers. These demands make us feel that the union wants luxuries for its members at the expense of the employer instead of defending the rights of its members. Please guide.
LS, Arusha

All what the union demands for its members are not luxuries but statutory entitlements provided under the Occupational Safety and Health (First Aid and Welfare Facilities) Rules, 2015 [GN No.147 of 2015]. Rule 7 to 12 of the Rules imposes obligation on the employer to provide its employees at the work place with water closet pan designed to have a seat with a seat cover; make water or toilet paper available in the washrooms; provide toilet soap or similar cleansing agents in the toilet; keep sanitary towel disposal bins for female employees and provide running hot and cold or premixed hot and cold showers for the employees.

The rules further state that the shower room must have impermeable and smooth walls. and be slip free and have a slopped floor with effective drainage. Windows of the shower room should be glazed in obscure glass or similar material. There must be conspicuous signs outside the entrance of wash rooms indicating the sex of the persons for whom the room is indicated, and the wash rooms must be naturally or artificially ventilated such that the outside air hits the washroom directly. Urinal bowls, washbasins, water closet pans and shower rooms should have screen wall partitions to ensure privacy. In addition, the employer has the duty to supply its employees with clean and safe drinking water be it in water coolers or containers together with cups.

Collecting subscription for religious or charitable purposes

There are people who visit offices and ask for subscriptions of money allegedly for supporting certain church projects or charitable purposes. These people normally ask for subscriptions without proof that the money they are asking for is really intended to support the alleged religious purpose and this leaves us in doubt with the subscription. How does the law protect the public against possible fraud from such people who might be wrongly using the name of religious institutions for their personal gains?
JL, Musoma

It is contrary to section 177(e) of the Penal Code [Cap.16 R.E 2022] for a person to pay a visit to the offices or public places other than the places of worships for the purpose of collecting or appealing for subscription of money for religious or charitable purpose unless he has a written consent of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), District Commissioner (DC) or a police officer in-charge of a police station (OCS) in the locality where the collection or appeal for subscription of money is intended to be done. So the control of possible fraud against the public by people who claim to be collecting money for religious or charitable purposes is vested on the IGP, DC or OCS.

Whoever claims to be collecting or asking for subscription of money for religious or charitable purpose should first be asked to show a written consent from the above mentioned three leaders and if he fails to show one, he should be reported to the police and arrested for contravening section 177(e) of the Penal Code. It is only in the places of worship where money can be collected or an appeal for subscription of money for religious purposes can be made without a written permit from the IGP, DC or OCS.

Keeping dustbins inside daladalas

My daladala crew were arrested by traffic police for not keeping dustbins inside the bus. He was ordered to pay a fine which he did but I still doubt if failure to keep a dustbin inside a commuter bus is an offence because I know for certain that all the commuter buses commonly known as daladala in Dar es Salaam don’t have dustbins. I would like to get your opinion on this issue if the traffic police was right.
RW, Mbeya

Regulation 20(1) of the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (Certification of Commercial Vehicle Drivers and Registration of Crew) Regulations, 2020 [GN No.81 of 2020] imposes an obligation on the crew of commercial vehicles to ensure that dustbins are kept inside their buses and they are used by passengers. This rule was meant to keep our environment clean because in the absence of dustbins inside the buses, passengers do throw garbage and pollute the environment. Commuter buses are commercial vehicles so the crew of such vehicles are bound by the law to keep dustbins inside their buses. Failure to keep dustbins inside a commuter bus or any other commercial vehicle is an offence attracting a fine of not less than TZS 50,000 and not exceeding TZS 100,000 or imprisonment for a term of not less than 1 month but exceeding 1 year or to both prison term and fine. Owners of the commercial vehicles need to remind their crew to keep the dustbins inside the bus and ensure that the passengers are reminded to use the dustbins.