South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa, bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini, and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. The country has 3 capital cities, with the 3 branches of government each located in one of them. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups in South Africa have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy. South Africa is often referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid.
Part-time work: Salary is distributed based on the amount of time
Seasonal work - Full-time for a period with a reduced amount of time
Full-time Employees work a maximum of 45 hours per week. An employee is considered full-time if they work more than 24 hours in a week (7 days).
Employees earning over ZAR 241,110.59 per year are not eligible to be paid overtime. However, they still need to agree to the overtime required.
Payment for overtime for employees earning under the amount of ZAR 241,110.59 per year is 1.5x the hourly rate, and double the hourly rate if working on a Sunday or public holiday.
Employees are not permitted to work more than 3 hours overtime in 1 day or more than 10 hours overtime in a week.
The minimum wages in South Africa as of August 2023 are:
The maximum probation period is 3 months (90 days). This can be extended with good cause by mutual written agreement prior to the conclusion of the 3 months.
Should a written agreement extending the probation period not be provided, the employee is considered full-time if the employee works 1 day more than 90 days.
Income tax for employees varies based on salary and employee age.
Please see here for the South Africa government website with the latest tax bands, thresholds and rebates.
In addition to income tax, employees need to contribute to the following:
Employees are entitled to a statutory Paid Time Off (PTO) allocation of 21 consecutive days or 15 working days.
Employees accrue leave at 1.25 days per month or 1 day for every 17 days worked. Leave must be taken within a 12-month cycle, starting on day 1 of employment.
If it is not taken, the employee has another 6 months to take that leave or they forfeit the previous year’s leave accrual. This can be extended for a further 3 months upon agreement in writing by both parties.
No payout or purchase back of leave is allowed during the employment of the employee. Employers can be fined heavily if they attempt to pay employees to not take leave.
If an employee works a 5-day week, they are allocated 30 days of paid leave within a three-year cycle.
During the first 6 months of employment, employees are entitled to 1 day of paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.
An employer may require a medical certificate before paying sick leave for absences exceeding 2 consecutive days or occurring more than twice in an eight-week period.
Pregnant workers are entitled to at least 4 consecutive months of maternity leave. There are additional maternity leave basic for mothers who have miscarriages/stillbirths.
Workers may take maternity leave 1 month before their due date, or earlier or later as agreed or required for health reasons.
Workers may not go back to work within 6 weeks after the birth unless their doctor or midwife says it is safe.
Maternity leave is paid by the Unemployment Insurance fund at a % of the salary.
It is common practice but not compulsory for companies to pay an amount to the mother to keep minimum benefits up to date: eg: pension or provident fund, medical aid (if the company contributes).
Under South African labour law, an employee is entitled to 10 days of parental leave upon the birth of an employee's child.
The same number of leave days are applicable when an employee legally adopts a child or is a prospective adoptive parent and is the main caregiver to the child.
Full-time workers may take 3 days of paid family responsibility leave during each annual leave cycle (12-month period from day 1 of employment). Any unused leave expires at the end of the annual cycle.
An employee may take family responsibility leave for the following reasons:
The provisions for family responsibility leave do not apply to workers who work less than:
There are 12 official public holidays per year. Should a public holiday fall on a Sunday, the following Monday is observed as a public holiday.
For an up-to-date list of public holidays, see the government website here.
Employers in South Africa can typically offer the following benefits:
Note that any additional fringe benefits (e.g. work-from-home allowance) contributed to by employers count as taxable income.
South Africa does not have a government health system. Private Medical Insurance (known as Medical Aid) is required for easy access to medical professionals. Dental and Vision are included in higher plans for medical aid.
The minimum notice periods are as follows:
Employers may provide longer notice periods if they wish to do so.
In South Africa, if an employer wishes to terminate an employment contract with an employee due to a cause or transgression, they must follow a fair procedure and must have a valid reason for the termination. The notice period required for such termination will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
If the employer is terminating the employment contract for misconduct or poor performance, the employer is required to follow the company's disciplinary procedure, which should outline the process for investigating and disciplining employees. The employer must ensure that the process is fair and that the employee has been given an opportunity to respond to any allegations against them. The notice period will depend on the outcome of the disciplinary process and whether or not the employee is found to be guilty of the alleged misconduct or poor performance.
In general, if an employee is being dismissed for an offense, the employer should give the employee reasonable notice of the termination. The employer should take into account the degree of the offense, the employee's length of service, and any other relevant factors. The notice period required for termination due to an offense may be longer than the statutory minimum notice periods under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
If the employer is terminating the employment contract for operational reasons, such as retrenchment (employee dismissal) or restructuring, the employer must follow the Labour Relations Act and consult with the affected employees and any applicable trade unions. The notice period will depend on the specific circumstances of the retrenchment or restructuring and must be reasonable in the circumstances.
When the employee/er terminates the employment agreement, all the accrued leave must be paid out in the final payment within 7 days of the employee leaving the company.
Severance pay is referred to as a “transition payment” and is usually stipulated in the Employment Contract or Collective Agreement. Employees are generally entitled to 1 week of pay for each year employed (unless they have been terminated due to poor performance or misconduct, in which case no severance payment is due).
While not explicitly mandatory, 13th-month salary bonus payments are customary in South Africa and paid out in December.
★ 1% - Skills Developemnt Levy (SDL)
★ 1% - Unemployment Insurance (UIF)
★ 0.25% - COIDA Provision
We've made the process really simple
with only 3 steps.
You've sourced a full-time employee or contractor located in a country where your company is not incorporated.
Pass us the details of your candidate and we will let you know exactly what it costs to employ your candidate in that country.
Sit back and relax as we onboard your new team member and take care of all the local compliances and admin work.
It can be prohibitively expensive to establish an entity in every country you want to hire talent in, so Remofirst will hire and pay your employee on your behalf while you manage their daily duties. Remofirst will handle formal HR procedures and employment contracts that adhere to local laws, so that you can simply approve invoices via our platform. When you work with an Employer of Record (EOR) you can compliantly hire the best employees around the world.
Unlike full-time employees, contractors work on projects with multiple companies at a given time and are technically self-employed. Full-time employees are solely focused on their employer and usually receive benefits (such as health insurance, equity or stock options, and time off) as an additional form of compensation. While it can be cheaper to work with international contractors instead of paying benefits to a full-time employee, you run the risk of misclassification. It's recommended to work with an EOR for contractor onboarding and payments, so you can know that your international contractors are paid compliantly and on time.