South Africa
Remote’s guide to employing in

South Africa
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Make employment in South Africa easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in , all in one easy-to-use platform.

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  • Capital city

    Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative)

  • Currency

    South African Rand (R, ZAR)

  • Languages

    English and 10 other official languages

  • Population size


Services available in this country:
Global Employment ServicesContractor Management

Facts & Stats

South Africa Map Illustration
  • Capital city

    Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative)

  • Currency

    South African Rand (R, ZAR)

  • Languages

    English and 10 other official languages

  • Population size


  • Ease of doing business


  • Cost of living index

    $$ (77 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency


  • VAT - standard rate


  • GDP - real growth rate

    0.7871% (2018 est.)

South Africa, Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 24th-most populous nation. South Africa is a developing country and ranks 113th on the Human Development Index, the seventh-highest in Africa. It has been classified by the World Bank as a newly industrialised country, with the second-largest economy in Africa, and the 33rd-largest in the world.

Grow your team in South Africa with Remote

Looking to employ workers in South Africa? Companies hiring in South Africa must either own a legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider, usually one that provides employer of record services.

Remote can employ your team in South Africa on your behalf through our local legal entity in the country and handle payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance for your South Africa team. You can also pay contractors now in South Africa with Remote.

Risks of misclassification

South Africa, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in South Africa may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in South Africa

Employment law in South Africa is not contained under a single law and is informed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, common law and specific labour legislation. In general, South African labour law is divided into two areas: collective labour law and individual employment law.

Collective labour law governs the relationship between employers and trade unions, disputes, wage agreements, strikes, lockouts, etc.. Legislation related to this is all contained under the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1996 (LRA). Individual employment law relates to the law that govern the minimum terms and conditions of employment, regulation of terminations and disputes concerning unfair dismissal, labour practices, and discrimination claims.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage of R23,19 per hour will increase to R25,42 per hour (an increase of approximately 9,6%), with effect 1 March 2023. The new minimum also outlines the minimum wage for workers in certain sectors.

Farm workers will earn a minimum in line with the rate, as will domestic workers. However, workers employed in expanded public works programmes will be entitled to a lower rate at R13.97 per hour.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in South Africa fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 3 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

12 Public holidays

Monday, January 2, 20231New Year’s Day (Observed)
Tuesday, March 21, 20232Human Rights Day
Friday, April 7, 20233Good Friday
Monday, April 10, 20234Family Day
Thursday, April 27, 20235Freedom Day
Monday, May 1, 20236Worker’s Day
Friday, June 16, 20237Youth Day
Wednesday, August 9, 20238National Women’s Day
Monday, September 25, 20239Heritage Day (observed)
Saturday, December 16, 202310Day of Reconciliation
Monday, December 25, 202311Christmas Day
Tuesday, December 26, 202312Day of Goodwill

Competitive benefits package in South Africa

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in South Africa are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Mental Health Support

  • Pension or 401(K)

  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in South Africa

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in South Africa.

  • 1%

    Skills Development Levy (SDL)

  • 1%

    Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

Types of Leave

All full-time workers are legally entitled to 21 consecutive days paid holiday leave a year. There are also 12 public holidays in South Africa that are not part of the holiday entitlement.

Employment termination

Termination process

South African employers can not terminate an employee at will. Under the South African Labour Relations Act, employees have the right to be 'fairly dismissed'.

Dismissals can happen for the following reasons:

  • Dismissal without notice for misconduct (for example in the case of theft or other serious misconduct);

  • Dismissal due to incapacity (for example due to health or poor performance), usually after opportunity to meet performance standards;

  • Dismissal due to operational requirements for the company; or

  • Termination by separation agreement, agreed upon by the employee and employer.

Notice period

The statutory notice period for an employer depends on the duration of employment:

  • Less than 6 months: 1 week

  • Between 6 months and 1 year: 2 weeks

  • More than 1 year: 4 weeks

Probation periods

Probationary periods are permitted and must be reasonable with regards to the length to determine whether the employee is suitable for the job. 3 to 6 months is fairly commonplace.