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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 South Africa, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • 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

    59,622,350

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductContractor Management
South Africa

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

    59,622,350

  • Ease of doing business

    Easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$ (77 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    15%

  • 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

A new National Minimum Wage (”NMW”) determination by 8.5%, from R25,42 to R27,58 for each ordinary hour worked.

The new NMW will come into effect from 1 March 2024.

The NMW determination applies to the vulnerable sectors of farm workers and the domestic workers – whom since 2022 were aligned with the NMW rates.

However, the general increase in the national minimum wage will not apply to employees working on an expanded public works programme or workers engaged through learnerships. The workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R15,16 per hour from R13,97. Workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998, are entitled to the allowances, which range from R415.07 to R 2421.13 a week, depending on the learner’s NQF level and number of credits earned by the learner.

The increased minimum wage will not apply to members of the South African Defence Force, the National Intelligent Agency, the South African Secret Service, and volunteers, all of whom are excluded for the ambit of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018. A volunteer is a person who performs work for another person and who does not receive or is not entitled to receive, any remuneration for their services.

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

Jan
Monday, January 1, 20241New Year's Day (Nuwejaarsdag)
Mar
Thursday, March 21, 20242Human Rights Day (Menseregtedag)
Friday, March 29, 20243Good Friday (Goeie Vrydag)
Apr
Monday, April 1, 20244Family Day (Gesinsdag)
Saturday, April 27, 20245Freedom Day (Vryheidsdag)
May
Wednesday, May 1, 20246Workers' Day (Werkersdag)
Jun
Monday, June 17, 20247Youth Day (Jeugdag)
Aug
Friday, August 9, 20248National Women's Day (Nasionale Vrouedag)
Sep
Tuesday, September 24, 20249Heritage Day (Erfenisdag)
Dec
Monday, December 16, 202410Day of Reconciliation (Versoeningsdag)
Wednesday, December 25, 202411Christmas Day (Kersdag)
Thursday, December 26, 202412Day of Goodwill (Dag van welwillendheid)

Want to see and manage all holidays? Sign up for our free HRIS!

Effortless HR in South Africa: Take the Tour

Seamlessly Manage Your Workforce, from First Hire to Final Paycheck

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.

Fair Pricing in South Africa

Employer of Record

Hire and pay your global team

Starting at $599/month

Top features

  • Satisfaction guaranteed

  • No deposits or hidden fees

  • Zero onboarding or offboarding fees

  • Compliant equity incentives support including withholding and reporting

  • Built-in security and compliance

  • Fast onboarding (average 2-3 days)

  • Flexible, localized benefits

Contractor Management

Compliantly onboard and pay contractors

$29

per contractor/month

Start free trial

Top features

  • Only pay for contractors you actively work with

  • Work with contractors in 200+ countries

  • Create, edit, and sign tailored, localized contracts

  • Approve contractor invoices with one click or auto-pay

  • Transparent payments with complete visibility

Global Payroll

Consolidate your multi-country payroll

$50

per employee/month

Top features

  • Reduce costs by centralizing payroll management

  • Ensure local compliance for every country

  • Direct support from in-house local payroll experts

  • Accurate, on-time, compliant payroll to level-up your employee experience

  • Tax and labor authority reporting handled for you

HRIS

Manage all of your employees in one place

Free
Sign up

Top features

  • Guided onboarding and offboarding

  • Employee profile and document management

  • Time and attendance (time off and tracking)

  • Expense management and reimbursement

  • Employee self-serve on the platform and mobile app