☑️ The Basics

Currency: South African Rand, ZAR (Rate)

Public Holidays: 14 public holidays (see here)

Employer Taxes: 2% of gross salary

Official Language: 11 official languages, the most common of which are English (9.6%), Afrikaans (13.5%), Xhosa (16%), and Zulu (22.7%)

Payroll frequency: Monthly, bi-weekly, weekly

13th / 14th Salary: (what's this?) ****Non-mandatory customary 13th salary is generally paid in December

Three things to know about employing in South Africa

  1. Many companies in South Africa have a shutdown period over December. They can ask employees to take their annual leave to coincide with this period. Should an employee take their annual leave at another time during the year, then the shutdown period is treated as unpaid leave.
  2. VAT of 15% if required on the total cost of employment in South Africa if the new hire's main areas of work are based in South Africa (e.g. managing team in South Africa, business interactions are mainly in South Africa). If they are not, and their business activities are outside South Africa, then VAT does not apply.
  3. Parental leave is unpaid in South Africa. But parents can claim payment from the Department of Labour’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) if they have contributed to it.

Employment in South Africa

Notice Period

The notice period for both dismissals and resignations depends on the length of the employment relationship:

Termination & Severance

If the employee is terminated due to operational requirements, the company is obligated to pay the employee one week’s severance pay for every year employed. No severance pay is payable for dismissal for other reasons.

Probationary period

Typically three months

Minimum Wage

20 ZAR per hour

IP protection and non-compete agreements

Non-compete agreements are typically enforced for periods between six and 12 months. Employers do not need to pay employees separately for these agreements to be enforceable.

Working Hours

Nine hours daily, 45 hours weekly


Up to 10 hours overtime per week is permitted.

Employees earning below a threshold (205,433.30 ZAR per year) are paid 150% of their normal wage for overtime worked on weekdays and 200% for Sundays. Employees cannot opt out of these provisions.

Employees earning in excess of the threshold are not subject to overtime pay, but cannot be forced by their employer to work overtime without compensation without prior agreement.