Labour Law, Payroll and Africa – Mastering good business in Africa
It is a known secret that most of the African labour standards are heavily influenced by western countries. In the current global financial and economic crisis, amidst Covid-19 a zoomed-in effect has been applied to Africas’ labour laws. African countries are known for their stringent expatriation labour and tax laws. This poses a big challenge for a continent that seeks to be a developed continent.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in the areas of concern are wages, social security, and human resource development. Africa is a continent of 54 countries, and each country will have its own rules and regulations. You must have access to the legislative and regulatory information of each country that a company plans on operating in. Depending on the country level of digital infrastructure, online access to the information might be unavailable and hard copies could be in short supply. This may cause a delay when setting up a business on the continent. Setting up a business in Africa requires patience and a plan because non-compliance comes at a price, with significant penalties and reputational damage.
So, how do you access the correct payroll legislation in countries where access to information is limited? Here are a few things you can do:
- Use a company that already has roots in Africa
If you find that the information you require about a country’s payroll and tax regulations is not readily available online, it would be beneficial to partner with a company that is already operating in Africa and understands the regulations. This could be a local payroll company like Rosstone Professional Solutions. This will ease the burden of having to spend valuable time and resources manually collecting needed information. In addition to local insights, you might need help making sense of legislative documents that don’t have English versions available – so you’ll need someone who speaks the local language.
- Get in touch with local government
This might prove near impossible in certain African countries. In other African countries, regulation changes can come suddenly and without warning. This is because, in some areas, the bureaucratic and political hurdles that normally stand in the way of changing legislation don’t exist. Unfortunately, in such cases it is not about what you know but who you know. Having a local partnership with a company that already operates in the country will give a company an added advantage when it comes to changes in.
- Work with a payroll provider with an African network
The easiest way to get access to African payroll legislation is to work with a company that already has all this information on hand. They will understand how to work across national and international lines and will have their own networks of government, local HR, and payroll specialist contacts to draw on. This means you’ll be 100% compliant from the get-go with minimum effort from your side.
With this background, it should make sense why expatriation and doing business in Africa is a bit harder than anywhere else. However, we are not going about business as usual. As Covid-19 has sent people home and forced industries to rethink labour and how production works. This means that now you must learn to do more with a lot less. Your payroll doesn’t have to add on to the pile of things you need “to do”. Rosstone Professional solutions will identify the right skills for your company, vet them, and ensure that they comply with the regulations in the country of your business operation. Rosstone will also facilitate the payroll process, taking on the role of employer of record.