The Next Normal: The changing Workplace in Africa, a 2022 report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) identifies 10 major trends in African business brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic. One of these salient trends is that three in ten enterprises in Africa (especially in the field of ICT) are now recruiting new groups of workers they had not previously considered, such as fully remote workers.
This major shift, on top making the job market even more competitive, between local and international businesses, poses questions as to core functions of HR. Why are onboarding and offboarding important in Africa? As the very first and last steps on a worker’s employment journey, the strategic importance of these processes has often been overlooked. They could, however, prove to give your company a distinct competitive edge, with onboarding as the first step to retain talent and offboarding as a way to make your policy stronger and part ways on a positive and legally compliant note. In order to make the most of these steps, you may choose to look at them in a new light.
Employing a recruit in Africa is synonymous with legal compliance. Depending on your country of operation, you may need to register your employees with various institutional bodies. In Mauritius, for instance, an employer needs to register the employee with the National Pensions Fund (except for senior citizens). The employer also has 14 days to register an employee with the Mauritius Revenue Authority, as part of the worker’s tax contribution is deducted at source on a monthly basis.
While, in Mauritius, this principle applies to all workers, it works differently in South Africa, where an employer has 21 days to register employees, safe for those who are not eligible for income tax (workers of any age earning under R23 800/ year, and those aged 65 and above, earning up to R34 500/ year).
Failure to comply with these strict revenue laws can end up costing companies hefty (and worst of all, avoidable) fines. This is why Africa HR, as an Employer of Record, is here to take over this heavy responsibility. As the legal employer of your workforce in a chosen country, we take on the liability of legal compliance and give you ample room to focus on core business activities.
Think of it as your “welcome” package. Onboarding a new employee evolved from filling a form and registering credentials to the very first shot at effective communication between the employer and the employee. In fact, Business Africa Online perfectly summed up the internal ramifications of onboarding as “the transition from new hire to team member”.
It is, indeed, the perfect occasion to present them with the necessary resources to adapt to your company’s culture, whilst simultaneously establishing good communication channels. It is also effective, from the get-go, to make expectations clear so that your new team-member feels properly equipped to give their best.
As an Employer of Record, Africa HR takes on this golden opportunity to start the employment relationship on the right foot. Our team of degreed professionals have implemented various onboarding protocols to help new recruits feel welcome, easing their way into the team. As our experts provide in-country assistance to workers who need to find their bearings, you will not be troubled by this time-consuming task and will be able to focus on core business.
More than a time-saving device, digitalizing HR functions through payroll software and employee self-service platforms is a fool-proof method of record keeping, and also the best way to give your employees a sense of autonomy, as their queries are handled promptly.
On one hand, Cloud-based payroll tools eliminate mistakes and allow quick access to payslips and other benefit reimbursement management features. On the other hand, employee self-service platforms will allow new employees to fill in the required information and familiarise themselves with their benefits and other resources available to them on their own, leaving HR professionals to focus on complex queries.
Such platforms also make it easier to revoke an employee’s access to sensitive information, come offboarding time, and make data audits to review storage and processing of data belonging to ex-employees easy, compliant, and efficient. They may even provide you with the option to conduct a survey upon offboarding, which presents you with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what works and what does not within the company.
Africa HR uses decades of experience in HR outsourcing to make the most of these tools to make your business grow, especially thanks to SAGE, our Cloud-based payroll platform which also facilitates analytics.
This oft-dreaded step need not always come with anticipation. Onboarding, to a certain extent, is a natural step of the employment journey and can often be a productive one. In order to make the most of this step for both parties, we, at Africa HR, abide by these 4 golden rules which posit that a termination should:
Which eliminates pointless court action and litigation and keeps both parties happier. Choosing our services as an Employer of Record also guarantees that, right from the start, you are benefitting from the most advantageous employment contract, drafted by experts, which is fair to both parties, thus further minimising unwelcome litigation.
Many African countries have the principle of a fair dismissal in common. While an employee should resign in accordance with the terms of their contract, an employer is held to higher standards. In Mauritius, for example, the Workers’ Rights Act states that, if not for gross misconduct or poor performance, an employee’s termination should always be compensated by three months’ salary per year of service. A worker’s right to fair procedure also further protects their compensation rights. Indeed, for an employer to lawfully dismiss an employee for misconduct, the worker needs to be formally warned and subsequently afforded the right to defend himself during a disciplinary hearing (and be represented by a lawyer if he so chooses). Failure to follow this procedure will inevitably result in the employer paying severance allowance to the employee, regardless of the nature of the misconduct.
A clean termination procedure therefore respects various steps according to the laws of the country where it is taking place.
As the employee leaves, so should any data that no longer serves any purpose. While an internal data audit of the parting employee’s information is always of the essence, what happens to the tradition of sending their references to their new place of work? Nigeria chose to address this question in the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation. A letter of reference can therefore only be shared under 5 conditions: with the employee’s consent, if it is necessary for their new contract, if it is legally mandatory, if it protects the life of the employee, or if it is a question of public interest.
This essential point aims at protecting your trade secrets and confidential information after a team member leaves. An audit of their access to sensitive or confidential information is therefore essential in order to revoke all necessary access and clearance, in order to keep your business environment safe and secure.
By being your Employer of Record, Africa HR becomes the legal employer of your workforce and takes on full legal responsibility to compliantly offboard your employees, and any failure to comply with these laws and regulations will be wholly handled by the Employer of Record.
While the implications of onboarding and offboarding are as layered as they are complex, they represent a treasure trove of information for your organization and constitute the building blocks of your reputation as a compliant entity.
Want to invest in fuss-free compliance? Contact us now!
Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.
Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.
His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.
Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.
Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.
Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.
Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.
Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.
In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.
A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.
Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.
He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.
Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.
With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.
His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.
He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.
Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.