4 Things You Didn’t Know That Will Change How You View Onboarding and Offboarding

Onboarding employee

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.

The legal requirements of the onboarding process

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.

The importance of a tailored onboarding experience

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.

Digitalizing HR for a smooth experience, from onboarding to offboarding

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. 

Offboarding as a practical checklist

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:


  1. Respect the contract of employment terms

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.

  1. Respect the law by being fair

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.

  1. Respect the ex-employee’s privacy by managing their personal data according to data protection laws

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. 

  1. Protect the company’s integrity and secrets by suspending all relevant access points

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. 

How Africa HR Solutions can help your business

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!

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