Modern work is increasingly going digital – and companies have been adjusting rather well, with Work From Home allowances, work set-up benefits, health insurance that covers eye protection from screens, and even gym memberships to make up for the sedentary lifestyle dictated by the new work lifestyle.
But how about other workers? Those whose jobs cannot be done in the safety of an office, and which involve a considerable amount of risk? How do employers address their hazardous working conditions? What do those tailored benefits and incentives look like?
While there are no holistic solutions that apply to all situations, a good starting point is hazard pay.
Hazard pay is a monetary benefit paid to employees who perform physically demanding work or who go on on dangerous assignments.
A physical hardship implies a work responsibility which can result in extreme bodily discomfort that cannot be sufficiently relieved by protective measures.
Hazard pay is typically reserved for those who do physical labor or face high-risk situations while on duty. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made it so that frontline workers are also included in the category of workers eligible to hazard pay. Here are the categories of workers who are eligible to hazard pay, by definition:
Other fields where hazard pay is common include:
African countries each have their own legislative approach to hazard pay. In some countries, it is mandatory for employers to include hazard pay in their employees’ wages when the latter’s working conditions and responsibilities meet certain criteria.
This holds true in South Africa for example. A law passed in 2022 stipulates that eligible employees should receive a Special or Standard Danger Allowance. This allowance applies to:
In Ghana, concerned employees can expect to receive a Hazard Allowance, or a Risk and Unpopular Allowance. But in neighboring Senegal, workers are not legally entitled to any such allowances and benefits.
So as a business expanding to Africa, how do you know if you need to pay a hazard allowance to your workers? How do you know which ones qualify for it? And how much extra you should pay them?
It’s a hassle to find out this information, and to keep track of it in case there are any legislative changes – even more so if you have operations in several African countries. To ensure compliance and payroll accuracy each time, why not outsource these functions to a reputable payroll provider like Africa HR Solutions?
Even if hazard pay is not mandatory in the African country you are operating in, here’s why you should still offer it to employees who operate in high-risk environments and settings:
Employees may be hard-pressed to take on certain risky jobs, or to carry out their duties in hostile climates. A hazard allowance can motivate workers to do these dangerous, yet necessary tasks. It also shows that you, as an employer, are aware of the risks workers take on, which makes workers feel understood.
High-risk jobs often have high turnover rates. When employees feel valued, retention rates grow. It would cost more to replace several employees than it would to give your existing employees the hazard pay they deserve for their dedication.
There are many ways to calculate hazard pay rates. Sometimes, it is paid as a determined per diem amount, other times as a percentage of the worker’s pay. In certain cases, hazard pay even goes up according to a worker’s seniority and years of service. Each case is different, and there are no cookie-cutter solutions.
The following pointers will help you better understand hazard pay:
Next, make sure you adhere to the policy. If, after approval, workers are not given their hazard pay, they may file a lawsuit.
Africa HR Solutions is best placed to help you navigate hazard pay. With our presence in 50+ African countries, and experience of over a decade, we are the ideal partners for businesses like yours, which want to stay on the side of the law without all the pesky administrative paperwork.
Get in touch with our team now to find out how we can help you manage hazard pay and more with our payroll and compliance offers.
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.