Manual v/s Office Workers: why your industry type matters in payroll

Manual Worker vs Office Worker

“One payroll solution for all industries” is a phrase that, unfortunately, sounds better in theory than in practice.

As we’ve seen before with our Africa Payroll Expert, Eddie Van Zyl, plug-and-play payroll solutions are hardly ideal for companies expanding to Africa. Now, going further into this idea of customised payroll, we look into why your industry type matters, and why your chosen payroll provider should have expertise in the subject. Otherwise, as incredulous as it may seem now, your payroll system may be so incompatible with your activities that you will be forced into making a switch to another provider.

A quick look into the different industries across Africa

  • Oil & Gas
  • Mining
  • Engineering & Construction
  • IT & Telecommunications
  • Finance services
  • NGO
  • Agriculture & Farming
  • Education
  • Electronic
  • Marketing
  • Biotechnology
  • Healthcare
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Fintech
  • Food & Beverage
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable sources
  • Trade
  • Human Resources
  • Automotive
  • Tourism
  • Textile
  • Transport
  • Infrastructure
  • Construction
  • Space

Why your industry type matters in Africa:

1. Payroll frequency can change in Africa

Different industries work at different paces.    

Naturally, things will operate differently given this changeable nature.

In industries like agriculture and construction, where most jobs are manual in nature, the pay frequency tends to be higher than that of people working in office jobs, who are typically paid once a month at the end of the month. Workers in agriculture and construction may be paid twice per month or may even ask to be paid weekly.

In such industries, the turnover rate also tends to be high, which means that your payroll provider will need to:

  1. Offboard employees compliantly and rapidly
  2. Settle all current payments that must be made (including leave payout if applicable)
  3. Stop payments that were planned for departing employees before the next payroll run
  4. Onboard new employees compliantly and rapidly
  5. Arrange for payments to be made to them all within one week of them onboarding (if the payroll frequency is weekly)

Unfortunately, many payroll providers do not possess the flexibility required to meet such needs. Some payroll solutions can only cater for “typical” scenarios where workers get paid at a specified period at the end of month, and where workers put in their notice period in advance.

Now, you may also wish to consider this scenario: even if you operate in an industry where manual work is the norm…you may also employ people who will occupy office-based roles. You may have an in-house marketing department, for instance, or maybe one of your officers in senior management roles needs a secretary. This means that your company will concurrently employ manual and office workers.

Naturally, secretaries and labourers do not get paid at the same frequency. Where a labourer might get paid once every 2 weeks, secretaries typically get paid at the end of each month. Your payroll provider must be able to cater to these 2 different pay frequencies impeccably and consistently.

Otherwise, it is your business that stands to lose from your payroll provider’s lack of ability.

2. Contract types may differ in Africa

Not all employees are hired on the same basis. Contract types and clauses may differ across industries, and it’s important to consider these differences.

In manual labour industries for example, notice periods may be much shorter than those for people working in office-based roles.

It is your payroll partner’s job to ensure that they respect not only the local law, but also the specific terms of your contracts with your employees.

3. Life and health insurance policies will differ in Africa

Employees working manual jobs are more likely to face greater occupational risks than those working office jobs. Workers in the mining industry, in oil and gas, agriculture, and manufacturing among others, face health risks through exposure to the elements, to chemicals, strains, cuts, and more. Workers operating heavy machinery across industries for example can also be at risk of death during the execution of their daily work functions.

Given the difference in risks faced, it’s not surprising that workers in manual jobs tend to receive extensive health insurance and life insurance covers.

But is this something that your payroll provider can account for?

Because it is worth reminding that medical and life insurances are part of the employee benefits every worker is entitled to, and which a payroll provider must manage.

Once again, in the case of a company employing both manual workers and office workers, this can be tricky to manage.

4. Informal employee expectations may differ in Africa

All industries have their own specificities. Where work culture differs from country to country, it can also differ from industry to industry. As such, there may be unsaid local expectations from employers in a specific industry. If your payroll provider does not have previous experience in that industry, you may well miss out on informal rules, which would make you lose your competitive advantage on the talent market.

How Africa HR Solutions can help

Africa HR Solutions has extensive experience supporting companies across these industries:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Mining
  • Engineering & Construction
  • IT & Telecommunications
  • Finance services
  • NGO
  • Agriculture & Farming
  • Education
  • Electronic
  • Marketing
  • Biotechnology
  • Healthcare
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Fintech
  • Food & Beverage
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable sources
  • Trade
  • Human Resources

Over 14+ years, we have been trusted by more than 400 clients across 46+ African countries with their HR and payroll needs on the continent. We have helped companies in the healthcare sector thrive, have enabled the expansion of organisations in the agriculture and food processing industry, and have been a complete HR partner

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GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

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 Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

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 PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

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.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

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 Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

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.