Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Botswana Pula
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Botswana is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa, formally known as the Republic of Botswana. Botswana is topographically flat, with the Kalahari Desert covering up to 70% of its land area. It is bordered on the south and southeast by South Africa, on the west and north by Namibia, and on the northeast by Zimbabwe. Due to its location in the middle of the Zambezi River, its boundary with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly described. This border with Zambia is just a few hundred meters long. Zambia is a mid-sized country with a population of just over 2.3 million people, making it one of the world's most sparsely populated nations. Gaborone, the country's capital and largest city, is home to around 10% of the population. Formerly one of the world's poorest nations, Botswana has now turned itself into an upper middle income country with one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Homo sapiens first populated the country over 200,000 years ago. The Tswana ethnic group is primarily descended from Bantu-speaking tribes who migrated southward from Africa to modern-day Botswana about 600 AD, farming and herding in tribal enclaves. In 1885, the British colonized the region and established Bechuanaland as a protectorate. On September 30, 1966, Bechuanaland became an autonomous Commonwealth republic under its present name as a result of decolonization. Since then, it has been a representative republic with an uninterrupted record of democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption rating in Africa since at least 1998. Mining, livestock, and tourism are the mainstays of the economy. As of 2015, Botswana's GDP per capita was around $18,825 per year, making it one of the highest in Africa. Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. It has a relatively high standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a negative impact on the world. Despite the progress of programs to make therapies accessible and inform the public on how to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading, the number of people living with the disease increased from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013. Botswana has the world's third-highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, with about 20% of the population infected as of 2014.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Per year, employees are given 15 days of paid vacation. Employees to use all of their sick days within six months of earning them. Up to three years' worth of available days will be accrued.

Public holidays

The following holidays are observed in Botswana:New Year’s DayGood FridayEaster MondayLabor DayAscension DaySir Seretse Khama DayPresidents’ DayIndependence DayChristmas DayBoxing DayIf a public holiday falls on a Sunday, it will be observed the following Monday.

Sick days

With a doctor's certificate, employees can take up to 14 days of paid maternity leave. When an employee is away from work for longer than 24 hours, they must notify their boss as soon as possible.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is granted to female workers for a period of 12 weeks. Six weeks of maternity leave are taken prior to the planned due date, and the remaining weeks are taken after the baby is born. When a pregnancy-related condition occurs, maternity leave may be extended by an extra two weeks.

Paternity leave

There are no provisions in the Bostwana law regarding paternity leave.

Parental leave

Other than the already mentioned terms for maternity leave, there are no other provisions in the Bostwana law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employers can typically cancel an employment contract by giving the employee written notice.

Notice period

The notice period is equal to one pay month for the employee. If the employee is paid on a monthly basis, the notice period is one month. If the employee is paid weekly, the notice period is one week. No notice is required if an employee is terminated for misconduct or poor performance.

Severance pay

After 60 consecutive months of employment, professional staff, such as managers and executives, receive severance pay. This is calculated as one day of pay for every month served up to 60 months, followed by two days for each subsequent month.

Probation period

Employment contracts for unskilled and skilled workers include a probationary period. The probationary period is three months in the case of an employment contract for an unskilled worker. For employment contracts with skilled workers, the probationary period is increased to 12 months.

A probationary employment contract may be terminated with at least 14 days notice during the probationary period. In this way, the contract is deemed to have been terminated for just cause, and neither the employer nor the employee is required to provide justification.

07. Working hours


The workweek is generally limited to 48 hours, with no more than nine hours per day for a five-day week or eight hours per day for a six-day week.


Overtime is defined as work performed beyond 48 hours for which employees are compensated. Overtime is limited to 14 hours per week and is compensated at a rate of 150 percent or 200 percent of the basic rate, depending on the date of the overtime. Additionally, work performed on public holidays or during periods of rest should be compensated at twice the normal wage rate.

08. Minimum wage


Botswana's minimum wage varies according to industry and type of work. For example, employees in the quarrying industry earn at least 6.77 pula per hour, while those in agriculture, forestry, and fishing earn at least 1,000 pula per hour (2019). These rates are also subject to change, and employers are advised to conduct research prior to drafting employment contracts.

09. Employee benefits


Botswana has a universal healthcare system, although many companies still provide private alternatives.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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