Skip to content

BASIC COUNTRY FACTS

Republic of Botswana

Gaborone

English

2.254 million

Botswana pula

.bwx

+267

Botswana pula

STATUTORY LABOR REQUIREMENTS

Probation Period

  • Unskilled employees may serve a probationary period of up to three months and skilled employees for 12 months.

Annual Leave

  • Employees are generally entitled to 15 days of paid leave per year, 8 days of which must be taken within 6 months. 
  • The remaining days must be taken within 3 years

Public Holidays

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)
  2. Good Friday (10th April)
  3. Easter Monday (13th April)
  4. Labor Day (1st May)
  5. Ascension Day (21st May)
  6. Sir Seretse Khama Day (1st July)
  7. Presidents' Day (20th to 21st July)
  8. Independence Day (of Botswana) (30th September)
  9. Christmas Day (25th December)
  10. Boxing Day (26th December)

Maternity Leave

  • Female employees are generally entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, 6 weeks to be taken before the birth and 6 after. 
  • The employee must present a doctor’s certificate. 
  • Employees are eligible to receive at least 50% of their basic pay.

Paternity Leave

  • There is no statutory paternity leave.

Sick Leave

  • Employees are generally entitled to 20 days of paid sick leave per year and must provide a doctor’s certificate.

Work Hours

  • In general, the workweek is limited to 48 hours, with no more than 9 hours per day for a 5-day week, or 8 hours per day for a 6-day week.

Overtime

  • Employees are limited to 14 hours of overtime per week and are eligible for 1 1/2 times their normal hourly rate. 
  • Work on public holidays or rest time should be paid at twice the normal wage rate.

Notice Period

  • Minimum notice, equivalent to the wage period, must be given or pay in lieu 
  • No notice period is needed if an employee is found guilty of serious misconduct

Severance

  • Managers, administrators, executives, and professional staff are generally entitled to severance after serving 60 months of continuous employment. 
  • The payment is equal to the rate of one day’s basic pay for each month served during the first 60 months and two days for each additional month served. 
  • Employees who receive a gratuity or pension at the end of employment are not entitled to the severance benefit.

13th Month Salary in Brazil

  • Yes
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th or 14th month.
  • Employers have the discretion to have such bonuses and they are generally agreed in employment contract.

INCOME TAX

  • The Botswana tax system operates on a territorial basis, and income is taxable in Botswana if the source is within Botswana. 
  • Income for services performed outside Botswana is deemed to be from a Botswana source if the services are incidental to employment in Botswana.
  • A resident is taxable on all income from a Botswana source in accordance with the PIT rates.
  • A non-resident is taxable on earned income in accordance with the PIT rates, but pays withholding tax (WHT) only at the rate of 15% for interest, commercial royalties, and management and consultancy fees, 7.5% for dividends, and 10% for entertainment fees, where such income is of Botswana origin.

Resident individual taxpayers

Taxable income (BWP)

Tax on column 1 (BWP)

Tax on excess (%)

Over

Not over

0

36,000

0

0

36,000

72,000

0

5

72,000

108,000

1,800

12.5

108,000

144,000

6,300

18.75

144,000

 

13,050

25

 

Resident individual taxpayers

Taxable income (BWP)

Tax on column 1 (BWP)

Tax on excess (%)

Over

Not over

0

72,000

-

5

72,000

108,000

3,600

12.5

108,000

144,000

8,100

18.75

144,000

 

14,850

25

 

DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSES

Employment Expenses

  • No business-related expenses are deductible unless they are incurred as a condition of employment or for the purpose of producing the employee's income, such as in circumstances in which the expenditure can be shown to influence the level of the employee's income. 
  • An employee who is employed on a commission basis could be in this position.
  • Where a gratuity is not provided to the employee, deductions for contributions to an approved retirement benefit scheme are allowable up to a maximum of 15% of earned income.

Standard Deductions

  • There are no standard or blanket deductions in Botswana.

Deductible Expenses

Employment Expenses

  • No business-related expenses are deductible unless they are incurred as a condition of employment or for the purpose of producing the employee's income, such as in circumstances in which the expenditure can be shown to influence the level of the employee's income. 
  • An employee who is employed on a commission basis could be in this position.
  • Where a gratuity is not provided to the employee, deductions for contributions to an approved retirement benefit scheme are allowable up to a maximum of 15% of earned income.

IMMIGRATION

  • All foreign nationals must obtain valid entry visas to enter Botswana, with the exception of nationals from most British Commonwealth countries and from the following countries with which Botswana has entered into visa-abolition agreements. 
  • Although Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are British Commonwealth countries, their citizens must have visas to enter Botswana. 
  • All foreign nationals may visit Botswana as visitors or tourists subject to compliance with immigration regulations. 
  • Visitors are allowed a maximum of 90-day stays within a 12-month period. 
  • On application, they may be permitted by the Chief Immigration Officer to stay longer than 90 days. 
  • An ordinary visa authorizes the holder to enter Botswana on several occasions for the periods endorsed on the visa. 
  • Normally, this visa application takes at least 21 days to be processed. 
  • The visa is usually valid for no more than three months. 
  • The following documents are required to apply for all visitor visas: 
    • A valid passport 
    • Letter of support from the host 
    • Letter requesting a visitor visa 
  • Visas are issued at the discretion of the Chief Immigration Officer 
    • Foreign nationals may obtain work permits in Botswana. 
    • In general, the permit is granted for the requested period, up to five years. 
    • Work permits may be renewed for as long as their holders are employed. 
    • A foreign national holding a valid work permit may change employers after signing a contract with the new employer. 
    • However, his or her permit is canceled and he or she must reapply with respect to the new company. 
    • The approximate turnaround time for obtaining the outcome of a work permit application, after all appropriate documents are submitted, is 10 to 12 weeks.
    • Foreign nationals may be self-employed in Botswana if they hold investor work permits and residence permits. 
    • No set minimum capital investment is necessary.
  • A work permit holder may operate any business that is not reserved for the citizens of Botswana. 

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Ordinary Visa

  • A valid passport
  • Letter of support from the host
  • Letter requesting a visitor visa
  • Passport size photo

90 days

  • Foreigners who want to visit Botswana for short visits can apply for an ordinary visa

Work Permit

  • Employment contract or appointment letter
  • A work application
  • A CV
  • Certified copies of key certificates, including birth, marriage, and educational certificates, all translated into English
  • A medical report
  • Certified copies of a valid passport
  • Four passport-size photos
  • An applicable labor form

5 years

  • Foreigners seeking employment in Botswana must apply for a work permit

VALUE ADDED TAX

  • VAT is imposed on taxable supplies and the importation of goods into Botswana. 
  • The standard VAT rate of 12% applies to all supplies that do not qualify for an exemption or are not zero-rated.

VAT

Standard Rate

12%

Zero Rate

0%

WITHHOLDING TAX

The withholding tax rates in Botswana are in the following table

Payment

Resident Rate

Non- Resident Rate

Interest

10%

15%

Dividends

7.5%

7.5%

Commercial royalties

-

15%

Management and consultant fees

-

15%

Entertainment fees

-

10%

Construction

3%

3%

Mine rehabilitation

10%

10%

Rent

5%

5%

Brokerage or commission

10%

10%

Sale of cattle

4%

4%

TERMINATION

  • Termination of an employee during the probationary period does not require a reason. 
  • Both the employee and the employer may terminate the employment contract. 
  • Minimum notice, equivalent to the wage period, must be given or pay in lieu unless the employee was guilty of serious misconduct, no notice is needed.
  • Managers, administrators, executives, and professional staff are generally entitled to severance after serving 60 months of continuous employment. 
  • The payment is equal to the rate of one day’s basic pay for each month served during the first 60 months and two days for each additional month served. 
  • Employees who receive a gratuity or pension at the end of employment are not entitled to the severance benefit.

STATUTORY BENEFITS

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

PAYMENTS AND INVOICING

  • Botswana has a fiscal year ending on 30 June.
  • All individuals are separately taxed (i.e. separate filing of returns by a husband and wife is required). 
  • All individuals need to submit a tax return unless the annual income is less than the tax threshold of BWP 36,000.
  • The tax return is due for submission on or before 30 September.
  • A PAYE system, under which income tax is withheld from remuneration payable (including non-cash benefits) to employees, is in operation.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

  • The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov, an economist at the Central and Eastern Europe sector of the World Bank Group.
  • Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • According to the World Bank Botswana ranked 87th in the World in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about the Global PEO services we provide or you’d like to discuss your organization’s growth plans, please contact us.

Contact form

Talk with our team

Ready to Get Started?

We understand that you’re working to tight deadlines which is why we’re ready to start supporting you right now.

Contact an expert