Population: (2023 est.) 2,642,000
Monetary Unit: Namibian dollar (N$), South African Rand
Language(s): German, English
Namibia, officially known as the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southwest Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean. A large portion of the Namib Desert, thought to be the oldest desert in the world, is in Namibia, and features 1,000 foot high and 20-mile-long sand dunes. Windhoek is the capital and the largest city of Namibia. The largest economic sectors are mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
The list of public holidays in Namibia are as follows;
- 1 Jan New Year’s Day
- 2 Jan New Year Holiday
- 21 Mar Independence Day
- 7 Apr Good Friday
- 10 Apr Easter Monday
- 1 May Workers’ Day
- 4 May Cassinga Day
- 18 May Ascension Day
- 25 May Africa Day
- 26 Aug Heroes Day
- 10 Dec Human Rights Day / Women’s Day
- 11 Dec Human Rights Day Holiday
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
- 26 Dec Family Day
During the first three months of work, which will be regarded as a probationary period, the employee’s suitability for the role will be assessed, and feedback will be given.
According to the country’s Labour Act, employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 consecutive days of annual leave with full remuneration.
According to the country’s Labour Act, after 12 months of continuous service, female employees are entitled to maternity leave for a minimum of 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery and 8 weeks after birth at full pay.
There is no statutory paternity leave.
Employers are required to give employees per year:
- not less than 30 working days of sick days if the employee ordinarily works five days during a week.
- not less than 36 working days of sick days, if the employee ordinarily works six days during a week: and
- not less than the number of working days calculated on a prorated basis, if the employee ordinarily works fewer than five days during a week.
Employees are entitled to one day’s sick leave for every 26 days worked during the employee’s first year of employment. Employers must pay employees an amount equal to daily remuneration for each day of absence on sick leave.
Severance pay must be in an amount equal to at least one week’s remuneration for each year of continuous service with the employer. The payment of severance pay does not affect an employee’s right to any other amount that the employee is obliged to pay the employee.
13th / 14th Month Pay: There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th and 14th month salary. Employees at Managerial level are more likely to receive the 13th month. Other employees may receive other type of bonuses such as travel allowances, insurance etc.
Types of Work Visas in Namibia
Like any other country, Namibia has a variety of visas available to foreign nationals. It offers two different categories of work permissions for foreign employees. The key factor in choosing the right one is the length of time the employee plans to live and work in Namibia. The two types are:
- Namibia Work Visa – which allows the holder to stay in Namibia for relatively short-term assignments for a maximum of three months
- Namibia Work Permit Visa – which allows the employee to stay and work in the country for one to three years. The requirements for a temporary work visa, are as follows;
- A correctly signed and completed application form.
- A motivation letter from the applicant.
- The applicant’s CV/Resume.
- Proof of qualifications of the applicant.
- Police clearance from the country of origin as well as Namibia if the applicant has been a resident there before.
- A satisfactory radiological Report coupled with medical reports.
- A Deed of Surety.
- Proof of means of sustenance while in Namibia.
- Proof of employment contract.
- Copies of all passport pages.
To be able to embark on long-term projects, many foreign firms who desire to move personnel to Namibia decide to apply for work permits rather than visas. Persons from other countries must apply for a work permit in order to work in Namibia. Both short-term and long-term employment visas are available. Long-term visas often last between one and three years, whereas short-term visas last six months.
If they do not have a temporary work visa or are staying for a period longer than six months, all people who intend to work in Namibia must obtain a work permit to remain compliant. A work permit appears in the applicant’s passport as a stamp or an endorsement. The local partner of Talent PEO in Namibia can sponsor international workers for work visas. Talent PEO handles all the demands and obligations associated with employment in Namibia as an EOR. The client firm may manage the everyday operations and activities of its personnel on the Talent PEO HR portal.
Requirements to Obtain Namibia Work Visas
Foreign nationals will need to provide the following documents during the work permit application process:
- A signed and completed application form
- A passport that’s valid for at least three months beyond the projected expiration of the work permit
- Two passport photographs
- A letter from the employing company in Namibia
- A copy of the advertisement for the job position if the employer advertised it
- A medical certificate stating that the applicant is in good health
- A radiological report
- Proof that the applicant has health insurance coverage for their time in Namibia
- A certificate of police clearance from the applicant’s country of residence
- Copies of the applicant’s highest education certificate as well as any other certifications that qualify them for the position
- A copy of the applicant’s marriage certificate, if applicable
Applicants will need to submit all required documents in English. In addition to these requirements, the employer will also need to provide a variety of documents, such as a copy of the company’s registration document.
Foreign nationals should contact the Namibian embassy or consulate in their home country to start the work permit application procedure. The diplomatic representatives can give you an exact, current list of all the paperwork needed to support your work visa application. After gathering all required documentation, prospective workers should submit their application to the embassy. They should wait for permission in their home nation after submitting their application.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in Namibia oversees issuing work permits. The potential employee will be informed when the pertinent officials have reviewed the application and decided. Once they get their work visas, employees may fly to Namibia and begin working.
The procedure for getting a work permit might take two to four months. This fact should be considered when applying for foreign workers, who should do so well in advance of their anticipated start date in Namibia. Additionally, workers should be aware that they will need to apply for a new work visa if they change jobs while living in Namibia.
Under the Labour Act, 2007, there is termination of employment through notice, termination through payment instead of notice and automatic termination of the employment contract. For termination of employment contract on notice whether by employer or employee, the period of notice cannot be less than one day if the employee has been employed in the establishment for four weeks or less.
If the employee has been employed for more than four weeks but not more than one year, the period of notice should not be less than one week. Where the employee has been employed for than one year, the notice period should be of at least one month. Payment in lieu of notice is allowed.
Instead of giving notice, the employer can pay the employee the remuneration the employee would have received, if the employee had worked during the period of notice. Similarly, an employee can pay the employer the remuneration the employer would have paid, if the employee had worked during the period of notice and terminate the employment contract immediately.
An employment contract automatically terminates one month after the death or sequestration of the employer or shut down of the business. However, the employment may continue for a longer period as provided in the employment contract/collective agreement, or during the duration where the employer continues to carry on business.
Common employee benefits in Namibia include: medical aid, subsidized housing, meal allowance, car allowance, entertainment allowance, telephone allowance, fitness allowance, sabbatical, additional maternity leave. They also include social security benefits.
The maximum workweek is 45 hours, with the number of hours worked not exceeding 8 hours per day if an employee works more than 5 days in a week. It would be 9 hours if the employee works for 5 days or fewer per week. Employees are entitled to an additional payment of 6% of their hourly basic wage, excluding overtime for each hour of additional work done between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Employers are required to pay at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s hourly basic wage for overtime based on the maximum workweek of 45 hours. Employers must not ask employees to work more than 10 hours of overtime per week or three hours of overtime per day. Employees that work on Sundays or public holidays are eligible to receive double the hourly basic wage.
: In general, employees who have been terminated for just cause are entitled to the following notice periods:
- less than four weeks’ service: one day’s notice
- more than four weeks’ service but less than one year: one week’s notice
- more than one year’s service: one month’s notice
Due to Namibia’s source-based taxation system, unless a particular exemption is provided, income derived from sources in Namibia or those are assumed to be in Namibia will be liable to tax there. A person’s income is taxed on company income, investment income, and the value of any benefits or advantages they receive from their job. The revenue from some capital transactions is included in gross income and is subject to income tax, but Namibia does not currently have a distinct capital gains tax system.
Taxable Income (NAD) Rate
0 – 50 000 0%
50 001 – 100 000 18%
100 001 – 300 000 9 000 + 25% of amount over 100 000
300 001 – 500 000 59 000 + 28%, of amount
500 001 – 800 000 115 000 + 30% of amount over 500 000
800 001 – 1.5 million 205 000 + 32% of amount over 1.5 million
429 000 + 37% of amount over 1.5 million
The social security system in Namibia is insufficient. All employees are required to contribute to the Maternity Leave, Sick Leave, and Death Benefit Fund.
It is supported by 0.9% of the base pay from both the employer and the employee, with a monthly contribution cap of NAD 81 for each (i.e. the total monthly contribution of both the employer and the employee will amount to NAD 162).
There are no standard deductions for employees for business expenses.
Travel, entertainment, and motor vehicle expenses are potentially deductible, but the onus is on the employee to prove they were incurred in the production of taxable income.
Where allowances are provided by the employer, this onus is more readily discharged, but the deduction cannot normally exceed the allowance.
An employee may deduct contributions of up to NAD 40,000 per annum to an approved pension, retirement annuity, provident, and educational policy fund registered in Namibia.
Personal and domestic expenses (e.g., mortgage interest) are not deductible.
Since VAT is a transaction tax, the effects will differ depending on the transaction. While some transactions are VAT-free, other transactions are charged at a rate of 15% or 0%.
The WHT rates on various types of payments are as follows (the same rates apply to payments to non-resident companies and non-resident individuals, and may be reduced under an applicable tax treaty):
Dividends – 10%/20%
Interest – 10%
Royalties – 10%
Directors’ fees – 25%
Service fees – 10%