Table of Contents


Table of Contents


Swazi lilangeni (SZL); South African Rand (ZAR)

Payroll Frequency


Employer Taxes


About Eswatini

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Despite being one of the smallest countries on the continent, Eswatini offers a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes. The country is known for its monarchy, with King Mswati III serving as the current ruler.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Employees who are hired for an indefinite term are considered permanent. Their contract can be terminated by either party by giving notice. Such employees are protected against unfair dismissal.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Fixed-term employment contracts that terminate upon the expiry of their stated duration are allowed by law. Employment contracts and written particulars of employment must clearly state that the contract is for fixed duration. Written contracts are not required for contracts made for a fixed period of 6 weeks or less and are not renewed. There is no statutory limit to the duration of contract. Fixed-term employees cannot claim remedy for unfair dismissal after the expiry of their term.

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Casual employees are defined as those who are paid at the end of each day and who are not engaged for a longer period than 24 hours at a time. Seasonal contracts mean contracts of service, the period of which cannot be pre-determined, entered into for a particular season, or for work to be performed on or in connection with a special project. Such contracts can be terminated without a notice. There are no restrictions on use of casual contracts. They can be used for continuous employment. While employers are allowed to use employment agencies for hiring employees, there are no specific guidelines on hiring temporary employees.

Probationary Period

No probationary period shall, except in the case of employees engaged on supervisory, technical or confidential work, extend beyond 3 months. In the case of employees engaged on supervisory technical or confidential work, the probation period shall be fixed, in writing, between the employer and employee at the time of engagement. During probationary period, any party can terminate the employment contract without any notice.

Working Hours

Standard working hours for employees are determined in collective agreements by industry and by individual employment contracts. The normal working hours are 45 to 48 hours per week, spread over 5 or 6 days. Every employee shall receive one day off work each week and no employee shall be required to work on their day-off in successive weeks unless mutually agreed to by prior arrangement. Working hours for children must not exceed 6 hours per day or 33 hours per week.

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

—-  Employees working on paid public holidays are entitled to premium payment depending on their industry level regulations. Employees working in the Building and Construction Industry are paid twice their wages for working on public holidays. If a paid public holiday falls during the annual leave of an employee, the period of the annual holiday shall be increased by one day in respect of that public holiday and wages payable to the employee in respect of the annual holiday shall include one day’s wages for each such public holiday.

• Paid Annual Leave

Employees become entitled to 2 weeks' (12 days) paid annual leave after working for 1 year. This leave must be taken no later than 6 months after the completion of the year in which leave has been accrued. Annual leave is paid at the normal wage rate for the employee. Wages in respect of the paid annual holiday shall be paid in advance not later than the last working day preceding such holiday.  An employee who has taken 36 days' leave in a year for reasons other than sickness or maternity is not entitled to annual leave in that year. Employees can make an agreement with their employers to defer 1 week of their leave each year and accrue them for a maximum of 4 years. When an employment contract is terminated before the employee could utilize all accrued annual leave, they become entitled to be paid for those leave days. 

• Sick Leave

Employees become entitled to a maximum of 14 days sick leave on full pay and a maximum of 14 days sick leave on half pay after working for the same employer for 3 months. Payment for sick leave are made by the employer at the employee’s basic rate of wages. Employees must provide a medical certificate to claim the benefit.

• Maternity Leave

Female employees in Eswatini are entitled to 12 weeks maternity leave – six weeks before and six weeks after delivery. Only two weeks maternity leave is paid with full pay. They must have completed a year of service with the employer and submit a medical certificate to avail this benefit. They can avail next period of maternity leave after the lapse of 24 months from the last maternity leave. Employers must not terminate the services of, or give notice of such termination to an employee or require her to resign during her maternity leave, except in case of operational necessities. Employees are entitled to continue in their former work or equivalent work without loss of seniority or pay after maternity leave. 

• Paternity Leave

There are no provisions for paternity leave in Eswatini.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

The minimum notice period for terminating an employment contract required by the Employment Act is as follows: If the period of continuous employment is less than 3 months – 1 week If the period of continuous employment is between 3 months and 12 months – 2 days for each completed month of continuous employment up to and including the twelfth month If the period of continuous employment is more than 12 months – 1 month and an additional 4 days for each completed year of continuous employment after the first year of such employment.  The minimum period of notice to be given by an employee who has been continuously employed by the same employer for a period of three months or more is one week or as determined by their contract. No notice is required for termination of contract during probation. Employees are entitled to 12 hours of paid leave each week during their notice period to look for jobs.

• Severance Benefits

Employees whose contracts are terminated for reasons related to employers and due to no fault of their own are entitled to severance pay. The benefit is calculated at the rate of 10 days of wages per year of service in excess of the first year.