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  • Legal system, currency, language

    Constitutional. The official currency is the Kwanza (AOA). The official language is Portuguese.

  • Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

    A foreign entity may engage employees in Angola with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Angolan social security. The level of income tax is defined by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary.

  • Pre-hire checks

    Required

    Immigration compliance and pre-hire medical examinations.

    Permissible

    Reference and education checks are permissible.

  • Immigration

    Criminal and medical checks must be issued by competent authorities, a criminal record must be issued by the home country and a medical certificate must be issued by a doctor in the employee’s home country.

    The visa/work permit requirements for overseas nationals to work in Angola are having a recognized travel document valid for the Angolan territory for at least 6 months, being of legal age, not being included in the national list of undesirable persons prohibited from entering into the national territory, not constituting a danger to public order or to social security interests, complying with all health regulations established by the Ministry of Health for entry into the national territory, having an employment contract or promissory employment contract, having a certificate of professional and educational qualifications and curriculum vitae, and obtaining a positive opinion of the competent Ministry.

  • Hiring options

    Employee

    Indefinite-term contract (which is the rule), fixed-term or open-term (ie, a term contract whose termination date has not yet been defined, but that will be terminated as soon as the underlying need for contracting is no longer verified – for example, as a contract to cover absence), part-time contract, telework contract and contract under service commission regime – a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination and is not common. The parties may execute an employment contract for a fixed term or open term, which must be done in writing.  Part-time, fixed-term and open-term employees may not be discriminated against due to their status.

    Independent contractor

    Independent contractors may be engaged directly by the company or via a personal services company. Engagement may be subject to misclassification exposure. The factors that tend to indicate an individual is an employee (rather than, for example, a self-employed independent contractor) are the existence of a work schedule, the scheduling of vacation, the worker’s legal subordination to the company, the company’s authority, direction and disciplinary powers, control of punctuality and attendance over the individual, integration into the structure of the company and use of work tools belonging to the company, among others.

    In the event of misclassification, the relationship may be converted into an employment relationship on a permanent basis, and the employer may be liable to pay a fine for non-compliance.

    Agency worker

    Agency workers may only be engaged to fulfill a temporary need for work. The agency work contract duration depends on the underlying reason for hiring and does not typically exceed 12 months. Agency workers have the right to equal treatment to employees in relation to pay and other regular benefits.

  • Employment contracts & policies

    Employment contracts

    Written employment contracts are common but not mandatory, except for fixed-term, part-time, telework and service commission regime contracts as well as contracts with foreign employees and underage employees. Employment contracts cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to employees than mandatory employment legislation.

    Probationary periods

    Permissible.

    Employment contracts for an unlimited period of time may be subject to a probation period corresponding to the first 60 days of performance of work; the parties may, by written agreement, reduce or waive this period.

    The parties may extend the probation period, in writing, to up to 4 months in case of employees who perform highly technical, complex work that is difficult to evaluate, and to up to 6 months in case of employees who perform management duties.

    In an employment contract for a limited period of time, the parties may set forth a probation period in writing, and its duration cannot exceed 15 days in case of non-qualified employees, or 30 days in case of qualified employees. Angolan law does not define qualified and non-qualified, but the common practice is that qualified employees correspond to positions that involve technical complexity, a high degree of responsibility or special qualifications as well as those carrying out functions of trust.

    Policies

    Employers with more than 50 employees must, in order to organize the work and labor discipline, draft and approve employee handbooks, guidelines, instructions, service orders and work rules defining rules for the technical organization of work, performance of work and work discipline, delegation of powers, employee job descriptions, safety, hygiene and health protection of work, performance indicators, a remuneration system, working hours for the several sections of the company or work center, control of entrances and exits and circulation within the premises of the company, and surveillance and control of production.

    Employers with 50 or fewer employees may, but are not required to, implement employee handbooks on the matters described above.

    Third-party approval

    Whenever the employee’s handbook or any other rules and regulations establish rules on performance and discipline, remuneration systems, work performance or safety, hygiene and health protection at work, the employer must forward such regulations for information and registration purposes to the General Labor Inspectorate.

  • Language requirements

    Portuguese. Nevertheless, employment contracts and other documents may be drafted in a bilingual template.

  • Minimum employment rights

    Employees entitled to minimum employment rights

    All employees are entitled to minimum employment rights.

    Working hours

    Maximum daily and weekly working hours are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. Overtime pay is required for hours worked in excess of these limits. These limits are inapplicable to employees who perform direction and leadership duties, duties of inspection, or provide direct support to the employer. In case the employee usually performs their work outside the company's premises, an exemption regime may also be agreed upon by the parties, in which case those limits shall not apply. Typically, employees under the exemption regime are entitled to an exemption bonus.

    Overtime

    Overtime may occur with an extraordinary increase in workload, to prevent serious damage or if due to majeure force. It is subject to the following maximum limits: (a) 2 hours per day, (b) 40 hours per month and (c) 200 hours per year.

    Overtime must be compensated with additional payment (ie, an increase of hourly rates) up to 30 hours per month: 50 percent. 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company dependent on number of employees and turnover. A company which is a subsidiary or branch of a company with headquarters abroad always qualifies as a large company. Overtime that exceeds that limit is paid for each hour at an additional 75 percent, 45 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company.

    Wages

    The minimum wage is established by Presidential Decree. It is set out as a general minimum wage, but there is also a minimum wage for trade and extractive industry groups, transport services and manufacturing groups and agriculture groups. Under the Decree currently in force, the general minimum wage is AOA21,454.10. The following sector-specific minimum wages also apply:

    • Trade and extractive industry groups: AOA32,181.15
    • Transport services and manufacturing groups: AOA26,817.63 and
    • Agriculture groups: AOA21,454.10.

    Vacation

    Minimum 22 working days per year, plus 12 public national holidays.

    Sick leave & pay

    Employees are entitled to take off as much time as they need for sick leave. For large and medium companies: In case of incapacity to work due to illness or common accident, pay is required in the amount corresponding to 100 percent of the base salary for a period of 2 months. For as long as the employee is not entitled to protection in case of illness or common accident from the social security authorities, the employer must pay to the employee 50 percent of salary from the 3rd to the 12th month.

    In case of small and micro companies: The employee is paid, in case of illness or common accident, the amount of 50 percent of the base salary within 90 days, after which the contract is terminated by expiration if the condition of illness remains.

    Maternity/parental leave & pay

    A pregnant employee is entitled to a paid maternity leave of 3 months. The amount of the maternity allowance is equal to the average of the 2 best monthly salaries from the 6 months preceding the commencement of the maternity leave. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the employer to the employee and, subsequently, the Social Security services reimburse the employer in full. Fathers are not entitled to any leave on the birth of a child; it is only considered as a justifiable reason for absence from work for 1 day.

  • Discrimination

    Discrimination based on the following protected characteristics is prohibited: race, color, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, origin or social rank, religious beliefs, political opinion, union affiliation and language.

  • Benefits & pensions

    Both employer and employee must pay contributions to social security in Angola to cover various employee benefits (eg, maternity leave payment and retirement pension). The employer must withhold the contribution due by the employee and deliver both contributions (ie, employer and employee) to social security every month.

    Current general rates are 3 percent of the gross wage for the employee and 8 percent for the employer.

    Employees with a minimum contributory period (ie, 35 years) qualify for a retirement pension at age 60 or in cases of total incapacity.

    Employers have no legal obligation to provide complementary or supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme. However, some companies – mostly large companies or multinational companies who have their own schemes worldwide – set up and provide private complementary health and pension schemes to their employees.

  • Data privacy

    The Data Privacy Law No. 22/11, June 17 governs Angolan data privacy and determines, in general terms, how to collect, use, disclose, store and give access to "personal information."

    There is no specific regulation on employee data privacy.

  • Rules in transactions/business transfers

    Provided that the same business activity is maintained, the new employer takes the position of the former employer in the employment contracts and takes their position in respect of the rights and obligations arising from the employment relationships. This is the case even if the employment contract is terminated before the transfer. The new employer takes their position as the employer of such former employees in respect of due and non-paid credits. All credits, rights and obligations of the employer arising from the execution and implementation of the employment contract, its violation or termination are subject to a statute of limitations of 1 year starting on the day following the day of termination of the contract. Employees keep the same seniority and acquired rights which they had in the service of their former employer.

    The new employer undertakes the obligations of the former employer limited to those incurred during the 12 months prior to the modification, provided that, up to 22 business days prior to the modification, the new mployer gives notice to the employees that they must claim their credits up to the 2nd business day prior to the date scheduled for such modification. Within 22 business days following the modification of employer, the employees have the right to terminate the employment contract with prior notice, but this does not confer any right to compensation.

  • Employee representation

    Employee representative bodies are permissible but not mandatory.

    Trade unions are not common in Angola.

    In order to carry out their duties, trade union representatives are entitled to 4 paid hours a month but must notify the employer in advance of the date and number of days they require for the exercise of trade union functions. Employers are obliged to provide a suitable place for workers' meetings whenever this is requested by the union representatives. Special protections against dismissal are granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as union representatives, either as leaders or delegates, or members of the employees’ representative body performing union-related activities.

  • Termination

    Grounds

    Unilateral termination by the employer: dismissal based on objective grounds (ie, redundancy reasons); disciplinary dismissal with just cause (ie, based on serious breach of the employee's duties).

    Termination without cause (with notice): only for employees hired under an employment contract of service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination but is not common).

    Other termination causes: mutual agreement, termination by the employee (ie, termination with notice or constructive dismissal with just cause), expiration (ie, fixed-term and open-term contracts or retirement).

    Employees subject to termination laws

    All employees.

    Restricted or prohibited terminations

    Special protection against dismissal is granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as union representatives, either as leaders or delegates, or members of the employees’ representative body performing activities; women covered by the regime of maternity protection; war veterans as per the definition provided by the applicable law; employees under the legal age; employees with a reduced work capacity or with a disability degree equal or higher than 20 percent.

    As a general rule, a copy of the notice served on the employee must be forwarded to General Labor Inspectorate.

    Third-party approval for termination/termination documents

    Except in respect of protected employees, third-party approval is not required to terminate an employment.

    Mass layoff rules

    If economic, technological or structural circumstances occur, which may be clearly demonstrated and which involve an internal reorganization or conversion, or the reduction or the shutting down of activities, which makes it necessary to eliminate or significantly change job positions, the employer may terminate the employment contracts of the employees who perform such job positions.

    Collective dismissal rules are triggered if the dismissal involves at least 20 employees.

    Information to the General Labour Inspectorate is required. However, there is no need to obtain approval for termination.

    The General Labor Inspectorate may undertake the diligence deemed necessary for clarification of the situation and, in case of a collective dismissal, during the period in which the evaluation of the General Labor Inspectorate occurs, the employer may promote a meeting with the representative body or with the committee appointed for the purpose of exchange of information and clarification and may forward the conclusions of the meetings to the General Labor Inspectorate.

    Notice

    For individual dismissals based on objective grounds (up to 20 employees): the employer must forward, at least 30 days in advance, prior notice of dismissal to the employee or employees who occupy the job positions to be extinguished or transformed.

    For collective dismissal: the prior notice is 60 days.

    Notice periods in case of term contract: 15 business days if its duration is equal to or higher than 3 months.

    Statutory right to pay in lieu of notice or garden leave

    Payment in lieu of notice is permitted (and required if the notice period is not honored).

    Garden leave is allowed during the notice period.

    Severance

    Fair dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy/collective dismissal):

    • Large companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 5 and an additional 50 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service that exceed such limit
    • Medium companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 3 and an additional 40 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed such limit
    • Small companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 30 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years
    • Micro companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 20 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years

       

      Fair disciplinary dismissal: no severance.

      Higher severance payments may be agreed and are usual as a way to avoid litigation.

  • Post-termination restraints

    A clause of the employment contract which restricts the activity of the employee for a period of time, which may not exceed 3 years from the termination of the contract, is lawful if the following conditions are met: (a) such clause is included, in writing, in the employment contract, or in its addendum; (b) the activity performed may cause real damage to the employer and may be considered as unfair competition; (c) the employee is paid a salary during the period of restriction of work: the corresponding amount will be included in the contract or its addendum, and it must be taken into account, in its calculation, the fact that the employer may have incurred in significant expenses in the professional training of the employee.

    A clause which requires an employee who benefits from professional improvement or higher level education at the expense of the employer to remain at the service of the same employer for a certain period of time, provided that such period does not exceed 1 year, in case of training of professional improvement and up to 3 years in case of courses of high level education, is also lawful if established in writing. In this case, the employee may release themselves from remaining at the employer’s service by repaying to the employer the amount of the expenses incurred by the employer, in proportion to the remaining time until the term of the agreed period. The employer that hires the employee within the period of restriction of activity in the company is jointly liable for the damages caused by the employee or for the amount not returned by the employee.

  • Waivers

    In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

  • Remedies

    Discrimination

    Fine corresponding to 5 to 10 times the average salary paid by the company.

    Unfair Dismissal

    The employee may challenge the validity of the dismissal before the labor courts.

    If the relevant court declares the dismissal to be unlawful, by final judgment, the employer must immediately re-instate the employee in the same job position and benefiting from the same previous conditions, or, alternatively, shall indemnify the employee (compensation is different depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company and the cause of dismissal).

    In addition to re-instatement or the compensation, the employee is entitled to the base salaries they would have received if they had continued to perform work, until the date on which the employee finds a new job or up to the date of final judgment, whichever comes first, with a maximum limit of 6 months of base salary for large companies, 4 months to medium companies and 2 months for small and micro companies.

    Failure to inform and consult

    Not applicable.

  • Criminal sanctions

    Typically, non-compliance with employment laws leads to administrative proceedings which may lead to the payment of fines. If such non-compliance is based on violation of rights that deserve protection under criminal law, it may also lead to this type of judicial proceedings.

  • Key contacts

Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

Angola

A foreign entity may engage employees in Angola with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Angolan social security. The level of income tax is defined by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary.

Argentina

In order to set up a branch in Argentina, foreign companies must file certain documents before the local public registry of companies (eg, bylaws and amendments, a certificate of good standing and a true and correct copy of a resolution of its board – or equivalent body – deciding to establish a branch in Argentina and appointing a legal representative in Argentina who must be an Argentine resident). Once the registration of the branch is approved by the public registry, the branch must request a tax ID from tax authorities (CUIT). Once the branch has obtained its CUIT, the branch is entitled to hire employees.

A foreign entity cannot hire employees in Argentina without a local corporate presence.

Employers must pay social security contributions (ie, 23 percent or 27 percent on top of salaries, depending on the company's activity and revenue). Employees must contribute 17 percent of their salaries to the social security system, to be withheld by the employer and subject to certain taxable limits. Income tax is also withheld by the employer when paying employees' salaries (maximum rate 35 percent, subject to a progressive scale).

Collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) for certain activities provide payments to be made by the employer and/or the unionized employees to the relevant unions.

Australia

A foreign entity can engage employees in Australia subject to business, corporate and tax considerations and proper payroll registrations and injury insurance (ie, workers’ compensation) registration. Personal income tax must be paid by employees on their assessable income.

However, employers are obliged to deduct tax from an employee's remuneration (ie, Pay as You Go or PAYG tax withholding) and also to pay 9.5 percent of their salary – which may gradually be increased over coming years to 12 percent – into the employee's superannuation account, a form of pension system.

Austria

A foreign entity may engage employees in Austria with proper payroll registrations, subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations. Withholdings for pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) – that is, social insurance (employer and employee portion), severance payment funds (1.53 percent to an company pension fund, or betriebliche Vorsorgekasse, and local taxes) and income tax to be done through payroll.

Bahrain

A foreign employer cannot directly engage employees in Bahrain without being registered under the Commercial Registry in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

Foreign employers are required to register at the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). Following the registration process, work permits are then allocated – the number of which will depend on the type of activity of the establishment – through the Expats Management System (EMS).

As stipulated in LMRA law, establishments are required to pay monthly fees on each expatriate employee working for it.

There has been a move towards requiring payment in local currency into local bank accounts through local payroll, but this is not yet strictly enforced.

Belgium

A foreign entity may engage employees in Belgium with proper registration as employer, proper payroll registrations and proper registration of the employees. Payment of social charges on remuneration (up to approximately 27 percent for the employer portion for white-collar employees and up to approximately 13.07 percent for the employee portion) and income tax at progressive rates according to the amount of income (up to 53.5 percent, updated periodically), to be done through payroll.

Brazil

A foreign entity cannot hire employees in Brazil without a local corporate presence. Employers must pay social security contributions and labor charges on top of compensation, which represent an additional cost of approximately 65 percent in addition to salaries. Employees incur an income tax (up to 27.5 percent) and social security contributions (up to 11 percent of the compensation, subject to a legal cap) withheld at source from compensation.

Canada

A foreign entity may engage employees in Canada, but the entity must have proper corporate and payroll registrations. Business and corporate tax planning considerations are often paramount, and consideration should be given to creating a corporate subsidiary in Canada as an alternative to registering a foreign entity.

Payroll registration is done through the Canada Revenue Agency (and, if applicable, through Revenue Quebec) by obtaining a business number. Employers must withhold and remit income tax, as well as various social security programs such as the Canada Pension Plan (or, in Quebec, the Quebec Pension Plan) and Employment Insurance. In some cases, additional taxes and remittances may apply or be required under worker's compensation legislation and as part of the public health care system (eg, in Ontario, the Employer Health Tax).

Chile

A foreign entity seeking to hire an employee in Chile does not need to have a corporate presence in Chile. However, in such case, the company must appoint a representative in Chile for the sole purpose of acting on its behalf in case of any review by the authorities of labor and social security compliance – usually a payroll provider. The representative should have power to comply with the social security obligations of the foreign company if that company does not have a Chilean tax ID.

China

A foreign entity cannot engage employees in China without setting up a representative office or a subsidiary. Once established, payroll must be set up. Note that representative offices of foreign companies must engage an agency to engage its workforce.

Colombia

In principle, to comply with social security obligations, a foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Colombia without setting up a branch or subsidiary. Proper payroll registrations are required for both employer and employees. Social security (in respect of health, pension and labor risks, see “Benefits and pensions”), payroll taxes and union contribution withholdings may apply if employees are unionized, and withholding tax may apply depending on the employee's income.

Czech Republic

Foreign entities may engage employees in the Czech Republic if they have proper registrations with the competent financial authority, social security administration and health insurance company. The registered entity must pay income tax (15 percent and 23 percent for income over 4 times the average salary in Czech Republic, deducted from the employee's gross salary), health insurance (4.5 percent paid by the employee and deducted from the gross salary; in addition, another 9 percent is paid by the employer in addition to the standard gross salary) and social security contributions (6.5 percent paid by the employee and deducted from the gross salary; in addition, another 24.8 percent is paid by the employer in addition to the standard gross salary). An employee with a gross income over CZK1,701,168 is not subject of social security contributions. Employers are obliged to maintain a payroll.

Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxation.

Denmark

Foreign companies that are contemplating carrying out business in Denmark may be set up as limited liability companies (A/S and ApS), branch offices or representation offices. In addition, foreign companies may hire individual employees without having a permanent establishment in Denmark. Special payroll and tax schemes may be set up in this regard.

Danish employers are obliged to withhold provisional income tax (so-called A tax) and labor market contributions from the salary paid.

Finland

Foreign entities may engage employees in Finland subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations, as well as compliance with payroll, tax and other requirements.

Proper payroll operations include making income tax, social security and other necessary deductions at source.

France

A foreign entity may engage employees in France with payroll registrations subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations. Registration as an employer with labor authorities and Pôle Emploi via the Declaration Prior to Hiring (DPAE) to be made within 8 days before the effective starting date.

The employee share of social contributions amounts to approximately 25 to 28 percent of their gross monthly compensation.

The employer share amounts to approximately 45 percent of each employee's gross compensation in companies with fewer than 10 employees, and approximately 50 percent in companies with 10 employees or more.

Germany

A foreign company can engage employees in Germany without local corporate presence, subject to doing business and corporate tax considerations. For employment and payroll purposes, registrations with tax and social security authorities are required.

Employee earnings are subject to withholdings for social security (up to a ceiling of EUR7,100 gross per month for the states of the former West Germany and a ceiling of EUR6,700 for the states of the former East Germany; about 40 percent borne equally by employer and employee) and wage tax (from 14 percent to 45 percent) to be completed through payroll.

Hong Kong, SAR

A foreign entity may engage employees in Hong Kong subject to business, corporate and tax considerations and proper payroll registration.

Payment of Hong Kong tax is the employee's responsibility. Therefore, Hong Kong employers are not required to withhold tax through the payroll system, subject to exceptional circumstance where an employer is required to withhold final payments of an employee who will leave Hong Kong for 1 month or more after termination.

Hungary

In order to employ individuals in Hungary, the employing entity must have an established branch within the country. The employment of individuals must be notified to the tax authority and is subject to tax payment obligations. Social security tax and vocational training contribution to be paid by the employer: 17 percent (but subject to review); contribution payable by the employee but deducted by the employer: 18.5 percent.

India

A foreign company without local registration cannot directly engage employees in India. Employers may be formed as sole proprietorship or as a partnership or an incorporated entity. Offshore entities that wish to do business in India either set up subsidiaries or joint venture companies in partnership with other local or offshore entities or, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, set up a liaison office, branch office or project office. In addition, proper payroll must be set up to make withholdings and deductions.

Both central and state labor laws impose various procedural requirements on employers, such as obtaining registration, maintenance of registers and records (including muster rolls for employees who present themselves for work), display of notices and filing of returns, which are to be available for inspection by inspectors or appropriate government authorities.   The central government and various state governments have come up with single window registration platforms, self-certification schemes and simplified requirements for maintenance of records and registers required under various labor laws with the objective of ease of doing business in India. The government has also taken measures to implement combined registers and provide e-filing of returns to ensure compliance with certain labor legislation.

Indonesia

A foreign company cannot directly engage employees in Indonesia without having a presence there – for example, a corporate or tax presence. A tax presence requires a permanent establishment, as defined in the relevant legislation, in Indonesia and will commonly take the form of a representative office. The most common structure is to establish a local Indonesian subsidiary in the form of a limited liability company.

An employer must set up payroll in Indonesia and make withholdings for income taxes and social charges under the National Social Security (Sistem Jaminan Sosial Nasional or SJSN) program.

Ireland

A foreign entity may engage employees in Ireland if it has proper payroll registrations, subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations. Through the payroll, withholdings should be made on any remuneration, including benefits in kind, payable to the employees in Ireland, for income tax up to 40 percent, the Universal Social Charge up to 8 percent and social insurance contribution (PRSI) up to 11.05 percent for the employer and 4 percent for the employee. Self-employed independent contractors are paid gross and are responsible for their own taxation.

Israel

Generally, registration of the employer, either an Israeli subsidiary or a foreign company (branch), is required, in order to set up a bank account for payroll and to open tax and national insurance files for mandatory withholding requirements.

Italy

A foreign entity may engage employees in Italy with proper payroll registrations, subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations. Withholdings for social contributions (ie, up to approximately 30 percent for the employer portion and up to approximately 10 percent for the employee portion) and income tax (up to approximately 43 percent) to be done through payroll. The employer must give notice to the labor authorities that employment has commenced at least 1 day before the commencement of the relationship.

Japan

Foreign entities without a local corporate presence in Japan are generally unable to make proper payroll withholdings. Instead, a local corporate presence is generally required to engage employees in Japan.

Employers are required to withhold national income taxes from employees' salary each month and make certain social insurance contributions.

Kenya

An incorporated or registered entity may engage in business, subject to proper registration as provided under the relevant laws applicable to the business model. The entity must also register with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and obtain a tax personal identification number (PIN), which is a mandatory requirement for most transactions, including opening a bank account and entering a leasing agreement.

The entity is additionally required to register for the following mandatory employer

  • National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
  • National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and

  • National Industrial Training Levy Contributor (NITA).

See the "Benefits and pension" section for more details.

Kuwait

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Kuwait. It must instead set up its own legal entity in Kuwait by partnering up with a Kuwaiti partner (individual or company) which must own at least 51 percent of its shares. Once such an entity has been established, it may employ foreign nationals, who need both a residence permit and a work permit, and local nationals, who require a work permit only. The only way around this would be to have a secondment-type arrangement, whereby the foreign company appoints a local entity as its commercial agent and the local entity then sponsors the local or foreign national employees of the foreign principal for their work permit., The foreign or local national then carries out the operations of the foreign principal in Kuwait.

Luxembourg

A foreign entity may engage employees in Luxembourg with proper payroll registrations, subject to several corporate and tax considerations.

Income tax and the employee's portion of social security contributions are withheld from the remuneration paid out by the employer. The global rate of social security contributions varies from 24.32 percent to 27.20 percent depending on the absentee rate within the company. The employee's portion varies from 12.20 percent to 12.45 percent.

Malaysia

A foreign company can engage employees in Malaysia without local corporate presence subject to administrative, accounting, and tax considerations. The Companies Act also requires foreign corporations to be registered as a foreign company under the Companies Act before "carrying on a business in Malaysia," but the engagement of employees in Malaysia does not necessarily mean a foreign company will be regarded as carrying on a business in Malaysia. As an alternative to incorporating a Malaysian company, a foreign company can also opt to register a branch office or representative office.

There are several arrangements commonly used by foreign companies which engage employees in Malaysia in relation to payroll:

  • Running the payroll directly from the foreign entity/location
  • Running the payroll through an entity set up in Malaysia
  • Outsourcing the payroll to a third party service provider in Malaysia

The most suitable option for a business will depend on the nature of the business, activities carried out by the employees, and accounting and tax considerations.

Employees are responsible for the declaration and payment of income tax, but local employers will be required to make deductions from salary for income tax and employer contributions to the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), Social Security Organization (SOCSO) and Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS).

Mexico

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Mexico without setting up a branch or subsidiary. Proper payroll registrations are required. Social security, tax and union contributions withholdings may apply, depending on the employee's category and income.

Morocco

A foreign entity cannot hire employees in Morocco unless it has a branch or a subsidiary registered in Morocco. Withholding for pay-as-you-earn (eg, for a social security fund – up to approximately 25-percent employer contribution and up to approximately 7-percent employee contribution) and income tax (up to 38 percent) to be done through payroll.

Mozambique

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Mozambique. It is necessary to establish a legal presence by means of incorporation of a company (ie, subsidiary) or registration of a foreign commercial representation (ie, branch).

Labor and tax obligations must be complied with by all registered entities. Employers (and employees) must register for social security and pay monthly contributions of 7 percent, of which 3 percent is deducted from the employee's salary and 4 percent is borne by the employer. Foreign employees must be registered for social security by the employer; however, if these employees prove to the employer and social security that they are covered by the social security system of another country, they may be exempt from this contribution in Mozambique. Personal income tax is applicable to all employees and is withheld through payroll and paid over to the revenue authorities. The rates are established on a steeply graduated basis depending on the amount of the income (ie, salary), with a maximum effective rate of 32 percent.

Myanmar

A foreign investor investing in Myanmar may either incorporate a subsidiary or register an overseas corporation of a company incorporated outside Myanmar. A Myanmar subsidiary may be wholly foreign owned or may be a joint venture with a Myanmar company. Foreign employers usually cannot directly engage employees in Myanmar without local corporate presence.

Employers must pay social insurance at the rate of 3 percent, of which 2 percent is to be paid into the Health and Social Care fund and 1 percent into the Employment Injury Benefit fund. Personal income tax must be paid by employees on their assessable income. The employer is responsible for calculating each employee's personal income tax liability, withholding it from the employee's pay check and remitting this amount to the tax authorities on the employee's behalf. 

Netherlands

Foreign entities may directly engage employees in the Netherlands, subject to doing-business and tax considerations. Registration with the Dutch tax authorities as an employer – to make mandatory payroll deductions – is required.

New Zealand

A foreign company employing staff in New Zealand is required to register with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) as an employer and set up an IRD number, with a limited range of exceptions.

Employment income is subject to tax at source in that the employer must withhold the tax and return this to the IRD under the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) regime.

Nigeria

Foreign entities not registered in Nigeria cannot carry on business or exercise the powers of a registered company. The powers of a registered company include the employment of staff.

Payroll deductions from employees' salary in Nigeria are:

  • 8 percent of an employee's monthly salary as pension
  • Personal income tax (pay-as-you-earn) and 
  • 2.5 percent of the monthly salary of an employee with a basic minimum salary of NGN3,000 per annum to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

Norway

Any entity conducting business activity in Norway has both a duty and a right to be registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises. Following its registration, the entity is provided with a Norwegian company registration number which, among other things, is necessary in order to fulfill certain statutory obligations – for example, the payment of tax deductions and employer's contributions.

All employers pay statutory social security contributions to the national insurance scheme. The common rate is 14.1 percent. Norwegian employers are obliged to withhold income taxes and pay the employee's tax to the taxation authorities.

Oman

There are 3 main legal structures available to companies that wish to establish a presence in Oman: a sole proprietorship, a corporate entity or through a commercial agent. It is not possible to employ staff in Oman without an established entity.

Peru

Corporate Presence Requirements

A foreign entity may directly engage employees in Peru without setting up a branch or subsidiary, subject certain business and tax considerations. Because of this, to engage employees in Peru, it is strongly recommended to set up a local entity or branch and register with the local tax authorities.

Payroll Set-Up

Proper payroll registrations are required. Payroll must be registered by an employer using the Tax Authority’s (SUNAT) webpage. Employers must pay social security contributions amounting to 9 percent. Employees must contribute approximately 12 percent of their salary to the social security system which is withheld by the employer. Income tax is also withheld by the employer from employees' salaries, based on a progressive scale with a maximum rate of 30 percent.

Philippines

A foreign company cannot directly engage employees in the Philippines unless it establishes a subsidiary or branch in the Philippines. Corporate employers are required to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for corporations and partnerships, the Department of Trade and Industry for single proprietorships and the Philippine Social Security System (or SSS; Republic Act No. 8282, Social Security Act of 1997), PhilHealth ( Republic Act 7875 National Health Insurance Act of 1995, as amended by Republic Act 9241), Pag-ibig (Republic Act 9679, Home Development Fund Law of 2009), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for the withholding of income taxes and national insurance contributions.

 

Poland

Entities based in the EU may engage employees in Poland without having to set up a local corporate presence, but they must set up payroll. Companies and individuals from outside the EU, as a rule, must set up a company in Poland in order to engage individuals in Poland under an employment contract (ie, a contract governed by the Polish Labor Code). However, a company from outside the EU may directly engage an independent contractor (ie, a person registered in the Polish CEIDG register as a self-employed person). Engagement without a local corporate presence is subject to permanent establishment tax exposure.

Portugal

A foreign entity may engage employees in Portugal with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Portuguese social security. The level of income tax is defined each year by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary and other criteria (eg, number of dependents).

Qatar

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Qatar. It would always need to have at least a subsidiary, branch or trade representative office to engage a local or expatriate employee, because such individuals are required to be registered with the Labor Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (Ministry of Labor) and due to the provisions of the Sponsorship Law.

At present, employees working in Qatar are not subject to income tax, and therefore there are no tax withholding obligations imposed on the employer in the context of an employment arrangement.

There are also no social security requirements, save for in respect of certain companies which are required to contribute to the local General Retirement and Pension Authority on behalf of their local Qatari national employees.

Romania

Typically, foreign entities set up a Romanian presence in order to conduct business in Romania, which may engage employees under individual employment agreements, but which are required to have registered with both the fiscal authorities as well as the labor authorities which handle all employment- and payroll-related registrations.

Although it is not the typical scenario envisaged by the Romanian Labor Code, and it might trigger some practical difficulties (mainly from a payroll and tax perspective), there is no express legal provision prohibiting foreign companies without a Romanian presence from executing individual employment agreements directly with Romanian individuals. Thus, a foreign entity may engage staff in Romania, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations.

Russia

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in Russia and may only operate in Russia after corporate registration. Personal income tax to be withheld through payroll.

Saudi Arabia

Only Saudi registered entities may hire employees, locals or expatriates in the KSA. Non-GCC employees must have a sponsor for immigration purposes.

An employer must set up local payroll in Saudi Arabia.

Singapore

A foreign company generally cannot carry on business in Singapore without registering a subsidiary, branch or representative office. "Carrying on business," as defined under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) of Singapore, includes the administration, management or otherwise dealing with property situated in Singapore as an agent, legal personal representative or a trustee, whether by employees or agents or otherwise, and does not exclude activities carried on without a view to any profit. There are some exceptions to this. For example, purely holding directors’ or shareholders’ meetings, effecting sales through an independent contractor, investing in funds or holding property, or if the foreign company carries on such other activity as the Minister may prescribe do not amount to "carrying on business."

Payroll should be set up to comply with the Employment Act (Cap. 91) of Singapore (EA); Central Provident Fund, under the Central Provident Fund Act (Cap. 36) of Singapore; and tax obligations. Further, the EA additionally requires itemized payslips to be provided to all employees covered under the EA and requires maintenance of certain employee records – including salary records which have the same requirements as the itemized payslips. Employers also have income tax withholding obligations with respect to foreign employees upon their termination.

Slovak Republic

A foreign company may engage employees without a local corporate presence. However, registrations with tax, social security and health insurance authorities are required for payroll purposes.

Employee earnings are subject to withholdings for:

  • Tax purposes (19 percent to 25 percent)
  • Contributions to social insurance (9.4 percent by the employee at a maximum of EUR718.53 per month; 25.2 percent by the employer at a maximum of EUR1,865.13 per month, plus the amount of accident insurance which amounts to 0.8 percent from the actual salary of the employee) and
  • Health insurance (4 percent, resp. 2 percent by the employee; 10 percent, resp. 5 percent by the employer). The smaller percentages apply in the case of a disabled employee.

South Africa

A foreign company conducting business within South Africa must register as an "external company" with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission if it enters into employment contracts in South Africa, and it may be required to pay corporate income tax. A foreign company is regarded as conducting business within South Africa if that foreign company is a party to 1 or more employment contracts within South Africa or is engaging in a course of conduct, or has engaged in a course of conduct, in South Africa over the past 6 months that would lead a person to reasonably conclude that the entity intended to continually engage in business or conduct nonprofit activities in South Africa. Companies, including external companies, are obliged to register and deduct tax from an employee's salary and have reporting duties to the South African Revenue Service. The maximum personal tax rate is currently 45 percent.

Employers are required to contribute to prescribed employee benefit funds and make contributions to an unemployment insurance fund. Employee contributions to the unemployment insurance fund are deducted and paid on the employees' behalf by the employer. The employer is also required to match these contributions.

South Korea

Foreign companies may directly engage employees in Korea; however, because of potentially negative tax implications, it is uncommon for foreign companies to do so. There are 4 ways for foreign nationals to engage in business activities in Korea:

  • Establishing a local corporation
  • Opening a private business
  • Opening a branch
  • Opening a liaison office

Payroll withholdings are required.

Spain

A foreign entity may engage employees in Spain with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate, social security and tax considerations. Withholdings for income tax and social security are to be done through payroll.

Sweden

A foreign company may engage employees in Sweden with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. Employers are obliged to pay social security charges on top of gross salary and most benefits. The social security charges amount to approximately 31 percent to be borne by the employer. The Swedish personal tax system operates with a progressive rate varying from approximately 29 percent to 55.5 percent, as the austerity tax of 5 percent was abolished as of January 1, 2020.

The employer shall deduct from the gross salary and deliver each employee's personal tax to the Swedish Tax Authority. From January 1, 2019, registered employers additionally receive receive PAYE forms to complete and send to the Swedish Tax Authority.

Switzerland

A foreign entity can generally engage employees in Switzerland subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations and provided the employee can legally work in the country.

Social charges vary according to canton and the employer's chosen pension fund scheme. The employer's contributions must be paid in addition to gross salary at approximately 12 to 20 percent of the gross salary. The employee's contributions must be deducted from the employee's gross salary at approximately 10 to 17 percent of the gross salary. The employer must deduct each employee's tax at the source, where applicable.

Taiwan, Republic of China

Foreign companies cannot directly engage employees in Taiwan but may set up branches, subsidiaries and representative offices, all subject to different registration procedures.

Withholdings for taxes, labor insurance, pension and health insurance.

Thailand

A foreign entity may engage employees in Thailand subject to certain business and tax considerations and proper payroll registration through a local entity acting on behalf of the foreign entity.

The employer must withhold tax at source, file a withholding tax return (ie, Form PND 1, 2 or 3) and remit the amount of tax withheld to the District Revenue Office.

Tunisia

A company must have a presence in Tunisia (via a branch, a company or a subsidiary) to be able to hire employees.

Employers must withhold monthly social security contributions and pay them quarterly to the National Social Security Administration (CNSS). Employers must also withhold income tax contributions and pay them monthly to the government.

Turkey

A foreign company without local corporate registration cannot directly engage employees in Turkey. When a foreign entity engages in commercial activities in Turkey, these activities should be performed through a branch office or a company. The employees should be registered under the payroll of the branch office or the company. If a foreign entity only engages in market research in Turkey and not in any commercial activity, the activities may be performed through a liaison office. The employees should be registered under the payroll of the liaison office.

All employers should register the employees with the Social Security Institution as of their first day of employment and make the statutory contributions.

Uganda

A foreign entity must have a local corporate presence in Uganda before engaging employees. The entity will be required to register for tax and social security where it employs 5 or more employees. Up to 4 employees may be engaged without social security registration. There is, however, an option of voluntary registration. The employees would still be required to register for tax. Employee earnings are subject to pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax of up to 30 percent of the earnings and social security contributions of 15 percent, 10 percent being the employer's contribution and 5 percent being the employee's contribution.

Ukraine

A foreign entity cannot engage employees in Ukraine without a local corporate presence. Furthermore, the engagement of employees in Ukraine without a local corporate presence may give rise to a permanent establishment risk.

United Arab Emirates

A foreign entity cannot directly engage employees in the UAE. It must have at least a branch or representative office to engage any employees, including local nationals. This is because all employees need a work permit – or employment ID card in the free zones – in order to work in the UAE, which requires a local sponsor. The only alternative is to have a secondment arrangement, whereby a local entity sponsors the employee for their work permit, but the individual is then seconded out to the foreign entity or provides services under a services agreement. This structure may not be legal under relevant immigration and licensing laws.

United Kingdom

A foreign entity may engage in the UK with proper payroll registrations, subject to business and corporate tax planning considerations. Withholdings for pay-as-you-earn (eg, social charges –  up to 13.8 percent for the employer portion and 12 percent for the employee portion up to a certain threshold and 2 percent thereafter) and income tax (up to 45 percent) to be done through payroll. Self-employed independent contractors are paid gross and are responsible for their own taxation.

United States

A foreign entity may engage employees to do business in the US, subject to certain business and tax considerations and registration, as an entity qualified to do business in any state where it has employees and/or is engaged in business. All US employers are required to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to pay applicable payroll taxes and withhold certain tax contributions from their employees. Employers may be required to register employees with the specific state in which they are employed – regulations vary from state to state. Certain states (eg, California) have requirements regarding what information must be provided to employees with their pay, including itemized deductions and reports of hours worked, among other information.

Venezuela

Employers must set up a registered entity in Venezuela and complete mandatory social security and labor registrations in order to hire employees. Social security registrations include registration with social security (IVSS), the housing fund (BANAVIH) and the job training institute (INCES). Employers must also register with the Employer Register Office (RNET), Health and Safety Institute (INPSASEL) and the Council of Individuals with Disability (CONAPDIS).

Vietnam

A foreign entity without a license to operate in Vietnam cannot directly hire Vietnamese employees.

Employers must pay social insurance in respect of Vietnamese employees (currently 17.5 percent, including 3 percent to the sickness and pregnancy fund, 0.5 percent to the work-related accidents and occupational disease fund, and 14 percent to the retirement and survivorship fund), health insurance (currently 3 percent), unemployment insurance (currently 1 percent), as well as trade-union fees (currently 2 percent). and withholding of the employee portion of the social insurance (currently 8 percent), health insurance (currently 1.5 percent), unemployment insurance (currently 1 percent), trade-union fees (currently 1 percent, if the employee participates in the grass-roots trade union). Salary for calculating social insurance and health insurance contributions is capped at 20 times the general minimum monthly salary, which is currently VND1,600,000 (approximately USD69), while the salary for calculating unemployment insurance contributions is capped at 20 times the regional minimum salary, which varies depending on the region. Personal income tax must be paid by employees on their assessable income, but the employer must make tax declarations, deduct and remit tax to the state budget, and is generally responsible for undertaking tax finalization on behalf of the employee.

In terms of compulsory insurance contributions for foreign employees who have (i) a work permit or practicing license and (ii) a labor contract with an indefinite term or a term of 1 full year or more, employers must pay social insurance premiums in respect of foreign employees (currently 3.5 percent, including 3 percent to the sickness and pregnancy fund and 0.5 percent to the work-related accidents and occupational disease fund) together with health insurance contributions (currently 3 percent) and withholding of the foreign employee’s portion of health insurance premiums (currently 1.5 percent). The salary for calculating social insurance and health insurance contributions is capped at 20 times the general minimum monthly salary which is currently VND1,600,000 (approximately USD69). Foreign employees also pay 8 percent of their monthly wage to the superannuation and survivorship fund (ie, social insurance contribution), and employers pay 14 percent of the foreign employees’ monthly wage to the superannuation and survivorship fund (ie, social insurance contribution) starting January 1, 2022.