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Hire and Pay Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in DRC

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Global Payment and Compliance

Hire and Pay Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in DRC

With a population of about 96 Million people, DRC is Africa’s second largest country after Algeria by area. It boasts of a rich pool of talent to satisfy the now among one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.

Workpay
October 13, 2022
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October 13, 2022
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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa, with a population of about 96 million people. 70% of its population comprises young people. Mining minerals such as cobalt, diamonds, natural gas, fishing, and farming are the major industries in DRC Congo contributing to the economy. Other sectors in Congo employing skilled workers include retail services, IT, banking & financial services, healthcare, tourism, and transport & logistics.

DRC has a pool of talent in these fields that global employers could hire as remote employees or independent contractors. However, an employer must adhere to labor laws while hiring and managing remote workers in DRC. Are you an employer looking forward to expanding your global team in DRC? This post is a step-by-step guide detailing how to hire and pay remote talents in DRC.

What is the Difference between Employees and Independent Contractors?

Employers need to distinguish between employers and independent contractors to avoid misclassifying workers. Such mistakes could have adverse legal consequences to them.

The main difference between the two lies in the contractual relationship; an independent contractor has a contract for service, while an employee has a contract of service.

Additionally, independent contractors take responsibility for their taxes; thus, an employer doesn’t withhold taxes for them. On the other hand, an employer withholds and submits employees' required taxes on their behalf.

Lastly, employees receive instructional oversight from certain employer representatives, such as managers. However, a client doesn’t dictate how an independent contractor works.

What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers?

Pros

1. Access to a rich talent pool

Hiring remote workers allows employers to access and attract many talents from all over the world. Therefore, they can select the best talent that aligns with remote workforce requirements or needs regardless of location.

2. Saving on cost

Hiring remote workers save employers and their business some cash. How? No need to buy extra furniture or rent additional space for the new employees. Additionally, employers don’t incur extra costs such as lunches, coffee, snacks, or travel allowances that physical employees might need in the workplace. Overall, employers minimize their benefits and tax expenses.

3. It offers a better work-life balance

One of the things most employers are striving to achieve is an effective work-life balance for their employees. Hiring remote workers allows employees to execute their work roles from whichever location and still have ample time for their personal lives. Consequently, it makes the staff happier, thus boosting their morale, loyalty, job satisfaction, and productivity.

Cons

1. Communication challenges

Depending on where members of a remote team reside, communication might be challenging due to the differences in time zones and language barriers. However, it’s not much of a problem if each remote worker understands what is expected of them and uses advanced collaboration technologies such as Zoom, Slack, Skype, etc.

2. Dependence on stable internet and electricity

Stable internet and electricity are requirements for functional and effective remote work. If any of these elements are unstable or unavailable, it becomes hard for remote workers to complete their assigned tasks, and it affects communication with employers.

Is it Illegal to Hire and Pay Remote Workers in DRC?

It’s not illegal to hire and pay remote workers in DRC. However, employers must comply with the DRC's labor laws and tax requirements. More importantly, it would help if they were careful not to risk workers' misclassification, which could attract administrative fines and penalties for noncompliance.

How can employers legally hire and pay remote workers in DRC?

How to Hire Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in DRC

Like many other countries, there are specific rules and requirements foreign companies or employers must adhere to before hiring employees in DRC. There are three different ways you can hire remote workers in DRC:

1. Set up a subsidiary

Setting up a subsidiary or a local entity in DRC gives employers the legal authority to work in the country. It also allows an employer to hire employees in DRC, set up a local payroll, or disperse other employee benefits.

However, setting up a subsidiary in DRC may be time-consuming, complex, and expensive. It entails dealing with a lot of paperwork to meet all the legal requirements outlined by various laws. Therefore it may not be the ultimate choice for onboarding remote workers for most employers.

2. Direct client-contractor engagement

Are you an employer wanting to work with remote workers directly? Having a direct-client contractor engagement may be an option. A contractor (freelancer, consultant, etc.) works directly with a client (an individual or company) without relying on staff intermediaries.

Often, this approach is best for employers with an established relationship with the individual they have worked with. It also gives both parties room for negotiations.

However, direct contracting is not as easy as it seems. An employer must do a lot of paperwork, prepare and sign contracts, and spend hours tracking what the contractor delivers. Employers risk misclassifying remote workers, and retaining great talent is tougher.

3. Use Employer of Record (EOR)

Using EOR services is the ideal way to hire remote employees and independent contractors in Congo. Why? Hiring remotely may involve many hassles, such as compliance, tax requirement, local laws, etc.

An Employer of Record such as Workpay helps companies hire remote employees and independent contractors in DRC. They take care of all the demanding and complex tasks on behalf of an employer, including onboarding, compliance, payroll, taxes, and HR activities. Additionally, employers don’t have to set up subsidiaries to access and work with the best talents in DRC.

How to Pay Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in DRC

After an employer decides on the best method of hiring remote employees and independent contractors, they must determine how they will pay them. Also, an employer should understand taxation, the termination process, minimum wages, and payroll cycles in DRC.

Depending on an employer's contractual relationship with a remote worker, they might consider paying them directly using various payment methods or a third party, such as an EOR service provider.

Best Payments Methods to Pay Remote Workers Directly in DRC

An employer with direct client-contractor engagement may consider any payment methods below to pay remote workers in DRC.

A. Online money transfer services

One of the fastest and most convenient ways to send payments to remote employees and independent contractors in DRC is through online money transfer services. Most service providers, such as Xoom, Worldremit, Sendwave, Remitly, and CurrencyTransfer, easily integrate with users’ bank accounts. Therefore, they can easily send payments from the platforms to other users via their mobile apps or website.

B. Bank deposit

Employers may also send bank deposits to their remote workers in DRC. Often, major banks in most countries allow employers to wire money to major banks in DRC, such as Access Bank, Banque Commerciale du Congo, SofiBanqu, Equity Bank, Standard Bank, etc.

However, bank transfers may sometimes attract high fees and weak exchange rates.

C. Cash pick-up transfer services

Employers who want to transfer funds to their remote teams via the above two methods may use cash pick-up services. Usually, the money transfer recipient retrieves the funds in cash from a physical location (pick-up station) instead of having money deposited into their bank accounts. 

Among the top and most reliable service providers of cash pick-up services in DRC include MoneyGram, Western Union, and Ria Money Transfer.

Use EOR to Pay Remote Workforce in DRC

As outlined earlier, EOR providers such as Workpay helps employers legally hire remote employees and independent contractors in different countries. Additionally, they help an employer with payroll management and compliance issues; thus, they ensure each remote employee or independent contractor is accurate and compliant with tax laws and payroll requirements in DRC.

Using EOR to pay remote workers is often the most cost-effective method when an employer wants to avoid possible compliance risks.

Grow Your Remote Team in Africa with Workpay

Workpay is your ideal and trusted compliance partner providing EOR services to help employers expand their remote teams across African countries. It empowers employers to legally hire and pay remote employees and independent contractors in Africa without setting up a local entity. Also, employers have to worry less about local laws since Workpay’s legal experts are always up-to-date with regulatory changes in African countries. 

Workpay
Workpay Africa

Workpay is a HR and Payroll software company that offers time & attendance, payroll, human resource, leave, expenses and remote teams solutions to businesses across Africa.

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