Basic Facts

Lesotho is a landlocked country enclaved by South Africa. It is a mountainous country situated in the Maloti Mountains and contains the highest mountains in Southern Africa. It has an area of just over 30,360 square kilometers. The economy of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, and mining.

*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Lesotho.

Capital :
Currency :
Lesotho Loti (LSL, L, M)
Languages spoken :
Sesotho, English
Population :
2.16 million (2022 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
Varies by sector, e.g. LSL 1,316 per month for small business workers
Cost of Living index :
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
1% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2024.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year's Day
March 11
King Moshoeshoe I's Anniversary
March 29
Good Friday
April 1
Easter Monday
May 1
Workers' Day
May 9
Ascension Day
May 25
Africa Day
July 17
King Letsie III's Birthday
October 4
Independence Day
December 25
December 26
Boxing Day

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Lesotho is 14 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • Lesotho has very low employment costs.
  • An employee should not be dismissed, whether adequate notice is given or not unless there is a valid reason for termination of employment.
  • Severance pay is directly linked to the length of service of the employee.

Labor Conditions

Working Hours

The normal hours of work for any employee should not be more than 45 hours per week, calculated as follows:

  • For an employee who ordinarily works a five-day week: nine hours of work on any day;
  • For an employee who ordinarily works a six-day week: eight hours of work on five days and five hours of work on one day. 

Where the continuous nature of the work so requires, an employer may request or permit an employee to work overtime in addition to normal hours, for up to 11 additional hours during any one week. 

The employer should pay the employee for such overtime at a rate not less than one and one-quarter times the normal wage rate. 

Probation Period

An employee may initially be employed for a probationary period not exceeding four months. The probationary period may be extended beyond a period of four months only with the leave in writing by the Labor Commissioner.

Termination Notice Period

Either party in a permanent employment contract may terminate the contract upon giving the following notice:

Length of Service Notice Period
Less than 6 months 1 week
More than 6 months but less than 1 year 2 weeks
1 year or more 1 month

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

An employee is entitled each year to a minimum of 12 working days’ holiday on full pay, to be taken at such times as may be agreed between the employer and the employee.

The employee should take at least six working days’ holiday in a continuous period during the calendar year the holiday is due.

Sick Leave

During the first six months of continuous employment with the same employer, any absence owing to sickness may be unpaid.

After six months of continuous employment with the same employer, an employee is entitled, as a minimum, to up to 12 days of sick leave on full pay.

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

The general duration of maternity leave is 12 weeks and comprises six weeks before and six weeks after confinement. If confinement occurs after the anticipated date, prenatal leave is extended accordingly with no consequent reduction in postnatal leave. 

Paternity Leave

There are no statutory provisions for paternity leave.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Educational Leave

Every employee should, with the consent of the employer, be entitled to a reasonable amount of time off work with pay, during normal working hours, for the purpose of receiving education or training.

The amount of pay to be paid by the employer should correspond to the amount that normally would have been earned during the period of time off.

Unpaid Leave

There is no statutory provision for unpaid leave in Lesotho.

Statutory Benefits

There are no mandatory contributions made by the employer towards social security except for the costs that fall under worker injury benefits.

Health Insurance

There is no mandatory health insurance in Lesotho.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

Employers pay a certain percentage of the gross wage to a private carrier. The cost is established by the terms of an agreement, contract, industry-wide mandate, or ministerial directive.

To qualify for the work injury benefit, one must have an incapacity for work lasting at least three days. Accidents that occur while commuting to and from work are covered. Occupational diseases are covered for certain occupations, according to a schedule in law.

Unemployment Insurance

There is no unemployment insurance in Lesotho.

Public Pension

The public pension is non-contributory and state-funded. People aged 70 who are not receiving any public pension are entitled to an old age pension. The employer does not make any contribution towards the public pension.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

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