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Table of Contents

Barbados

Table of Contents

Currency

Barbadian Dollar (BBD)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

12.5%-28%

About Barbados

Barbados is one of the more populous and prosperous Caribbean islands. Political, economic and social stability have given it a relatively high standard of living. It is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean.

Known for its beaches and cricket – its national sport – the former British colony has a dual heritage: English – evident in its stone-built Anglican churches and Saturday race meetings – and African, reflected in its music and dance.

Barbados was in the past heavily dependent on the export of sugar as its main revenue earner, but in recent decades the economy has diversified into tourism and finance. It also has offshore reserves of oil and natural gas. It has a population of 287,010 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

The Bajan Employment Rights Act does not explicitly define permanent employment but it is presumed that an employment contract is indefinite even if the employee changes jobs at the same employer.  Fixed or short-term contracts with an employee at intervals of less than 42 days count towards indefinite employment. 

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In the Employment Rights Act, fixed-term contracts are allowable. Stipulations of the fixed-term contract must be outlined in writing. If short-term contracts are concluded in intervals of less than 42 days, employment may be considered continuous. 

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

While the Bajan labor code does not explicitly define temporary contracts, all employment contracts must state the length of employment when employment is not permanent. 

Probationary Period

There are no statutory provisions or guidance on probationary periods. Probation periods may be stipulated in the employment contract. 

Working Hours

The Bajan Shops Act sets the standard workweek at 40 hours per week (8 hours per day). Employees are also entitled to 2 days of rest per week which usually occur on Saturday and Sunday. Employees who work above the standard hours are eligible for overtime. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

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• Paid Annual Leave

According to the Bajan Holidays with Pay Act, employees are entitled to paid annual leave after they complete 1 year of employment. An employee who completes 1 year of employment with the same employer is entitled to a minimum of 3 weeks of annual leave. Employees who have been employed for 5 or more years are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks of annual leave.  An employee may be granted more annual leave than is stipulated above if it's part of the employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or is dictated by the employer.  Annual leave is given and taken in a single continuous period unless the employer and employee agree to a different arrangement. The employer determines the date the employee utilizes annual leave and provides no less than 14 days' notice.  

• Sick Leave

The Employment Rights Act does not specify the number of days for employee sick leave, however, an employee missing 2 days or less due to illness is not considered an interruption of their continuity of employment. National Insurance Scheme does provide sickness benefits to those who are eligible.

• Maternity Leave

The Employment of Women Act provides 12 weeks of maternity leave to pregnant employees. To qualify the employee must submit a certificate issued by a medical practitioner setting forth the expected date of her confinement or a certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a midwife setting forth the actual date of her confinement. Expectant employees may begin leave no more than 6 weeks prior to their expected due date. Maternity leave is available for employees who have been employed for at least 12 months and have not taken maternity leave on more than 3 occasions.  If an employee suffers additional illness arising from pregnancy, additional leave is providing not exceeding 6 weeks as recommended by a medical practitioner.  The National Insurance Scheme of Barbados pays maternity benefits to pregnant insured employees who fulfill the eligibility criteria. The daily rate of maternity benefits is 100% of the insured person’s average insurable weekly earnings, divided by 6.

• Paternity Leave

Barbados's labor laws do not currently offer paternity leave benefits. 

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

Per the Employment Rights Act, employment contracts can be terminated by either party by providing prior notice. The notice period is applicable to employees who maintain continuous employment.  The notice required to be given by an employer to terminate the contract of employment of an hourly, daily or weekly paid employee who has been continuously employed for one year or more is no less than: 1 week's notice where the service period is less than 2 years 2 weeks' notice where the service period is 2 years or more but less than 5 years 4 weeks' notice where the service period is 5 years or more but less than 10 years 6 weeks' notice where the service period is 10 years or more but less than 15 years 10 weeks' notice where the service period is 15 years or more.  The notice required to be given by an employer to terminate the contract of employment of a bi-weekly paid employee who has been continuously employed for 1 year or more is not less than:  2 weeks' notice where the service period is less than 5 years 4 weeks' notice where the service period is 5 years or more but less than 10 years 6 weeks' notice where the service period is 10 years or more but less than 15 years 10 weeks' notice where the service period is 15 years or more.  The notice required to be given by an employer to terminate the contract of employment of a monthly-paid employee who has been continuously employed for 1 year or more is not less than:  1 month's notice where the service period is less than 10 years 1.5 months' notice where the service period is 10 years or more but less than 15 years 2.5 months' notice where the service period is 15 years or more.  The notice required to be given by an employee who has been continuously employed for 1 year or more to terminate his contract of employment is not less than:  1 week's notice in the case of hourly, daily, or weekly paid employee 2 weeks' notice in the case of bi-weekly paid employees 1 month's notice in the case of a monthly paid employee. 

• Severance Benefits

Per the Barbados Severance Payments Act, an employee's eligibility for severance pay is dependent on the following criteria:  104 continuous weeks with the same employer Working at least 21 hours per week At least age 16 and no older than age 65 Dismissed due to redundancy, natural disaster, or laid-off or short-term dismissal.  Severance pay is calculated by utilizing the 104-week period and backtracking through the years of service and the rates are as follows:  2.5 weeks' basic pay for each year up to 10 years 3 weeks basic pay for each year that exceeds 10 years but does not exceed 20 years 3.5 weeks' basic pay for each year that exceeds 20 years but does not exceed 33 years.  The basic weekly average should not exceed the maximum insurable earnings ceiling which is currently BBD 1,201.