Caribbean Pension &

Labour Law Consultancy

 

Benjamin Law Will Help You Navigate Caribbean Labour Laws.

 

Entering the Caribbean labour market can be a daunting task. It is not one legal jurisdiction but over 21 separate legal jurisdictions. Let Benjamin Law help you navigate the Caribbean Labour Law market.


 

 Why Benjamin Law?

 

The firm is primarily managed by Anthony Stephen Benjamin. Who has a background in corporate law, labour law, pension, employment, employee benefits and have worked with the Government of Ontario, Law firms and consulting firms. The firm has a large practice in Long Term Disability Benefits, Short Term Disability Benefit and, Claims for Wrongful termination as it relates to the termination of employment benefits in addition to pension and other employee benefits.

 

In the Caribbean we provide advice to lawyers in respect of pension and benefits claim and pension plan wind ups, the strategy to deal with wind up of pension plans and the wind up benefits.

Advise Corporations in respect of the Labour and Employment Laws in the Caribbean Region generally and provide detailed and comparative analysis of the laws as they vary among the many different islands.

Our clients range from individuals, corporations, Lawyers and consulting firms. 

 

Aruba

 

Labour Overview

 

In Aruba, the Minimum Wage Ordinance establishes a minimum wage for workers in industry, construction or commerce and another minimum wage for live-in domestic workers.

 

The Labor Ordinance sets out different working hours based on industry and the length of the years worked. However, it does not apply to employees who earn more than a certain amount (currently, twice the gross monthly minimum wages) nor to civil servants.For those working 5 days a week, a daily maximum of 8.5 hours is permitted, not to exceed 42.5 hours per week. For those working 6 days a week, a daily maximum of 8 hours is allowed. For industries such as hotel and restaurant workers, where shift work is required, the weekly maximum is 48 hours. Shift work is generally paid a 15% premium, when agreed upon by both parties or stipulated in a collective labor agreement. Employees are entitled to 15 days per year as vacation time. There are 11 public holidays as well in Aruba. Work on a public holiday is paid double time.

 

Severance pay (Cessantia) is payable where the employee is terminated for reasons beyond his or her control. Pay is calculated as follows:

For employees with 1 to 10 years’ service, 1 week’s pay per year of service;

For each year of service between 11 and 20 years of service, 1.25 weeks’ pay per year of service;

For employees with more than 20 years of service, 2 weeks pay for each year of service above 20 years.

Employers are also obliged to contribute a set annual premium to the Cessantia Fund for each employee.

Social Security Benefits

 

Employers and employees contribute to the Social Security Bank, which provides the following coverage: health, wage compensation, accident, old age and widow and orphans benefits. Employees are required to contribute 10.1% of their pay while employers contribute 24.80 to 27.05%, depending on the industry, up to a certain maximum.

 

The General Health Insurance (AZV) is an obligatory insurance introduced in 2001. The AZV premium is 11.5% of income, of which the employer pays 8.9% and the employee contributes 2.6% of income up to a maximum income.

 

The Old Age and Widow/Orphans Insurance (AOV/AWW). All citizens are entitled to receive an old age pension, upon reaching age 60. Employees contribute 4.5% of income and employers contribute 10%, up to a maximum income. Self-employed persons contribute the entire 14.5%, up to a maximum amount. For about 75% of retirees, this is their only form of retirement income.

 

Wage compensation insurance (ZV) and Accident Insurance (OV) are funded by employer contributions.

 

Antigua & Barbuda

 

Labour Overview

 

The Antigua & Barbuda Labour Code, CAP 27, establishes minimum employment standards and industrial relations provisions. The Code is broken down into Divisions and Parts. Division C provides for basic employment standards, which govern the employment relationship and inform employers and employees of minimum working conditions. Part One prohibits discrimination on enumerated grounds, requires the employer to provide a written statement of working conditions to employees and addresses termination of employment, among others. Part Twocontains provisions regarding leaves, including public holidays, sick days and vacation. A national minimum wage rate and maximum hours of work are contained in Part Three. Part Four provides minimum standards on severance pay, while Part Five concerns unfair dismissals.

The Code also deals with health and safety and makes regulations concerning the employment of women, young persons and children.

 

Pension Overview

 

The Pension Act, CAP 311 governs pensions for persons in public service while private sector pension plans are governed by Part VIII of The Insurance Act, 2007. The Act was effective April 2009 and required that all private plans be registered within 1 year of the effective date. Additionally, the Act contains provisions concerning:

 

  • Registration of pension plan amendments

  • Payment of fees, penalties and annual reporting

  • Enforcement powers of the Superintendent

  • Classes of assets in which the plan may invest, and investment limits

  • Content of the trust deed and rules governing the plan

  • Forms to be filed with the Superintendent

Note that Antigua & Barbuda are part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

Benefits may also be payable by the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board (ABSSB). Under the Social Security Act, CAP 408, persons who are 16 years of age or over but under 60 and who are employed in insurable employment are insured for life. The following benefits are payable upon meeting the applicable criteria:

 

  • Age benefit, upon reaching 60 years of age

  • Sickness benefit, where the insured person is temporarily incapable of work (other than as a result of employment injury)

  • Invalidity benefit, where the insured person is permanently incapable of work (other than as a result of employment injury)

  • Maternity benefit to an insured woman or to the wife of an insured man in the case of her pregnancy or confinement

  • Funeral grant, upon the death of an insured person

  • Survivors’ benefit, in respect of an insured person who dies otherwise than as a result of an employment injury

 

Additionally, old age assistance may be payable to low income insured persons upon meeting certain requirements.

 
 
 

Bahamas

 

Labour Overview

 

There are several pieces of legislation relating to the workplace:

The Employment Act (321A) establishes minimum hours of work as well as paid vacation time, and provides for redundancy pay and notice of contract termination. It also addresses maternity and family leave and employment of children and young persons.

The Minimum Wages Act (321B) establishes hourly, daily and weekly minimum wages 

The Industrial Relations Act (321) deals with unions and establishes the Industrial Tribunal and regulates trade disputes.

The Health and Safety at Work Act (321C) makes provisions relating to health and safety at work.

Pension Overview

 

Public service pension plans are non-contributory and are governed by the Pensions Act, Chapter 43. There is currently no legislation governing private sector retirement arrangements or setting out minimum standards. These plans may be offered by private sector service providers.​

 

Social Security Benefits

 

Social insurance and social assistance benefits are governed by the National Insurance Board Act. Retirement Benefits are payable to insured persons who meet prescribed contribution conditions while a Retirement Grant is payable to needy Bahamian residents who do not qualify for the retirement benefit. Need is based on applying the “test-of-resources”.

Barbados

 

Labour Overview

 

There is no national minimum wage. Rather, a minimum wage exists only in respect of shop assistants (Shop Act) and domestic workers (Domestic Employees (Hours of Duty) Act).

 

Severance pay is payable in certain circumstances under the Severance Payments Act, such as for redundancy or due to lay off. 

 

Maternity leaves are addressed in the Employment of Women (Maternity Leave) Act. An employee is not entitled to maternity leave unless she has worked for the employer for at least one year. Maternity leave is generally 12 weeks’ duration, although it may be extended in certain circumstances. An employee may not be dismissed while on maternity leave. There is no law for paternity leave.

 

Under the Holidays with Pay Act, an employee who is working consecutively for over one year but less than five years is entitled to 3 weeks’ paid vacation. If employed for over 5 years, the employee is entitled to 4 weeks’ paid vacation. Additionally, employees are entitled to 12 public holidays under the Public Holidays Act.

Pension Overview


Pension plans are regulated under the Occupational Pension Benefits Act. The Financial Services Commission, Pensions Division, regulates all pension plans and registered retirement savings plans that are established by employers for employees in Barbados. The FSC also supervises plans that are established outside of Barbados but have a substantial connection with Barbados. Some highlights of the Act include:

  • The protection of pension benefits through a solid economic fiscal framework

  • The establishment of an efficient administrative framework

  • The provision of equitable, modern and clear pension standards which reflects the needs of a changing society and economy

  • Fostering and expanding the voluntary employment pension plan system

 

Social Security Benefits

The National Insurance and Social Security Scheme established under the National Insurance and Social Security Act provides for payment of the following benefits:

 

  • Sickness;

  • Maternity (benefit or grant)

  • Invalidity (benefit or grant)

  • Unemployment

  • Funeral Grant

  • Employment Injury (Injury benefit, disablement benefit, medical expenses, funeral grant, death benefit)

  • Non-Contributory Old age Pension

  • Old age contributory (Grant or Pension)

  • Survivors’ (Grant or Pension)

 

Employers who fail to make contributions as required under the Act are guilty of an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.

 

Apart from Employment Injury benefits, employees under age 16 or over age 65 are not insured under the Scheme. No employer contributions are required in respect of these employees, other than employment injury premiums.

Bermuda

 

Labour Overview 

 

The Employment Act 2000 sets out minimum employment standards. The maximum working week is generally 40 hours. Any hours worked in excess of 40 hours are to be paid at the overtime rate (generally time and a half) or compensated by giving the same number of hours time off in lieu. Overtime is not payable to certain types of employees.

A woman who has completed at least one year of continuous employment is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, with 8 weeks paid and the other 4 weeks unpaid. If she has been employed for less than one year, she is entitled to only 8 weeks unpaid leave.

An employee is entitled to 2 weeks of annual paid vacation after completing 1 year of continuous employment. There are additionally 10 paid public holidays as declared in the Public Holidays Act, 1947.

With respect to termination of employment, the Act sets out minimum notice periods. In lieu of providing notice, an employer may make payment. In the case of redundancy, the employee is entitled to receive a severance allowance, as described in the Act, plus any payment in lieu of notice. Examples of a redundancy include the reorganisation or sale of a business.

Pension Overview

 

The National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pension Act) 1998 (as amended) requires that all employers establish a pension scheme (additional and separate to the statutory national pension scheme) for their Bermudian employees. The level of contributions is set out in the First Schedule to the 1998 Act. The employer and employees must make equal contributions, although employees may also make additional voluntary contributions.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

Social security is payable as outlined under the Contributory Pensions Act 1970 and is administered by the Government for all employees of private sector employers, with employers and individual employees employed for more than four (4) hours a week each paying 50% of the premium. It pays benefits to qualifying retirees and is not confined only to Bermudian employees. Non Bermudian employees are eligible and required to be covered as well and are fully entitled to whatever benefits they accrue under the plan’s provisions.

 

Bonaire

 

Labour Overview 

 

The Labour regulation 2000 distinguishes between non-scheduled workers and scheduled workers. A scheduled worker is an employee whose working hours fall completely or partially outside normal office (business) hours. There are different rules for both groups with regard to working hours, periods of rest and breaks.

 

Special rules also exist for Hospitality Workers (Hotels, Restaurants, Casinos) and Domestic Workers. There is one minimum wage for workers 21 years of age and over, with that wage discounted for workers under 21.

 

Overtime can be compensated by time off in lieu of additional wages, upon written agreement of the employer and employee.

The overtime rules apply only to employees earning below a certain threshold, which is set by the Social Security Bank.

 

By article 1614ca of the Civil Code, a woman is entitled to full paid leave from  4-6 weeks prior to birth (Pregnancy leave) in addition to 6-8 weeks after birth (Maternity leave). It is illegal to dismiss an employee on maternity leave. There is no law for paternity leave.

Under the Vacation Regulation 1949, there are 13 public holidays. The Regulation also provides for vacation time for employees who have worked continuously for a year. The amount is determined by multiplying the number of contracted working days per week by three, to a maximum of 15.

 

Severance is a legal obligation of the employer, stated in the Severance Ordinance (Cessantia-landsverordening) (P.B. 1983, no. 85). An employee, whose working relationship terminates other than through his own fault, is entitled to severance pay upon completion of one year of service.  Severance is payable to both permanent and temporary employees. The amount is dependent on years of service.

Pension Overview

 

Apart from what is provided under the social security system, there is no legislation governing private sector pension plans.


 

Social Security Benefits

 

The Algemene Ouderdomsverzekering (AOV) is the old age pension insurance for all residents of the Dutch Caribbean (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) or for those who have lived on these islands for a period of time. It guarantees an old age pension upon attaining the retirement age. The level of the benefit is determined by the number of years of residence within the Dutch Caribbean prior to reaching retirement age.

 

Current residents of the Dutch Caribbean could have also lived/worked for a number of years on another former Antillean island (St Maarten, Aruba or Curaçao) or in the Netherlands. In that case they are entitled to AOV or AOW from that land. The pension is granted upon request. The AOVretirement age will be raised gradually during the coming years to the age of 65.

 

 The AOV old age pension/surcharge ceases upon death of the entitled person. When a pensioner dies, the pension is paid until the last day of the month in which death occurred. After the death of a pensioner, a lump sum equal to four months of pension, is paid to the person or persons who, in the opinion of SZW, are eligible based on equitable relief.

 

Pension – Old Age, Widow & Orphans Pension. Each worker must be insured for old age pension and survivor (widow and orphans) pension.

 
 

British Virgin Islands

 

Labour Overview

 

Among other items, the Labour Code, 2010 provides for fairness in relation to the recruitment of employees, which now addresses sexual harassment. It also makes significant changes to the basic conditions of employment; revises the redundancy regime; prohibits children under age 16 from working, except in certain circumstances, and not below age 14; and adds a requirement for employers to provide retirement benefits for employees.

Employers in the BVI are required to provide employees with a written statement describing the conditions of employment, including:

  • The employee’s general responsibilities and related duties

  • The regular hours of work and rest periods

  • The starting salary

  • The term of employment if other than indefinite

  • The probationary period (if any); and

  • The employee’s leave and vacation privilege

 

A new employee’s probationary period may not exceed 4 months. More senior ranking employees, at the rank of supervisor or higher, may be subject to a probationary period of not more than 6 months.In BVI, there is one minimum wage applicable to students enrolled in secondary school and another one for other workers.

An employee who has been continuously employed for not less than four months is entitled to a minimum of 12 paid sick days per year. However, any social security benefits received by the employee in respect of that illness or physical incapacitation may be deducted from the wages payable by the employer.

 

Employees with less than 10 years of service are entitled to one paid vacation day per month of service (excluding the probationary period, if any). The employer and employee may agree that the employee would forego the taking of earned vacation leave. However, such an agreement is not to be deemed to deny the employee the right to vacation leave at a future time to be mutually agreed between the employer and the employee.

Employees are entitled to paid public holidays, provided they work their scheduled workday immediately before and after the holiday. An employee who works on a public holiday is entitled to at least time and a half for hours worked on that day.

 

Pension Overview

 

Effective July 16, 2010, the Labour Code 2010 requires employers to provide retirement benefits to permanent employees through a pension scheme, annuity, provident fund or other form of retirement scheme. This scheme may be contributory.

 

The BVI Constitution provides for pensions for public officers.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

Virgin Islands Social Security Board, Social Security (Benefits) Regulations require that private sector employees contribute 4% and employers 4.5% on maximum insurable earnings of $39,468.00 (as of Jan. 1, 2015). If an insured person has more than one employer, each employer must deduct and pay contributions on the employee’s behalf. Where total contributions exceed the maximum contributions payable, a refund from the Social Security Board is payable.

 

An Age Benefit is paid to an insured person who has reached the age of 65 and has satisfied the necessary contribution conditions. It is paid in the form of a Pension or a Grant.

 

To qualify for an Age Pension, an insured person must have reached 65 years and have made a minimum number of contributions. An Age Grant is payable where the insured person has made at least 50 contributions but has not met the minimum number to qualify for an Age Pension.

Cayman Islands

 

Labour Overview: Cayman Islands

 

The Labour Law (2011 Revision) governs the terms and conditions of employment. It provides remedies for unfair dismissals, and entitlement to an amount of severance pay. It also regulates health and safety in the workplace. The Labour Law, however, does not apply to the public sector, charities or churches. Employment-related disputes are heard by Labour Tribunals or the Grand Court. Other pieces of labour legislation include:

The Workmen’s Compensation Law (1996 Revision), which applies to employment injuries

The Gender Equality Law 2011, which provides remedies related to workplace discrimination on prohibited grounds.

Employers are generally required to provide a written statement of working conditions within 10 days of hiring.

 

The Labour Law sets out grounds for fair or justified dismissals, such as serious misconduct or redundancy. Employees who have been continuously employed with their employer for more than one year are entitled to severance pay in the amount of one week’s pay, at the employee’s latest basic wage, for each completed year of employment. An employee who has been unfairly dismissed may be awarded compensation by the Labour Tribunal not to exceed one week’s pay per completed year of service. 

 

The Labour Law provides for 12 weeks’ maternity pay (20 days at full pay, 20 days at half pay and 20 days’ unpaid) and 9 weeks in respect of adoption leave (15 paid days). There is also 5 days paid compassionate leave and 10 days paid sick leave.

Work permits for all non-Caymanians employed in the private sector are required. An application for a full permit may take about 4-6 weeks to process while short-term temporary permits take less time to obtain. Permits are ordinarily renewable for a maximum of seven years, but may in some circumstances be extended for a further period.

Although one does not currently exist, a $6 per hour minimum wage has been recommended as recently as April 2015. There would likely be exceptions; however, no further details are available at this time.

Pension Overview

 

The National Pensions Law (2012 Revision) requires every employer to provide either a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan. The employer selects the pension plan that will be offered, after consulting with employees. Employers must make contributions on behalf of every employee with limited exceptions. The exceptions include employees who do not have Caymanian status or are not permanent residents and have been working for nine months or less or who do housework in a private residence.

 

Pension coverage is therefore compulsory for all eligible employees. Employers are permitted to amend a plan or change providers as long as an agreement has been reached with employees and the proper process followed.

 

Both the employer and employee are required to contribute at least 5% of an employee’s earnings, up to a maximum amount. Together, the employer and employee make contributions of at least 10% of pensionable earnings. Self-employed persons must contribute a minimum of 10% of their pensionable earnings to a registered pension plan.

 

​Social Security Benefits

 

There is no social security tax in the Cayman Islands. However, employers must provide pension plans for their employees. Residents are also required by law to maintain a minimum level of health insurance coverage.

 

Curacao

 

Labour Overview 

Employees to whom the Labor Regulation 2000 (Arbeidsregeling 2000) applies, are employees who earn less than a certain annual income. Distinction is made between schedule workers and non-schedule workers. Schedule workers are employees who work in accordance with a recurrent schedule (timetable) outside of regular office hours. Scheduled and non-scheduled workers have different provisions re working hours, periods of rest and breaks.

 

As of 1 January 2012, the minimum wage is ANG 7.68 (approximately USD 4.2) per hour for employees who are 21 years or older.

 

All employees are entitled to an amount of vacation days per year equal to at least three times the contracted number of working days per week.

 

When terminating employees, there are generally four ways to terminate an employment agreement:

 

  1. Termination by giving notice

  2. Termination by mutual consent

  3. Dissolution of the employment agreement by the Court of First Instance of Curacao

  4. Immediate termination of the employment agreement, due to an urgent reason, justifying an immediate termination.

When an employment agreement is terminated by giving notice, the amount of notice is related to the employee’s years of service, is as follows:

 

1 month’s notice for employees with less than 5 years’ service;

 

2 months’ notice for employees with 5-10 years’ service;

 

3 months’ notice for employees with 10-15 years’ service;

 

4 months’ notice for employees with more than 15 years’ service

 

Where an employment agreement is terminated through no fault of the employee’s, a one-time payment (known as “cessantia”) may be due to an employee who has completed at least one year of service. The payment is based on years of service and the employee must claim it within one year of termination of the agreement.

 

Dominica

 

Labour Overview 

The Labour Standards Act stipulates working hours, break times and overtime rate. The Labour Contracts Act requires the employer to give an employee, as far as is possible, a minimum amount of notice of the requirement to work overtime.

The Labour Standards Act also provides for maternity leave for employees who have completed one year of continuous employment, some of which is paid. The Act also provides that employees are entitled to 2 paid weeks vacation for service under 5 years and 3 paid weeks for 5 years of service and over.

Labour Standards (Minimum Wage) Order, 2008 establishes minimum wage for different job categories.

 

The Public Holidays Act, Chapter 19:10 provides for 12 paid public holidays, provided the worker works on the working days prior to and after the holiday.

The Labour Contracts Act/Protection of Employment Act provides that an employee who has been continuously employed for not less than three years and has been terminated on account of redundancy, is entitled to a redundancy benefit, in the amount set out in the Act.

 

Pension Overview

 

Pensions Act, Chapter 23:80 governs pensions of government officials. The Overseas Officers Pensions  Act, Chapter 23:82 governs pensions of certain officials.

 

Currently, no legislation exists to regulate pension plans in the private sector. However, Dominica is part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement.

 

We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

Social Security Benefits

 

The National Provident Fund (NPF) is a contributory fund whereby workers contribute 5% of their income and employers contribute another 5%. The NPF contributions paid into the fund are treated as savings with a 3% rate of interest. Upon retirement, the worker is given a lump-sum refund of contributions along with the accrued interest.

 

The maximum monthly salary on which contributions are payable is $6,000.

 

Social Security Contributions

 

The Social Security benefits are as follows:

 

Sickness and Maternity Benefits – Generally paid for a short duration of time to partially replace employment income lost due to temporary absence from work

 

Employment Injury Benefit, Disablement Benefit, Death Benefit, Medical Expenses Benefit which are usually payable as a direct consequence of an occupational hazard.

 

Age Benefit, Invalidity Benefit, Survivors Benefit are generally payable for a short period.

 

A Funeral Grant is paid upon the death of a member, his/her dependent spouse and dependent children subject to applicable Social Security regulations

 

Grenada

 

Labour Overview 

Minimum Wage Order No. 11 of 2002 Laws of Grenada sets out the minimum wages for a number of different types of workers, such as agricultural workers, domestic works, shop assistants and construction workers, just to name a few.

 

The Employment Act No. 14 of 1999 (as amended by Section 5 of the Employment (Amendment) (1999) Act No.10 of 2000) describes the maximum weekly working hours for different types of workers. The Act sets out rules for overtime pay and public holiday pay. It also describes annual vacation leave.

 

The Bank Holidays Act Chapter No. 27 of 1958, as amended,  provides for 13 public holidays.

The Employment Act 1999, as amended by the Employment (Amendment) No. 21 Act, 2000, provides for the right to maternity leave, maternity pay and job protection, once the requirements to take leave are met.

The Act sets out provisions for unjustified dismissals, including available remedies. It sets out provisions for justified dismissals as well and the grounds which would not be considered justified, such as those based on race, colour or marital status. The Act sets out termination allowances.

 

Pension Overview

 

Private pension plans are governed by Part VIII of Chapter 150, Insurance Act. The Act sets out that plans are to be registered and the criteria that must be met in order to be registered. It also requires amendments to be registered. The Act also allows for cancellations of plan registrations, fees payable and the Superintendent’s powers, among others. The Fourth Schedule to the Actsets out the type of assets in which the plan may be invested.

Applications for registration of a pension fund plan must be addressed to the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN) who will register the plan if it is satisfied that the plan has qualified for registration in accordance with the Insurance Act.

In order to secure the benefit of income tax exemptions, plans must be approved by the Comptroller of Inland Revenue in accordance with Section 48 of the Income Tax Act, No. 36 of the 1999 Laws of Grenada. The income of approved Pension Plans are exempt from income tax, as is stated in Section 25 (1) (m) of the Income Tax Act.

Note that Grenada is part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

 

Pension plans of public officers and other public officials is governed by a myriad of legislation, such as the Overseas Public Officers’ Pensions Act, Chapter 222 and Pension (Members of Parliament) Act, Chapter 232.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

Every business must register under the National Insurance Scheme (regulated by Act No. 14 of 1983, Cap. 205). Pension payments are made by the National Insurance Scheme from the contributions of Employees and Employers. The amount of pension is: 16% of average annual insurable earnings plus 1% of average insurable earnings for each unit of 25 contributions subsequent to the first 150 and up to the next 300; and 1% of the average insurable earnings for each unit of 50 contributions over the next 500 contributions. Maximum pension is 60% of annual insurable earnings

 

Guyana

 

Labour Overview 

The Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act stipulates notice period, conditions to allow for redundancy and termination, the requirement to consult with a union prior to severing for redundancy, and the formula for redundancy benefits. It sets out reasons that do not constitute good or sufficient cause for dismissal or disciplinary action.

The Labour Act makes provisions concerning industrial disputes. It empowers designated officers to enter any premises where workers are employed to conduct inspections of the premises to ensure compliance with regulations concerning wages, hours of work and other conditions of service.  

 

The Holidays with Pay Act sets out entitlement to annual holiday for workers while the Wages Council Act sets out minimum wages to be paid to various categories of workers.

The Licensed Premises Act and the Labour (Conditions of Employment of Certain Workers) Act sets out hours of work and other conditions of service for workers employed in hotels, spirit shops, restaurants, parlours and taverns.

 

The Employment of Young Persons and Children Act sets the minimum age for admission to employment and other conditions for employment of young persons and children.

The Prevention of Discrimination Act provides for the elimination of discrimination in employment, training, recruitment and membership of professional bodies as well as the promotion of equal pay to men and women who perform work of equal value

The Accidental Death and Workmen’s Compensation Act sets out what should and should not be taken into account when awarding damages for industrial death or injury. It allows persons to sue for compensatory damages notwithstanding that they receive compensation from the state operated insurance scheme.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers and employees to ensure a safe work environment and for the appointment of safety committees in workplaces.

 

Pension Overview

 

Private Pension Funds are regulated by the Insurance Act 1998 and by the Savings Schemes Act, 1983. Together with the Income Tax Act 1929 these two pieces of legislation form the principal laws that govern private pension schemes in Guyana.

 

Pension plans are addressed in Part XVI of the Insurance Act, 1998 (sections 101 to 113). These provisions mostly deal with plan registration

Public Sector Pension funds are governed by a wide cross section of Acts. See for example, Teachers’ Pension Act, Ch. 39:05 which governs pensions for teachers.

 

There is a draft Pensions Act, which is currently being circulated as part of the consultation process. The legislation concerns the regulation of private pension schemes and the consolidation of existing legislation governing this sector. It is not available for public consultation yet.

Pension plans are addressed in Part XVI of the Insurance Act, 1998 (sections 101 to 113). These provisions mostly deal with plan registration

 

Public Sector Pension funds are governed by a wide cross section of Acts. See for example, Teachers’ Pension Act, Ch. 39:05 which governs pensions for teachers.

 

There is a draft Pensions Act, which is currently being circulated as part of the consultation process. The legislation concerns the regulation of private pension schemes and the consolidation of existing legislation governing this sector. It is not available for public consultation yet.

Social Security Benefits

 

The National Insurance Scheme requires employee contributions of 5.6% of actual wage/salary up to a ceiling of $158,159.00 per month ($36,498.00 per week) as of January 2014 and employer contributions of 8.4%.

 

​The pension related benefits include:

 

Old Age Pension

 

The Insured Person must have, at a minimum, paid not less than 150 contributions. Additionally, the insured person must have paid or been credited with, or paid and been credited with not less than 750 contributions.

 

The weekly rate of Old Age Pension is 40% of the relevant wage, supplemented by an additional 1% of that wage for each group of fifty Contributions in excess of seven hundred and fifty (750) Contributions.

 

 Old Age Grant (lump sum)

 

The Insured Person must have paid not less than fifty (50) contributions. Old Age Grant is a lump-sum payment equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the Average Annual Insurable Earnings for each group of fifty (50) Contributions, whether paid or credited or paid and credited.

 
 

Haiti

 

Labour Overview

Employment relationships are established and regulated by special legislation of the “Labor Code of 1984”. The Ministry of Social Affairs is responsible for enforcing the provisions of this legislation and to maintain a climate of trust between management and workers.

In all agricultural, industrial and commercial establishments, the normal working day is 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. Hours worked beyond the normal hours are paid at time and a half.

 

Night shift work, that being shifts between 6pm and 6am, must be compensated at a minimum, time and a half of the day shift rate.

The Code also addresses rest periods, that being, 24 hours off (Sunday) after a period of six (6) consecutive working days in a week.

 

The Labor Code provides for annual leave of at least fifteen (15) days per year (thirteen days and two Sundays). In the case of irregular employment, the Code provide for the calculation of annual leave.

 

The worker is also entitled to (15) paid days of sick leave per year provided the required documentation is submitted. Sick days are not cumulative so they do not carry over into the next year.

 

Women that are pregnant are entitled to maternity leave of six (6) paid weeks paid, or up to three (3) month upon satisfying certain conditions.

There are 12 public holidays a year. Employees who work on a holiday must be paid at time and a half, in addition to any other premiums payable to them, such as night shift premium or overtime rate.

Haitian law recognizes and protects freedom of association. It gives workers the right to organize unions and negotiate collective agreements eventually. In the event of a labour dispute, the Department of Labor Ministry of Social Affairs, once informed of the dispute, asks the Department of Labor Inspection to conduct an investigation to determine the causes.

All workers are entitled to a minimum wage by law. The Haitian worker also receives at the end of the calendar year, particularly in the last week of December, an additional salary or bonus.

 

Pension Overview

 

There is little supplemental private pensions market in Haiti, partly because there is no legislation to encourage its development and partly because there is no demand. It is understood that there are a few individual private pension products that exist which have been arranged through general agents of foreign insurers but there are not enough of these to constitute a market.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

The social protection of workers includes pension insurance, health insurance, maternity insurance, insurance against accidents at work, health card, the legal benefits in cases of unfair dismissal, etc.

Summary of Social Obligations:

 

Any company operating in Haiti must assume certain payroll taxes, including:

 

a) The annual bonus, or one twelfth of the total annual compensation, payable between 23 and December 31 of each year.

 

b) The annual leave of fifteen (15) paid days in which all workers are entitled;

c) The payroll tax used to finance vocational training of workers in companies, the sole responsibility of employers in the amount of 2% of monthly wages paid by the company;

 

d) The maternity leave of six (6) weeks paid which the pregnant woman is eligible;

 

e) Health cards the sole responsibility of the employer and mandatory for any worker within three (3) consecutive months;

 

f) The sick leave of fifteen (15) days with pay, which can run up to three (3) months, upon presentation of required documentation;

 

g) The medical department of the company the sole responsibility of the employer;

 

h) Insurance against accidents, sickness and maternity, the sole responsibility of the employer, 2% of wages paid for the business sector, 3% for agricultural, industrial, construction and agencies shipping lines, 6% for mining companies;

 

i) Old-age insurance and disability payable monthly in equal parts by the employer and the worker 2-6% each, according to salary levels, etc.

 

OR

 

In Haiti there are two obligatory regulations addressing retirement, one for private employees and one for public servants. Neither law covers self-employed.

 

The Statutory law of the Department of Social affairs of August 28th, 1967, is the legislation in force in Haiti applicable to all private employers. It replaced the Decree of November 8th, 1965 creating the Retirement Insurance Office. It is an obligatory State owned retirement insurance policy to which employers and employees are required to subscribe.

 

Private employees belong to ONA (Office National d’Assurance Vieillesse). Contributions are 6% of base salary from each of the employer and employee.

 

The retirement benefit is equal to 1/3 of the average salary of the employee during the last 10 years preceding retirement.

 

Public Servants belong to the Fonds de Pension Civile de Retraite.

 

The Decree amending the legislation governing the Retirement Civil Pension, is the legislation governing the retirement pension of public servants. This law replaced several laws that once governed the pension fund of public servants in Haiti. The first legislation is the Decree of March 31st, 1975, on Retirement Civil Pension.

 

Contributions are in the amount of 8%of the salaries of all Government employees and officials including the Autonomous Public Bodies not subject to a special pension scheme. There is no cap on the public servant’s contribution.

 

Public Servants who are 55 years old and have 25 years of service in the public administration are entitled to receive 60% of their weighted average salary of the last 5 years of work without exceeding the stipulated maximum. However, if the salaries of the last five years are not the highest remuneration of the petitioner, the calculation will be the average of wages earned for three highest years.

Jamaica

 

Labour Overview

In Jamaica, many pieces of legislation govern the employment context. Some of these include:

Employment (Equal Pay For Men and Women) Act

Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payments) Act

Factories Act

Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Act

Holidays with Pay Act

Maternity Leave Act

Minimum Wage Act

 

Employment (Termination and Redundancy) Payments Act, 1974 applies to all workers including household workers, but excludes civil service workers in central and local government departments. The Act provides for payment to workers dismissed for reasons of redundancy and upon meeting the qualifications. Payment is based on years of service.

The Holiday with Pay Act, 1974 sets out the conditions under which workers are entitled to holidays and sick leave with pay or such gratuities and benefits as may be determined. The Holidays with Pay Order regulates the granting of paid vacation leave and paid sick leave. It stipulates the minimum vacation leave to be granted and the method of qualifying.

The Minimum Wage Act, 1938 allows for the fixing of minimum wages to be paid to certain categories of workers.

 

The Maternity Leave Act, 1979 states that a female worker is entitled to three (3) months maternity leave, part of which is paid, irrespective of whether or not she is married. The leave does not constitute a break in the worker’s employment. To qualify for maternity leave the worker must be at least 18 years old, have one year of service and work a minimum of 18 hours per week. She must also provide certain documentation to her employer. A worker may be able to extend the initial 12 week maternity leave for medical reasons upon presenting the required documentation.

 

Pension Overview

 

The Financial Services Commission of Jamaica supervises and regulates the private pensions industry. Private pensions are governed by Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirements Schemes) Act of 2004. The Act provides requirements for the licensing, operation and supervision of private pension funds. There are four regulations made under this Act:

 

The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Registration, Licensing And Reporting) Regulations

The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Governance)Regulations

The Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Investment)Regulations

Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Schemes) (Specified Pension Fund And Specified Pension Schemes) Regulations (“Specified Plans Regulations”).

Social Security Benefits

 

Under the Jamaica National Insurance Scheme, a person is entitled to a retirement benefit if he or she has reached retirement age as follows:

 

  • For a man, 65 years and over

  • For a woman who is aged 60 or over and who in either case has made the required NIS contributions and has ceased gainful employment permanently.

  • Individuals who continue to work, will continue to make contributions while gainfully employed until aged 65 (woman) or 70 (man).

 

To qualify for a pension payable for life an individual must have made a minimum of 156 contributions (made on a weekly basis) with an average of at least 13 per year. When contributions are inadequate for a pension, a one-time grant may be awarded provided the contributor had made a minimum 52 weekly contributions.

 

A widow/widower who has made at least 156 contributions but whose contributions would not be adequate to enable her/him to receive a pension may substitute the deceased spouse’s contributions provided they were paid during the period of their marriage or three years (or more) union . This arrangement assists her/him in satisfying the contribution requirement for retirement pension. A person in receipt of a retirement or invalidity pension may also qualify for a widow’s/ widower’s pension.

 

The spouse of a deceased NIS contributor may claim the widow/ widower’s benefit. A husband/wife must have paid at least 156 weekly contributions with an average of at least 13 a year. There are special rules governing qualifying for and receiving payment of this benefit.

 

An Invalidity Benefit may be paid to:

 

  1. A man who is under 65 years

  2. A woman who is under 60 years who can no longer work due to mental or physical illness.

 

A person claiming invalidity benefit must have been incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks before the date of his claim. There are contribution requirements to be met as well. A grant may be awarded if the contribution falls below the minimum required for a pension.

 

A pensioner may be paid a spouse allowance if he/she supports a dependent spouse who is 55 (female) or 60 (male) years and over. Those pensioners who reside abroad can still receive a pension or appoint a local agent to collect it.

 

St. Kitts

 

Labour Overview

 

The Labour (Minimum Wage) Act, Cap. 18.19 of the 2002 Revised Edition of the Laws of St Christopher and Nevis, establishes minimum wages for different types of workers.  In 2010, the minimum wage of many of these workers was made uniform.

By the protection of Wages Ordinance 1967, an employee is not entitled to maternity leave of 13 weeks unless she has worked for the employer for not less than 150 days in the one year period immediately preceding her leave. It is illegal to dismiss an employee on maternity leave. There is no law for paternity leave.

 

Under the Holidays with Pay Act, once a person has worked continuously for over one year, he is entitled to 14 vacation days not including Sundays and Public Holidays. Of course it is possible for an employer to give more than the minimum. There are 9 public holidays, under the Public Holidays Order.

 

In the case of termination, the Ordinance requires the employer to provide the employee wages and other benefits to which the employee is entitled during the period of notice and sets out the amount of termination pay required, which varies depending on length of service. In addition to termination pay, the Ordinance provides for severance pay in certain circumstances.

 

Pension Overview

 

Currently, no legislation exists to regulate pension plans in the private sector. However, St. Kitts is part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement.

 

We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

The long term benefits provided by the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board include:

 

Invalidity Benefit– this benefit is payable to insured persons who have been medically declared invalid and are under the age of 62.

 

Age Benefit– this is payable to an insured person who has attained the age of 62 and has been credited at least 500 contributions. He or she becomes entitled to a monthly age pension for the duration of his or her life.

Assistance Benefit– this type of benefit is payable to a widow, widower, child or dependent parent of a deceased insured person

 

Survivors’ Benefit– this type of benefit is payable to persons who are over 62 years of age and who have not qualified for the regular Age Pension from Social Security.

 

There are also two types of non-contributory pensions paid by the Social Security Fund. They are Assistance Pension and Invalidity Assistance.

 

​Assistance Pension

 

This is a monthly pension paid to persons who are over 62 years of age and who have not qualified for the regular Age Pension from Social Security. A successful applicant must be in need; not having a secure source of income and having no other means of support.

 

Invalidity Assistance

 

This is a monthly pension paid to persons who are between the ages of 16 and 62 years of age and who are unable to work, but who have not qualified for the regular Invalidity Benefit from Social Security. A successful applicant must be in need; not having a secure source of income and having no other means of support.

 

Current to May 2015, the rate of the non-contributory pensions is $250.00 per month.

 

There are two types of Age Benefits, for one of which a person reaching age 62 may qualify.  They are Age Grant or Age Pension (the latter is described above).

 

An Age Grant is payable as a lump sum payment of six times the average weekly wages for each unit of 50 contributions.  This is paid when the claimant fails to qualify for an Age Pension. The claimant must be age 62 or older and who has paid or credited to him 50-499 contributions into the Social Security Fund.

 

St. Lucia

 

Labour Overview 

 

Holidays with Pay Act cap. 16.11 provides for 14 holidays. With respect to vacation time, monthly paid workers entitled to 14 days with full pay for first 5 years and three weeks (21 days) thereafter. Daily paid workers entitled to 14 days vacation after 150 days worked.

The 1999 Minimum Wage Act established the minimum wage for different types of workers.

Unjustified dismissal (assumption – dismissal other than redundancy) are provided for in the Labour Act. The required notice, or payment in lieu, will depend on length of continuous employment with the employer.

 

In the case of redundancy, generally one week’s wages per year of service are payable to employees for continuous employment up to 3 years; two weeks’ wages for each year of service for service from year 3 to 7 and three weeks’ wages per year of service over seven years of continuous employment.

 

Three weeks’ wages for each period of 52 weeks of continuous employment covering a period in excess of 364 weeks.

 

Pension Overview

 

Currently, no legislation exists to regulate pension plans in the private sector. However, St. Lucia is part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement.

 

We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

Social Security Benefits

 

Contributions in the amount of 10% of insurable earnings are payable to the St. Lucia National Insurance Corporation, with 5% to be contributed by the employee, matched by 5% from the employer. Self-employed and voluntary contributors are required to contribute the full 10%.

Retirement Pension. An age pension is a monthly allowance payable for life to an insured person who satisfies certain qualifying conditions. An employed person must have: Contributed to the National Insurance for a minimum of 180 months; and Attained the age of sixty-five (65) years. The rate of age pension is a percentage of the insured person’s average pensionable earnings in the best five years of contributions plus 0.1% for each month in excess of 180 months. If a person has contributed less than 180 months he/she would be qualified for an age grant. A Retirement Grant is a lump sum paid to an insured person who does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for an age pension.

 

Invalidity Pension. A person who is unable to work as a result of a specific disease; bodily or mental disablement which is likely to remain permanent, and is not caused as a result of employment injury. An insured person may qualify if:

 

  •  Is an invalid otherwise than as a result of Employment Injury.

  • Has paid contributions for not less than 60 months. 36 of these months must be in the last 60 months immediately preceding the month of invalidity.

  • Is under Pensionable age

  • Is not in receipt of Sickness Benefit

 

The rate of the Invalidity Benefit depends on the number of contributions the insured person has made and continues for as long as the incapacity continues or until the pensionable age at which time the benefit converts to a retirement pension.

 

Survivor Benefit. A survivor benefit is paid to a widow or widower or children of a deceased insured person, who met the qualifying conditions of either a pension or grant at the time of death. Aged parents or grandparents can be considered as dependents in some cases. The duration and amount of payment of the survivor benefit will depend upon the age of the survivor, whether the insured had dependent children as well as the age of the children. A survivor that is 55 yrs or over would be entitled to a pension for life unless the survivor remarries or cohabits with another person.

 

St. Maarten

 

With the introduction of the Labour regulation 2000 on August 1st 2000, a distinction was made between non-schedule workers and scheduled workers. A scheduled worker is an employee whose working hours fall completely or partially outside the normal office (business) hours. There are different rules for both groups with regard to working hours, timetables etc.

Effective September 2000, exceptions to the hours of work rules apply for businesses in the hotel, restaurant and casino industry. Domestic personnel also have separate rules.

Maternity leave. By article 1614ca of the Civil Code, a woman is entitled to full paid leave from a minimum of 4-6 weeks prior to birth (Pregnancy leave) in addition to a minimum of 6-8 weeks after birth (Maternity leave). It is also illegal to dismiss an employee on maternity leave. There is no law for paternity leave.

 

Holidays. Under the Vacation Regulation 1949, there are 12 statutory holidays listed. The Regulation also provides rules concerning vacation leave. A person who is working continuously for over one year is entitled to the number of contracted working days per week multiplied by three. (up to a maximum of 15 days) Of course it is possible for an employer to give more that that required by the regulation.

 

An employee, whose working relationship terminates other than through his or her own fault, is entitled to a severance pay. This right originates after the first full year of service of the employee.

 

When an employee is dismissed due to a reason, which is accountable to himself or herself, he or she cannot derive any rights from the Severance Ordinance. This is the case, for example, when an employee is dismissed on the spot due to a legally urgent reason, like a serious form of theft.

 

An employee also doesn’t have a right to severance pay when he or she quits a job, unless the end of the working relationship was due to an urgent reason caused by an act of the employer.

Whether or not one is entitled to a severance pay, it does not matter if the employee is in permanent service, or works on the basis of a temporary contract (provided that the duration of it is longer than one year).

Public servants or employees working in the public sector and teachers in subsidized denominational education are not entitled to severance pay.

When an employee passes away, there is no right to severance pay for the next of kin. On the other hand, when an (former) employee already had a severance claim on the (former) employer, at the moment of his passing away, his next of kin (like his wife or children) can claim the right to this payment.

Furthermore, there is no need to pay severance pay if the employee receives at the end of his service a pension or a benefit by way of a pension. The amount of this pension or benefit has to be the same or more than the amount of the then valid legal old-age pension. If the legal old-age pension is deducted as a whole or partially form the above-mentioned company pension or benefit by way of a pension, this pension or benefit must be at least the same as twice the amount of the then valid legal old-age pension.

Whether or not one is entitled to severance pay is not attached to a certain age, like reaching the majority age or the pensionable age.

The amount of severance pay is generally calculated in accordance with the Ordinance. The employee must claim his severance pay from the employer within one year; otherwise his right to severance will become superannuated.

 

If an employer becomes insolvent, has asked for a letter of license, or is in a position where he has stopped paying (this is to be judged by the Social Security Bank), the employee can make a claim on the Social Security Bank (Severance fund), however, up to a certain amount.

There are different rules for termination of a fixed (temporary) and a non-fixed (permanent) period contract.  There are also special rules concerning extensions of fixed period labour agreements – see Ordinance Flexibilization of the Labour legislation (August 1, 2000).


 

Social Security Benefits

 

Old Age, Widow & Orphans Pension. Each worker must be insured for old age pension and survivor (widow and orphans) pension.  In respect of contributions to XXX, employees are required to contribution 6.5% of their earnings, with 6% made in respect of old age pension and 0.5% for the survivor pension. Employers are require to contribute 7.5%, with 7% going to old age and 0.5% to survivor pension. There is a maximum salary on which contributions are to be made.

 

Sickness Insurance

 

Each worker earning less than the threshold amount, must be insured through the Social Security Bank by his / her employer. This insurance protects low income persons against cost of medical care and loss of income.

 

Accident Insurance

 

Each worker, regardless of his income, must be insured through the Social Security Bank against on-the-job accidents. The premium depends on the risks related to the job and is to be paid by the employer on a basis of 0.5% to 5% calculated on a fixed threshold amount.

 

Trinidad & Tobago 

 

Labour Overview 

 

The Minimum Wages Order under the Minimum Wages Act, Chapter 88:04, prescribes the normal daily and weekly hours of work, overtime hours as well as breaks and rest periods.

Maternity rights are set out in the Maternity Protection Act, 1998. An employee is entitled to thirteen (13) weeks maternity leave. During the period of maternity leave, an employer is required to pay a minimum amount of pay. An employee who takes maternity leave is also entitled to National Insurance Benefits. Should the payments made by the employer combined with the National Insurance Benefits be less than what the employee’s full pay would have been for the thirteen (13) week period, the employer is obliged to pay the difference. Paternity leave is not provided for under the Act.

 

There are fourteen paid public holidays. However, Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday (the two days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday) are not statutory holidays but are de facto holidays.

 

Vacation leave is not legislated in Trinidad & Tobago.  It is a matter left to the discretion of the employer to be agreed with the employee.  Although it varies from one industry to another, it is normal that an employee who has:

  • 5 years or less service is allowed ten working days per year;

  • 5 – 10 years of service is allowed fifteen working days per year; and

  • Above 15years service, 22 working days per year.

 

There is no set severance formula. If an employee is of the opinion that he has been dismissed unfairly, there are two options available to him under the laws of Trinidad & Tobago – a claim in the High Court pursuant to the general laws (common law) relating to contracts and a claim in the Industrial Court under the Industrial Relations Act.

Pension Overview

 

Private occupational pension plans are required to be registered under the Insurance Act, Chapter 84:01. A new Occupational Pensions Plan Act is under development and will modernize pensions in Trinidad by providing for the regulation and supervision of occupational pension plans, in line with best practices internationally.

 

The Pensions Act, Chapter 23:52, addresses pensions for public officers. The compulsory retirement age for public sector workers is age 60.

 

Social Security Benefits

 

The government provides a non-contributory pension scheme. The National Insurance Actprovides for a system of compulsory national insurance to insure against the loss of earnings due to sickness, pregnancy, invalidity, death or retirement of or injury to an employee. The employer must register with the National Insurance Board and must also register each of its employees. Contributions are usually reviewed every year; however, the employer’s weekly contribution is usually twice that of the employee’s. 

 

The Act also provides for the collection of a health surcharge from employees which shall be paid into a consolidated fund for the provision of health services in Trinidad & Tobago. All employed persons whose monthly pay exceeds $469.00 or weekly pay exceeds $109.00 are to pay the sum of $8.25 per week.  All other employees are required to pay the sum of $4.80 per week. This sum is to be deducted from the employee’s salary.

 

Turks & Caicos

 

Labour Overview 

Chapter 17.08 Employment Ordinance (Ordinance 21 of 2004) sets out what must be included in a written contract of employment, if one is utilized. Among other features, the legislation provides that minors, being those under age 16, can only enter into an employment contract on the written consent of a parent or guardian or where neither are present, the Commissioner of Labour. The Ordinance provides for maternity leave of 14 weeks, provided the employee has been continuously employed for at least a year. It contains provisions concerning minimum wages and salary, holiday pay, severance and protection against discrimination in employment.

 

Pension Overview

 

There is currently no legislation addressing private sector retirement arrangements.

 

Pensions for public servants are addressed in Chapter 21.11 Pensions Ordinance, Revised Edition, describing the law as at 31 August 2009.

Social Security Benefits

 

Contributions of 3.4% on average weekly earnings are payable by the employee and 4.6% by the employer, up to a maximum amount, to the Turks & Caicos Islands National Insurance Board.

 

A Retirement Pension is payable to insured persons who have at least 500 paid or credited contributions. The amount of the pension will increase for each unit of 50 contributions in excess of 500 contributions. The minimum amount of pension is fixed at 30% of the insured person’s average weekly earnings or $50.00 per week, and the maximum amount is fixed at 60%.

 

An insured person who reaches age 65 and does not satisfy the contribution conditions for a Retirement Pension, but has at least 50 contributions (one year) will be entitled to a Retirement Grant, which is a one-time lump sum payable to the insured person.

 

A Non-Contributory Old Age Pension may be available for individuals who cannot satisfy the conditions for entitlement to a Retirement Pension but who have attained the age of 68 years and satisfy certain residency conditions.

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