Barbados

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Barbados. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

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. 

Work Permits

Barbados offers 2 types of work permits: short-term and long-term. Short-term work permits are valid for a period up to 11 months. The employer or 'sponsor' has the responsibility to make the application on behalf of the employee. 

Paid Annual 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.

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. 

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.

Minimum Wage

Employers in Barbados are required to pay at least minimum wage to employees. As of April 2021, the current minimum wage is set as follows: 

  • BBD 340.00 (Barbados Dollars) for 40 hour work week
  • BBD 68.00 for an 8 hour workday where the employee is not employed on a weekly basis
  • BBD 8.50 per hour for where the employee is not employed on a weekly or daily basis.

Additionally, employers are required to provide at least minimum overtime wages. The minimum overtime rates are as follows: 

  • BBD 12.75 for ordinary working days
  • BBD 17.00 for Public Holidays. 

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Barbados.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Barbados.