Jamaica

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Country Snapshot

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

Termination of Employment

In Jamaica, a notice of dismissal must be provided to employees who have been continuously employed for at least 4 weeks. The period required for notice is as follows:

  • At least 2 weeks for employees with less than 5 years of tenure
  • At least 4 weeks for employees with between 5 and 10 years of tenure
  • At least 6 weeks for employees with between 10 and 15 years of tenure
  • At least 8 weeks for employees with between 15 and 20 years of tenure
  • At least 12 weeks for employees with over 20 years of tenure.

Employees who have been continuously employed for 4 weeks or longer cannot give less than 2 weeks' notice to terminate their employment contract.

The notice of dismissal is given in writing unless given in the presence of a credible witness. However, the notice period may be waived if the conduct of either party breaches the contract or causes harm to the employee/employer, or if a fixed-term contract has expired.

Work Permits

In Jamaica, individuals who wish to obtain a work permit must apply to the Work Permit Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS). The application must be sent through the applicant's legal representative, prospective employer, or contractor.

Employers who submit work permit applications on behalf of their prospective employees must submit a cover letter to the Permanent Secretary of the MLSS describing the following:

  • The reasons for the application
  • The duration of the work the employee will be doing
  • Efforts to recruit local individuals to do the work.

Applications for work permits on behalf of self-employed individuals must also be submitted with a cover letter describing the following:

  • The nature and duration of the work 
  • Certified copies of the applicant's credentials 
  • Two passport photographs
  • The individual's resume
  • The individual's police record.

To receive an extension, a person on a work visa must hold a passport valid for at least another 6 months, a work permit/exemption/receipt/letter from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and an entry visa (where applicable) based on the list of countries that require a visa before arrival.

Paid Annual Leave

In Jamaica, a pregnant woman who has been continually employed by an employer for at least 52 weeks is entitled to maternity leave. Seasonal workers whose work for an employer within 5 years adds up to 52 weeks are also entitled to maternity leave. The employee must notify the employer about the time she wishes to take off and provide a certificate from a registered medical practitioner if requested.

Those who meet the requirements for maternity leave receive 12 weeks. In some cases, the maternity leave can be extended by 60 days, but only for the following:

  • Illness arising from the pregnancy
  • Poor health of the child.

Working Hours

Jamaica's labor law allows employers and employees to define normal working hours up to a maximum of 12 hours per 24 hour period and up to 40 hours per week. Any work performed over 40 hours per week is generally eligible for overtime pay.

Maternity Leave

In Jamaica, a pregnant woman who has been continually employed by an employer for at least 52 weeks is entitled to maternity leave. Seasonal workers whose work for an employer within 5 years adds up to 52 weeks are also entitled to maternity leave. The employee must notify the employer about the time she wishes to take off and provide a certificate from a registered medical practitioner if requested.

Those who meet the requirements for maternity leave receive 12 weeks. In some cases, the maternity leave can be extended by 60 days, but only for the following:

  • Illness arising from the pregnancy
  • Poor health of the child.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Jamaica is determined by the Minimum Wage Advisory Commission and set forth in the Gazette by the Minister of Labor and Social Security. The national minimum wage, effective June 1, 2023, is JMD 13,000 (Jamaican dollars) per 40-hour week for all occupations except security guards. The minimum wage for security guards is JMD 14,000 per week.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Jamaica.
  • 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 Jamaica.