British Virgin Islands

Overview

The British Virgin Islands’ economy is one of the most prosperous economies in the Caribbean and is primarily dependent on financial services which account for nearly 60 percent of government revenues while the rest is contributed by tourism.

Currency: United States Dollar ($)

Principal language: English

Government: Parliamentary Representative Democratic

Capital City: Road Town

Major Cities: Spanish Town, The Settlement, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke

Employment Contracts

Employers are required to provide written employment contracts that must contain details such as:

  • working conditions
  • general responsibilities and related duties
  • regular hours of work and rest periods
  • compensation
  • terms of employment
  • probationary period
  • employees’ leave and vacation privileges

Probationary periods of 4 months are common but can be extended up to 6 months for employees with a rank of a supervisor or above.

Work/Time Regulations

The regular work schedule in the British Virgin Islands has 8 hours per day and 40 hours a week. Employers are required to provide a 24-hour rest period to their employees for every 7 days of work unless stated otherwise in an employment contract.

Leave

Holidays
According to the Section 5 (b) of the Public Holidays Act (Cap 199), the following public holidays are observed in the British Virgin Islands:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Birth Anniversary of Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
  • Commonwealth Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Whit Monday
  • Sovereign’s Birthday
  • Territory Day
  • Festival Monday
  • Festival Tuesday
  • Festival Wednesday
  • St. Ursula’s Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Annual Leave
Under the Articles 11 & 13 of the Employment Law 2003, employees are entitled to 2 weeks’ paid leave in a year. According to the Article 14, employers are required to pay compensation for any unused annual leave during termination and can also direct an employee to pay for extra days of leave beyond the accrued annual leave.

Sick Leave
Employees who suffer an injury or get sick are entitled to sick leave of 12 days in a year if they have worked with an employer for at least 4 months. Part-time employees get sick leave if they:

  • Notify the employer of their illness on the 1st day of their absence, and
  • Submit a medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner

If a medical practitioner is not available, the certificate can be issued by a qualified nurse working with a government hospital, a public authority, or the BVI Health Services Authority within 2 days of illness.

Maternity Leave
Women employees are entitled to 13 weeks’ maternity leave after completing 12 months of continuous employment. Employees can take at least 6 weeks of leave after the expected date of delivery. If any pregnancy-related complications arise, the employer can provide an additional leave not more than 3 months. Employees are entitled to maternity benefits mentioned under the Social Security Ordinance. Employers are not allowed to terminate pregnant employees who are on maternity leave.

Paternity Leave
Fathers of newborn child/children are entitled to a paternity leave of 1 month within 6 months of the childbirth.

Benefits

Pension and Social Security

Pension
Under the Labor Code 2010, employers are required to provide retirement benefits via an annuity, a pension plan, provident fund, or any other retirement scheme.

Social Security Benefits
According to the Social Security (Benefits) Regulations, employees contribute 4% while employers are required to contribute 4.5% for maximum insurable wages of $39,468 (as of Jan. 1, 2015). If the insured is working with more than one employer, each employer is required to make contributions. If gross contributions exceed the maximum contributions payable, the Social Security Board refunds the excess.

Employees who are aged 65 and satisfy the contribution requirements are entitled to a pension/grant.

National Health Insurance (NHI)
Employees earning $1040 in a month are required to contribute $39 per month, and the same amount is contributed by the employer. The maximum amount on which NHI premiums are assessed is $6,716.68, twice the upper wage limit for social security contributions. The maximum amount of $251.87 can be paid by employees and the employer. Self-employed individuals are required to contribute 7.5% of their income. Medical treatment under NHI is capped at US$1,000,000 for a lifetime and remains subject to co-payments as follows:

  • 0% - community health clinics
  • 5% - public hospital
  • 10% - private clinics in network
  • 40% - private clinics out of network (with a US$100 deductible)
  • 20% - overseas clinics in the network (with a US$500 deductible)
  • 40% - overseas clinics out of network (need pre-approval by Medical Review Committee)

Healthcare
Free medical treatment is available to senior citizens (aged 65 or more), children (aged 16 or less), firemen, police officers, public health workers, prison officers, prisoners, indigent individuals, and the mentally ill at public facilities under the Public Hospital Ordinance (Cap 195). Others are required to pay for medical treatment at public health care facilities which are more affordable compared to private healthcare facilities.

How GPS can Help

With our Global PEO/Employer of Record services, companies can expand into British Virgin Islands and hire their employees without having to establish a branch office or subsidiary in British Virgin Islands.

  • Your candidate is hired via our British Virgin Islands PEO. If needed, we can also help you find the right talent in any country with our comprehensive global staffing services.
  • Your new employee begins work quickly as we take care of employment contracts, statutory and non-statutory benefits, and running their payroll - all in full compliance with British Virgin Islands laws.
  • Global PEO Services experts manage all day-to-day operational issues such as employee expenses, and severance/termination if required.
  • With no contractor risks, pass on the compliance burden to Global PEO Services.

Spin Off/M&A Support

  • Ensure continuity of payroll, benefits and HR support when acquiring or spinning off a business with employees overseas.

24/7 Support in 100+ Countries

  • Empower your teams with 24/7 support and a single point-of-contact model in which experienced client services directors are in continuous communication with information and advice.
  • We are backed by a mix of 300+ multidisciplinary experts from HR, Payroll, Finance, Tax, and Legal domains who are ready to respond to the expected and unexpected needs of your business on the shortest notice.

Easy Visibility into Your Employee Time & Attendance and Benefits Data
With our Global PEO, you get access to Mihi, our proprietary SaaS solution for time and attendance, vacation, leave management and benefits enrollment and management. Mihi enables clients to have easy access to employee data in real time. It is designed specifically for companies with a global workforce, especially when working in multiple countries with low headcount.

Ready for Growth When You Are
When ready, we can seamlessly transition you from the PEO/EOR model to your own legal entity and provide ongoing international HR, finance, legal, compliance and staffing support. Learn more about our end-to-end international expansion services.

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