Global PEO Services (GPS) helps companies hire employees in Jamaica without establishing a legal entity. All human resources, benefits, payroll, and tax needs for the employees are managed by the Global PEO, while the new hires and headquarter teams focus on your business goals.
When hiring employees in Jamaica, establishing a subsidiary or branch office is not always the best route, as it’s often a lengthy and expensive process. Hiring via a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), or Employer of Record (EOR), is a faster and often more effective option – especially when starting up in a new country.
Global PEO Services hires the employees on your behalf, legally contracting them through our subsidiary in accordance with Jamaica labor laws. As a result, the burden of compliance is on us and the employees can begin work for your company in a matter of days. PEOs/EORs provide you with a streamlined option for hiring employees, testing markets, and responding to growing business needs in Jamaica. With Global PEO Services, you get control without taking on legal entity liabilities, contractor risks, or sacrificing on talent or speed to market.
Jamaica - Country Overview
Jamaica is a picturesque Caribbean island nation with rich reserves of natural resources. Bauxite mining, agriculture, and tourism are its most prominent industries. The government of Jamaica is committed to attract foreign investment, and currently, there are no industry sectors reserved for local investments. The country’s growing financial sector facilitates businesses to use a wide range of instruments for credit expansion. Foreign trade is important for the Jamaican economy as the value of imports and exports add up to 78% of its GDP.
Jamaican Dollar (JMD)
Jamaican Patois, Jamaican Standard English (JSE)
Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy
Spanish Town, Portmore, Montego Bay, Mandeville
Employment Contracts in Jamaica
In Jamaica, an employment contract can be written or verbal. Individuals who offer their services come under one of the three types of contracts.
- Contract of Service – Under this contract, a worker is identified as an employee of the person or institution that hires their services. All statutory deductions apply for the employer and employee under this contract, and the employee receives all the benefits of regular employment including vacation leave, maternity leave, sick leave, and retirement benefits.
- Contract for Services – This contract assumes that individuals offering their services are running an independent unit (such as a business) and responsible for filing returns under a self-assessment system. Therefore, this is not the regular employer-employee relationship as the individuals offering services do not hold an integral position in the employer’s organization. Those individuals are, however, allowed to work with more than one employer or organization at a time.
- Contract for Personal Service – Verbal contracts in Jamaica are usually for personal services. It can be for services of a clerical, technical, administrative or managerial nature. Other than income tax and education tax, an individual is treated as a self-employed for other statutory deductions under this type of contract. While the payer (employer) is responsible for deducting income tax of a person under this contract, the individuals offering services under it need to pay education tax to Jamaica’s tax administration.
Working Hours in Jamaica
In Jamaica, the standard work schedule is 8 hours per day, and the standard workweek comprises 40 hours.
Any work done beyond 8 hours per day or 40 hours in a week or any work done on a Sunday, holiday or rest day is called overtime.
Employee Leave in Jamaica
Employers need to give employees fully paid public holidays on the following days:
- Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
- Ash Wednesday
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- May 23: Labor Day
- Aug. 1: Emancipation Day
- Aug. 6: Independence Day
- October: National Heroes’ Day (Dates vary)
- Dec. 25: Christmas Day
- Dec. 26: Boxing Day
All employers need to give paid annual leave to employees at the following rates:
- 1 day’s paid annual leave for every 22 days of work when an employee works more than 110 days but less than 220 days.
- 2 weeks of paid vacation for employees working a minimum of 220 days.
- 3 weeks of paid vacation for employees if they have worked 220 days or more for the last 10 years.
Employers need to grant 52 weeks of maternity leave to pregnant employees. The maternity benefit paid to such an employee is 8 weeks of National Minimum Wage.
The law in Jamaica does not provide any provision for paternity leave.
Employers are required to give employees who have served at least 110 days, one day’s paid sick leave per 22 days worked. After a year of employment, employers are required to give employees 2 weeks of paid sick leave per year. Sick leave is paid at the rate of an employee’s regular remuneration.
Employee Benefits in Jamaica
- Qualifying Condition – Men and women of age 65 years with minimum 1,443 weeks of paid contributions, which includes an annual average of 39 weeks of paid or credited contributions.
- Pension – The benefit amount that qualified persons of old age receive is J$2,400 per week in addition to J$0.06 a week for every J$13 of employer/employee contributions during the work tenure.
- Lump Sum on Retirement – J$40,000 is paid as a lump sum.
- Survivor Pension – A survivor receives a basic benefit of J$2,400 a week if the deceased paid or got 39 weeks of contributions. If the average annual contributions are for 26 weeks to 38 weeks, the benefit amount gets reduced to J$1,800. The benefit is J$1,200 a week with 10 to 25 weeks of contribution. In addition to this amount, the survivor also receives J$0.06 a week for every J$13 of entire contributions paid during the tenure.
- Survivor Settlement – A lump sum amount of J$ 40,000 is paid.
- Remarriage Settlement – A year’s pension is paid as a lump sum amount.
- Orphan’s Pension – For orphans younger than 18 years of age, J$4,200 a week is paid.
- Orphan’s Settlement – J$48,000 a week is paid for orphans younger than 18 years.
- Special Child’s Benefit – Until a child reaches the age of 18 years, he or she receives J$4,200 a week. A lump sum of J$48,000 is paid in case the deceased mother did not qualify for a pension.
- Funeral Grant – The person who pays for the funeral receives a lump sum of J$ 70,000.
- Coverage – Includes employees in the age group of 18 to 70 for men, and 18 to 65 for women, but excluding unpaid family labor, military personnel, household workers, and self-employed persons.
- Temporary Disability Benefits – J$3,200 is payable for up to 52 weeks but after an initial waiting period of 3 days.
- Permanent Disability Benefits – At an assessed disability of 10%, J$320 is paid, up to J$3,200. The amount would correspond to the assessed degree of disability of up to 100%.
- Workers’ Medical Benefits – The National Insurance Scheme provides a wide range of benefits for workers injured on the job. The rate at which these benefits are provided is decided by the relevant Ministry. The benefits include payment for treatment expenses, appliances, hospitalization, drugs and rehabilitation.
- Survivor Benefits in the Case of Fatal Injury – A widow or widower of any age, and if there is no surviving spouse the guardian of children or a dependent mother aged 55 years or more, or surviving children are eligible for the survivor benefit. A lump sum of J$166,400 is payable to the survivor as the benefit.
- Funeral Grant in the Case of Fatal Injury – Lump sum payment of J$70,000 to the person who bears full or part of the funeral expenses. This benefit is not payable if the death occurred when the employee was abroad.