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Employ Candidates Compliantly in Jamaica

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  1. Overview: Jamaica
  2. Global PEO and Payroll
  3. Global HR Compliance
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Jamaica

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Jamaica Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in Jamaica so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

We are experts in global workforce employment in Jamaica, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Jamaica.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in Jamaica. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in Jamaica or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Jamaica Guide

#Employment Agreements

Permanent employment contracts 

Employment contract should include the requirements, terms and conditions of employment, including inter alia:

  • General conditions of employment.
  • Job requirements and the person to whom the worker is directly responsible.
  • Disciplinary rules and the procedures for the examination of grievances.
  • Opportunities for promotion and training.
  • Social welfare services such as medical care, canteens, pensions, etc.
  • Occupational safety, health and welfare regulations.
  • Methods of consultation.
  • Any trade union arrangements.
  • The company’s personnel and industrial relations policies.

Casual employment contracts

Casual worker means a worker whose total period of employment in any week does not exceed eighteen hours. “Casual worker” means any worker who is employed from day to day, or for the performance of a particular task, which normally cannot be performed in less than one working day.

Fixed-term contracts

  • Valid cases for use of standard fixed term contracts (FTC): No restrictions.
  • Maximum number of successive standard FTCs (initial contract plus renewals and/or prolongations): No limit.
  • Maximum cumulated duration of successive standard FTCs: No limit.

Collective Agreements

There are a number of Trade Unions in Jamaica who may have bargaining rights over their members. They include the National Workers’ Union (NWU), the Union and Allied Workers Union (UAWU), The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), the Union of Technical Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (UTASP) and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU). Collective Agreements are not mandatory but are generally present when workers are members of a Union and said Union exercises bargaining rights in relation to those workers or those categories of workers.

#Employment Termination and Severance Pay (Dismissal)

An employee can resign at any time by notifying the employer that they will be leaving, and giving them the correct notice period.

An employer may dismiss an employee for gross misconduct. However, no worker should be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except in the case of gross misconduct. No definition of gross misconduct is provided within the Labour Relations Code. An employee is considered to be dismissed by their employer:

  • If the contract under which they are employed is terminated by the employer, either with or without notice.
  • If the contract under which they are employed for a fixed term expires without being renewed under the same contract.
  • If the employee is compelled, by reason of the employer’s conduct, to terminate that contract without notice.

Unjustified dismissal include:

  • Dismissal on the grounds of race, place of origin, political opinion, color or creed.
  • Dismissal in violation of a collective agreement.
  • Disciplinary breach of employment contract which is not proved by the employer.
  • Whistleblowing.
  • In general, when dismissal action is not based on reasonable grounds.

#Notice period

Employers are required to provide notice determined by the length of employment as follows:

  • Up to 5 years of employment entitles workers to 2 weeks’ notice.
  • 5-10 years entitles workers to four weeks’ notice.
  • 10-15 years entitles workers to 6 weeks’ notice.
  • 15-20 years entitles workers to 8 weeks’ notice.
  • 20 + years entitles workers to 12 weeks notice.

An employee who has been continuously employed for four weeks or more shall give not less than two weeks’ notice to terminate his contract of employment. Either party to a contract of employment can waive his or her right to notice at the time of termination or accept payment in lieu of notice.

#Severance payments

Severance pay is only required for cases of redundancy. Severance for redundancy is 2 weeks’ pay per year for the first 10 years and 3 weeks’ pay per year, from the 10th year onwards.

#Probationary period

There is no requirement for a probationary period; however, collective agreements generally stipulate a 3 to 6-month period.


Overtime work, under Jamaican labor laws, is defined as:

  • Work done during any period of a rest day.
  • Work done during any period on a Sunday, or a public holiday (e.g., Good Friday, Christmas Day).
  • Work done during any period exceeding 40+ hours in any week (excluding days in the aforementioned points).

#Work hours

Full-time employment is considered 40 hours weekly. Hours may be spread over 7 days if worker chooses.

#Annual leave

Employees are granted 2 weeks of paid leave per year. 3 weeks of paid leave is granted to employees with over 10 years of continuous service.

#Sick leave

Every employee who worked for his employer at least 110 days should get one sick day for every 22 days he/she worked. Once the employee completes a year of employment, he/she should get two weeks of annual sick leave.

#Parental leave

Maternity leave

Employees receive 56 days of paid maternity leave. For employees to receive benefits, they must have 52 weeks of continuous employment and provide notice to the employer.

Paternity leave

No Statutory Requirements.

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