Jamaica has a population of 3 million people, and the economy is growing due to tourism,  agriculture and mining industries. Doing business in Jamaica offers companies many opportunities for growth, as well as some challenges. To start a business in Jamaica, companies must register with the Office of the Companies Registrar to obtain articles of incorporation. Depending on the type of business, you may need to register your business name as well.

Payroll and Tax Considerations:

  • The minimum wage is determined by the government. The current national minimum wage is JMD 7,000 per week, except for security guards who receive JMD 9,700 per week
  • Overtime is paid at 150% of the hourly wage for regular overtime and 200% for overtime on public holidays
  • Severance pay is required in redundancy situations where the employee has 2 years of service. Redundancy pay is 2 weeks’ pay per year for the first 10 years and then 3 weeks’ pay after 10 years
  • Annual income above JMD 6,000,000 is taxed at 30%, the highest marginal rate

HR and Statutory Requirements

  • An employee who works at least 110 days per year and are not seasonal employees are eligible for paid annual leave
  • The amount of leave is determined by the number of days the employee worked. Employees must receive at least 1 week of leave a year if they have fewer than 10 years of service
  • Sick leave is granted to employees who have worked at least 110 days in their first 12 months of employment. They are entitled to 1 day of paid leave for every 22 days worked
  • Females must work 52 continuous weeks to qualify for maternity leave. There is 12 weeks paid maternity leave
  • There are no provisions for paternity leave
  • The standard retirement age is 70 for men and 65 for women. Retirees receive a JMD 50,000 grant if they contributed at least 52 weeks

Holidays in Jamaica

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • March 2 – Ash Wednesday
  • April 15 – Good Friday
  • April 18 – Easter Monday
  • May 23 – Labor Day / May Day
  • August 1 – Emancipation Day
  • August 8 – Independence Day
  • October 17 – National Heroes Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Boxing Day
  • December 27 – Christmas/Boxing Day Holiday

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