Hire employees and contractors in Jamaica

Remote’s guide to employing in Jamaica.

  • Capital city

    Kingston

  • Currency

    Jamaican dollar
    ($, JMD)

  • Population size

    2,726,667
    (2018)

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Entity
    Coming soon

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Jamaica needs no introduction. From rum to reggae, beautiful beaches to Usain Bolt, this small Central American nation bats above its average in terms of worldwide cultural influence. Along with the world’s fastest sprinters, Jamaica is also famous for the sport of cricket, a legacy of the island’s UK colonial past.

The natural beauty of Jamaica remains a compelling drawcard, particularly for nearby US tourists. Pristine Caribbean coastline, a thriving nightlife scene, and untouched tropical forests draw in over one million tourists every year — roughly a third of Jamaica’s native population. The country is an ideal anchor point for digital nomads looking to explore the Caribbean (as long as the correct legal right to work permissions are secured).

Sadly, many native Jamaicans still migrate away from the island in search of employment opportunities with the country rating as one of the poorest countries in North and Central America. Nevertheless, employers on the lookout for talent will find many skilled workers looking for the opportunity to earn a competitive global wage and remain based in their homeland.

Map of Jamaica
  • Capital city

    Kingston

  • Currency

    Jamaican dollar
    ($, JMD)

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • Population size

    2,726,667 (2018)

  • Ease of doing business

    Easy

  • VAT - standard rate

    15%-25%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    2.9% (2020)

Grow your team in Jamaica with Remote

If you’re considering employing a Jamaican, you must either own a local legal entity in the country or work with a global employment partner to maintain compliance with local legislation. Managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance in Jamaica can get complicated, especially without established local relationships. 

Remote’s global employment solution makes it easy for your company to employ workers in Jamaica quickly, efficiently, and in full compliance with all applicable labor laws. We take on the responsibility and legal risks of international employment so you can focus on hiring great talent and growing your business.

Risks
of misclassification

Like many other countries, Jamaica treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently and there are risks associated with contractor misclassification.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) can levy criminal and civil penalties against your business if it’s discovered that you intentionally misclassified employees as contractors in order to deny them any requisite benefits.

Employing in Jamaica

Provisions for employee protections and workers’ rights are spelled out in Jamaica’s Constitution and the Employmnet Act of 1975, both of which guarantee equal pay for equal work and protections against discrimination based on age, religion, gender expression, and race.

Hiring managers can expect to receive questions from Jamaican candidates around topics like minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Jamaica.

Minimum wage

The Jamaican minimum wage is fixed at JMD 9,000 ($1.66) per week for the general workforce and JMD 10,500 ($67.74) for private security guards.

In practice, the minimum wage is largely nominal for skilled workers (developers, designers, engineers, etc.) and salaries are often negotiated privately.

Competitive benefits package in Jamaica

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Jamaica are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in Jamaica

Learn how employment taxes affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Jamaica. 

  • Employer

    • 3%: National Insurance Scheme (NIS) (on maximum remuneration of 5 million JMD per year)

    • 3%: National Housing Trust (NHT)

    • 3.5%: Education Tax

    • 3%: Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART)

  • Employee

    • 3%: National Insurance Scheme (NIS) (on maximum remuneration of 5 million JMD per year)

    • 2%: National Housing Trust (NHT)

    • 2.25%: Education Tax

Types of leave

Paid time off

Workers are entitled to two weeks’ paid leave annually, which increases to three weeks off per year after 10 years of continuous employment.

Public holidays

Jamaica observes 10 public holidays.

Sick leave

Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid sick leave every year, which increases to three weeks annually after 10 years of continuous employment.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave after completing a year of service with an employer. Maternity pay is equal to the mother’s normal salary and it’s paid for eight weeks.

Paternity leave

There’s no mandatory paternity leave in Jamaica although employers can offer it at their discretion.

Employment termination

Termination process

Jamaican employees can be terminated at will, for business reasons, or because of the worker’s misconduct; workers must be notified in advance and given a written notice before being let go.

Notice period

Jamaican employees are required to a period of advance notice before they can be let go, depending on their tenure with their employer:

  • Up to five years of employment: two weeks’ notice
  • 5 - 10 years of employment: four weeks’ notice
  • 10 - 15 years of employment: six weeks’ notice
  • 20+ years of employment: twelve weeks’ notice

Severance pay

Workers are only entitled to severance payments if they’re dismissed because of redundancy. In such a case, severance payments are calculated at two weeks’ pay per year for the first ten years of employment, and three weeks’ pay for each following year.

Probation periods

There’s no mandatory probationary period although collective agreements usually limit it to 3 - 6 months.

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