Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in

Antigua and Barbuda

Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for

Antigua and Barbuda

01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

East Caribbean Dollar
Saint John's
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in

Antigua and Barbuda

with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in

Antigua and Barbuda

, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in

Antigua and Barbuda

effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Antigua and Barbuda is a Caribbean island nation located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Americas. It consists of Antigua and Barbuda, two main islands separated by 63 kilometers, as well as smaller islands. Antigua has a permanent population of about 97,120 people, with 97% of them residing on the island. Antigua's capital and main port and city is St. John's, while Barbuda's largest town is Codrington. Antigua and Barbuda are located near each other in the Leeward Islands, which are part of the Lesser Antilles, and are about 17 degrees north of the equator. Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua in 1493 and named it after the Church of Santa Maria La Antigua. Britain colonized Antigua in 1632, and Barbuda was colonized for the first time in 1678. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958 after being a member of the Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands since 1871. In 1967, the union was disbanded, and it became one of the West Indies Associated States. Independence from the United Kingdom was granted on November 1, 1981, after the country gained self-governance in its internal affairs. Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth member, and Elizabeth II is the country's queen and head of state. Antigua and Barbuda's economy is heavily reliant on tourism, which accounts for 80% of the country's GDP. Antigua and Barbuda, like other island nations, is especially vulnerable to climate change's consequences, such as sea level rise and increased severity of severe weather like hurricanes, which have direct impacts on the island through coastal erosion, water shortages, and other issues. Antigua and Barbuda, like neighboring St. Kitts and Nevis, has a 0% individual income tax rate as of 2019.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Employees are entitled to up to 12 days of paid vacation each year. Vacations are paid in advance and must be agreed upon by both the company and the employee.

Public holidays

There are twelve public holidays recognized in Antigua and Barbuda.

Sick days

After the third day of illness, eligible employees get paid sick leave for up to 26 weeks. With a doctor's certificate, sick leave can be extended to 39 weeks. If employees satisfy specific criteria, they may be eligible for a proportion of their compensation while on leave.

Maternity leave

Employees are entitled to six to thirteen weeks of paid maternity leave, as well as a maternity stipend. Maternity leave workers will be paid a proportion of their usual weekly wages. For each kid born, the maternity stipend is a one-time payout.

Paternity leave

There is no statutory paternity leave in Antigua and Barbuda.

Parental leave

Other than the mentioned terms for maternity leave, there are no other provisions in the Antigua and Barbuda law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Notice period

Severance pay

Probation period

07. Working hours


Employees should work an average of eight hours per day and 48 hours per week. Employees should not work more than 12 hours per day or 72 hours per week, except in exceptional circumstances. Additionally, employees should receive a minimum of 24 hours of rest every seven days.


Employees who work overtime or on rest days are entitled to compensation equal to at least 150 percent of their regular wage.

An exception of these requirements may be granted if the Minister determines, in consultation with the employer and employee representatives, that additional overtime is necessary due to extenuating circumstances. Extensive overtime may be required in the following circumstances: national emergencies, operations necessary for public safety, intermittent or temporary work, or work to compensate for time lost due to accidents or other unforeseen circumstances.

08. Minimum wage


Antigua and Barbuda's minimum wage is $8.20 in East Caribbean Dollars, or $3.03 per hour in US dollars. Market standards for roles in your company's field can vary significantly depending on location, industry, and position.

Performance-based bonuses are common but not required.

09. Employee benefits


Antigua and Barbuda labor regulations require businesses to pay 3.5 percent of each employee's salary to the Medical Benefits Scheme for health care services for workers under the age of 60. The proportion provided by workers over the age of 60, on the other hand, varies from time to time but is usually equal to 3.5 percent. Medical Benefits Scheme Field Officers have the authority to visit any company at any time to check compliance or examine records.

Employers must additionally contribute 8% of their monthly salary to the Social Security program. Employees make up 6% of the total.

There are no legal obligations for companies to give incentives, but firms may include them in their benefits package to attract more applicants.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in

Antigua and Barbuda

to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in

Antigua and Barbuda

has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into

Antigua and Barbuda

simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in

Antigua and Barbuda

give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in

Antigua and Barbuda

via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

Ready to get started? Our friendly staff is ready to assist you with all your questions, let's connect.