Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Bahamian Dollar
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

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


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


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

The Bahamas, formally known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies. It covers 97% of the land area of the Lucayan Archipelago and is home to 88% of the archipelago's population. The archipelagic territory, which is situated north of Cuba and northwest of the island of Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the US state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys, is made up of over 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Nassau, on the island of New Providence, is the capital. The Bahamas' jurisdiction covers 470,000 km2 of ocean space, according to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. For centuries, the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Tano, lived on the Bahama Islands. The first European to see the islands was Christopher Columbus, who arrived in the 'New World' in 1492. The native Lucayans were later transported to and enslaved on Hispaniola, leaving the Bahama islands largely abandoned from 1513 to 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda landed on the island of Eleuthera. When the British cracked down on piracy, the Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718. Thousands of American Loyalists were resettled in The Bahamas after the American Revolutionary War; they brought enslaved people with them and founded plantations on land grants. From this time on, African enslaved people and their descendants made up the bulk of the population. The British abolished the slave trade in 1807, and slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. The Bahamas became a refuge for freed African slaves as a result. The Royal Navy resettled Africans rescued from illegal slave ships on the islands, while some North American slaves and Seminoles fled to The Bahamas from Florida. Bahamians were also known to recognize the liberation of enslaved people brought to the Bahamas by ships from other countries. The nation gained political independence in 1973, headed by Sir Lynden O. Pindling, with Elizabeth II as its queen. Afro-Bahamians now make up 90% of the population of 332,634. The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest countries in the Americas in terms of GDP per capita, with an economy dependent on tourism and offshore finance.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Employees who have worked for at least six months are entitled to one week of paid vacation in addition to public holidays. Those with one year of service receive two weeks of paid vacation, and employees with seven or more years of service receive three weeks of paid vacation. Employees must be compensated for vacation days at least one day prior to the commencement of the vacation.

Public holidays

The following holidays are observed in the Bahamas:New Year’s DayGood FridayEaster MondayWhit MondayLabor DayIndependence DayEmancipation DayNational Heroes DayChristmas DayBoxing Day

Sick days

Employees who have worked for the company for at least six months are entitled to one week of paid sick leave every year. Unused sick time does not carry over to the next year. As proof of sickness, employees must produce a medical certificate. Employers can have an independent physician examine an employee and refuse the leave if the physician concludes that the individual is capable of working.

Maternity leave

Once every three years, female employees with at least one year of service are eligible to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. In general, at least one week is taken before and after delivery, however this can be changed if the actual birth date differs from the due date. If the employee contracts a pregnancy-related ailment, she is entitled to an extra six weeks of unpaid leave. Maternity benefits are provided to qualifying employees by both the employer and the National Insurance Board.For the birth of a child or the loss or illness of a spouse, child, or parent, employees with at least six months of service are entitled to one week of paid family leave.

Paternity leave

There are no comprehensive provisions in the Bahamas law regarding paternity leave.

Parental leave

Other than the mentioned terms for maternity leave, there are no comprehensive provisions in the Bahamas law regarding paternity leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employment can be terminated after the conclusion of a fixed-term contract, by the employer (for any reason), or by the employee. Employees may be dismissed without pay or notice if they violate a contract or engage in activity that is detrimental to the employer's interests. Otherwise, companies are typically required to warn employees of their impending dismissal.

Notice period

The notice period is decided by the duration and position of the employee. Employers must provide one week's notice or pay in lieu of notice to employees with six months to one year of service. Employers must give employees with more than one year of service two weeks' notice or pay in lieu of notice. Supervisory or managerial personnel are entitled to one month's notice or equivalent compensation for each year of service, up to a maximum of 48 weeks. Additionally, an employee has the option of resigning. If the employee has fewer than two years of service, two weeks notice is necessary; if the employee has two or more years of service, four weeks notice is required.

Severance pay

The proper method of terminating employment varies according to the employee classification. Please keep in mind that employees with a tenure of less than 90 days are not entitled to notice or compensation. Severance pay is 4% of the total salary earned during the applicable period for employees with tenure between 91 and 179 days. Severance pay is equivalent to one week's salary for employees with a tenure of between six and twelve months. Non-managerial employees with a tenure of more than one year are entitled to two weeks' notice or two weeks' salary in lieu of notice. For managerial staff, entitlements include four weeks' notice or pay in lieu of notice, as well as four weeks' salary for each year of employment, up to a maximum of twelve years.

Probation period

Certain collective bargaining agreements in the Bahamas include a 12-month probationary period.

07. Working hours


The usual workday is eight hours long and the week is 40 hours long. Even if work hours are irregular due to the nature of the business, the average number of hours worked over a four-week period should remain at 40. Employees in the industrial, construction, manufacturing, transportation, law enforcement, and critical service industries may be required to work longer hours. Supervisors and managers are exempt from the regular 40-hour work week.


Depending on when the work is done, overtime is paid at 150 percent to 200 percent of the basic rate.

08. Minimum wage


After a year of employment, bonuses are common, and employers frequently pay a Christmas Bonus.

The Bahamas has a 210 Bahamian dollar (210.72 USD) weekly minimum wage. Employers who do not pay this government-mandated minimum wage may face sanctions from The Bahamas' government.

09. Employee benefits


Residents in the Bahamas have access to national public health insurance, although private insurance is also available. The general budget funds the national health insurance option, which covers primary care services. However, there are plans to increase the services provided and finance such services via company and employee payments.

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

Establishing an entity in


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


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


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


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


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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