Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

United States 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

Barbados is the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands, located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometers long and up to 23 kilometers wide, with a total area of 432 kilometers2. It's located in the western North Atlantic, about 100 kilometers east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados is located about 13 degrees north of the equator, east of the Windward Islands, which are part of the Lesser Antilles. It is about 168 kilometers east of both Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 180 kilometers south of Martinique, and 400 kilometers north of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is located outside of the main hurricane belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Bridgetown is the country's capital and largest city. Barbados has been inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other Amerindians. In the late 15th century, Spanish navigators conquered Barbados and claimed it for the Spanish Crown. In 1511, it was first depicted on a Spanish map. Between 1532 and 1536, the Portuguese Empire claimed the island, but abandoned it in 1620, leaving only the introduction of wild boars as a source of meat whenever the island was visited. The Olive Blossom, an English ship, arrived in Barbados on May 14, 1625, and its crew took possession of the island in the name of King James I. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1627, and the island became an English and later British colony. Barbados became an English center of the African slave trade as a prosperous sugar colony until the Slave Trade Act of 1807 abolished the trade, with final emancipation of slaves occurring over a number of years following the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm on November 30, 1966, with Elizabeth II as its queen, though the country plans to dethrone her and become a republic by November 30, 2021. The majority of the 287,010 residents are of African descent. Barbados, despite being known as an Atlantic island, is considered a part of the Caribbean and is one of the region's most popular tourist destinations. Barbados attracts about 40% of its visitors from the United Kingdom, with the United States and Canada following closely behind.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

After a year of employment, employees are entitled to 15 days of paid annual leave, which increases to 20 days after five years. The dates for yearly leave are set by the employer, and it must be taken in one continuous time.

Public holidays

The following holidays are observed in Barbados:New Year’s DayErrol Barrow DayGood FridayEaster MondayNational Heroes’ DayMay DayWhit MondayEmancipation DayKadooment DayIndependence DayChristmas DayBoxing DayIf a public holiday occurs on a Sunday, it is moved to Monday.

Sick days

There is no such thing as paid sick time. Employers, on the other hand, frequently provide a number of paid sick days.

Maternity leave

After one year of work, female employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Expectant moms often take six weeks off before their due date, with the remaining weeks of maternity leave taken after the baby is born. In the event of a pregnancy-related sickness, maternity leave might be extended by six weeks.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave is not required by law.

Parental leave

Other than the already mentioned terms for maternity and paternity leaves, there are no other provisions in the Barbados law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Barbados labor laws provide the idea that an employee's employment for an indefinite period of time may not be terminated unless there is a valid cause for doing so that is related to the employee's ability or behavior or to the enterprise's operational requirements. This concept also applies to an employee's employment for a defined amount of time prior to the contract's stipulated expiration date.

Notice period

The notice period varies between one and ten weeks, based on the employee's length of service. Additional regulations apply to redundancy and disciplinary dismissals.

Severance pay

Severance pay should be 2.5 weeks' pay for each year of service up to ten years; 3 weeks' pay for each year of service over ten years and twenty years; and 3.5 weeks' pay for each year of service over 33 years. The employer of a pensioned employee may reduce severance pay to the extent of the employee's pension benefits due.

Probation period

There is currently no statutory provision governing probationary periods.

07. Working hours


Barbados' typical workweek is 40 hours, divided into eight hours each day. Every employee is entitled to two weekly rest days, which are usually Saturday and Sunday. These rest days, on the other hand, can be scheduled on any two days at the employer's choice.


Overtime is optional and is defined as any time spent outside of the contracted working hours. Employers are not permitted to compel overtime work at any time. On a weekday, workers should be paid 150 percent of their regular pay rate. On a public holiday, they should be paid 200 percent. Younger employees are subject to different rules.

08. Minimum wage


Employers are not required to pay bonuses to their employees, but may do so as part of their overall compensation package. Barbados is accustomed to performance-based bonuses.

As of April 2021, the country's national minimum wage is 8.50 Barbadian Dollars (4.23 USD) per hour. Employees may be paid on an hourly, daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis as long as all arrangements result in a minimum hourly wage of BDD 8.50.

09. Employee benefits


Barbados has a well-developed health-care infrastructure, both commercially and government funded. All workers are obliged to pay National Insurance and Social Security payments, which entitles them to free public health care.

Employers are not obliged to provide private health insurance plans, although they do have the choice to do so. Individuals with private health insurance may be able to visit a doctor sooner than those without and get better treatment. In most cases, public health care is an outstanding service provided by a well-established health-care system.

The country's labor regulations do not include any incentives or extra perks. Employers may opt to offer their own set of benefits to assist their workers.

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.

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