Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Guyanese 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

Guyana, officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country in northern South America with Georgetown as its capital. Guyana is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south and southwest by Brazil, on the west by Venezuela, and on the east by Suriname. Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state in mainland South America by population, after Uruguay and Suriname, with 215,000 square kilometers. It is also the second-least populous sovereign state in South America, after Suriname. The "Guianas" are a vast shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River that is regarded as the "land of many waters." The Wai Wai, Macushi, Patamona, Lokono, Kalina, Wapishana, Pemon, Akawaio, and Warao are nine indigenous tribes in Guyana. Guyana was colonized by the Dutch before being taken over by the British in the late 18th century. It was historically ruled by the Lokono and Kalina tribes. Until the 1950s, it was ruled as British Guiana, with a predominantly plantation-based economy. In 1966, it declared independence, and in 1970, it joined the Commonwealth of Nations as a republic. The country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, Chinese, Portuguese, other Europeans, and various multiracial communities, represent the legacy of British rule. Guyana is the only South American country where English is the official language, with 41% of the population living in poverty in 2017. The majority of the population, on the other hand, speaks Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language. The Anglophone Caribbean includes Guyana. It is a member of the mainland Caribbean region with close cultural, historical, and political links to other Caribbean nations, as well as the Caribbean Community's headquarters. The country became a founding member of the Union of South American Nations in 2008.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

For each month of service, employees who are paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly earn one day of paid leave. Employees who are paid on a daily basis are entitled to one day of paid vacation for every 20 days worked. Employees who are paid on an hourly basis are entitled to one paid day off for every 160 hours worked.

Public holidays

Every SundayNew Year’s DayRepublic DayGood FridayEaster MondayLabor DayArrival DayIndependence DayCaricom DayEid-Ul-AdhaEmancipation DayYouman NabiDeepavaliChristmas DayBoxing Day

Sick days

Employees are not entitled to paid sick leave, although they are eligible for social security payments in Guyana. After the third day of sickness, eligible employees earn 70% of their typical weekly income for up to 26 weeks. Employees must have been employed immediately previous to getting ill, have made at least 50 contributions, and have made at least eight contributions in the 13 weeks before to falling ill to be eligible.

Maternity leave

Employees in Guyana are entitled to 13 weeks of maternity leave, which is paid weekly or biweekly under the country's social security system. In extreme circumstances, an additional thirteen weeks may be granted, up to a total of 26 weeks. If a female employee or her spouse makes at least 15 and seven contributions in the 26 weeks leading up to her maternity leave, she is eligible for maternity benefits.Starting nine contributing weeks before the projected departure date, female employees have a four-week opportunity to file a claim for maternity benefits. For persons who live in rural places, the period might be prolonged. A individual who fails to file a claim for benefits within the specified time period is ineligible to receive benefits.

Paternity leave

There is no statutory paternity leave in Guyana.

Parental leave

Other than the already mentioned terms regarding maternity leave in Guyana, there are no other provisions in the law regarding parental leave.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

At the end of a fixed-term contract, an employment contract may be cancelled by mutual consent, by the employer, or by the employee. Employers are banned from terminating an employee's employment based on a legal leave of absence.

During the probationary phase, a company may terminate an employee without providing notice or paying severance. Probation cannot last more than three months. Additionally, an employee may be removed without notice or severance pay for serious misbehavior, defined as activity that is related to work and has a negative effect on the employer's business. Employers must offer notice in advance of ending an employment contract and pay severance to an employee who is not on probation.

Notice period

The length of the mandatory notice period is determined by the number of years an employee has worked for the company. If you've been working for less than a year, you'll get two weeks' notice. The notice period is one month for employees who have worked for a year or more. Employers may offer cash as a substitute for notice.

Severance pay

Employers are required to pay severance to employees with at least one year of service and are terminated for reasons other than misconduct and after the probationary period has expired. Severance pay ranges from one to three weeks, depending on service length.

Probation period

The probation period cannot exceed three months.

07. Working hours


The standard workweek consists of forty hours spread over six days. Employees work an average of eight hours per day and take a 60-minute break. However, working hours must be flexible to accommodate changing seasons (summer and winter hours) and work locations. Hours of operation may also vary by industry.


Overtime is compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate. If certain public holidays are worked, overtime may be paid at double the standard rate. Each week, employees receive one day of rest and a half-day off on alternate Sundays. Additionally, employees who work overtime receive a 15-minute break every four hours.

08. Minimum wage


Guyana lacks a national minimum wage, but does have industry-specific minimum wages. Minimum wages, like working hours regulations, are determined by the difficulty and frequency of work. The Labor Act and the Wages Council Act specify any payment requirements for employees.

The process of establishing industry-specific minimum wages begins with a meeting between the Labor Minister and the Advisory Committee. This committee is made up of employees and employers who jointly propose a rate. The Minister will publish the ruling in the Official Gazette once the parties reach an agreement on a minimum wage.

09. Employee benefits


Employees' medical expenses are covered by the National Insurance scheme, so health insurance is not required by law. Private insurance, on the other hand, is available throughout the country. An employer may choose to provide additional private insurance to employees, but it is frequently expensive and inaccessible to the general public.

Any other additional benefits and bonuses will be outlined in collective agreements. While Guyana is a South American country, unlike many of its neighbors, it does not require a 13th-month bonus. An employer, on the other hand, may choose to provide one.

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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