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Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. It is the third-largest island in the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean, with 10,990 square kilometers (4,240 square miles) (after Cuba and Hispaniola). Jamaica is located approximately 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of Cuba and 191 kilometers (119 miles) west of Hispaniola (the island containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic); the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands is located approximately 215 kilometers (134 miles) to the north-west.
Originally inhabited by indigenous Tano peoples, the island fell under Spanish control upon Christopher Columbus' arrival in 1494. Many indigenous people were slaughtered or perished as a result of illnesses, and the Spanish then introduced significant numbers of African slaves to Jamaica as laborers. The Spanish named the island Santiago, and it remained a Spanish territory until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) seized it and renamed it Jamaica. Jamaica became a significant sugar exporter during British colonial authority, with a plantation economy based on African slaves and their descendants. In 1838, the British abolished slavery completely, and many freedmen opted to work on subsistence farms rather than on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British started exploiting indentured Chinese and Indian labor on plantations. On August 6, 1962, the island declared independence from the United Kingdom.
Jamaica is the third-most populated Anglophone nation in the Americas (after the United States and Canada) and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean, with 2.9 million inhabitants. Kingston is the capital and biggest city of Jamaica. Jamaicans are mostly of Sub-Saharan African descent, with considerable European, East Asian (mainly Chinese), Indian, Lebanese, and mixed-race populations. Since the 1960s, there has been a considerable Jamaican diaspora, mainly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, owing to a high rate of emigration for employment. The country has a worldwide impact belying its tiny size; it is the origin of the Rastafari religion, reggae music (and related genres like as dub, ska, and dancehall), and it is globally notable in sports, most notably cricket, sprinting, and athletics. Jamaica is generally regarded as the world's least populated cultural powerhouse, having punched much above its weight.
Jamaica is an upper-middle-income nation with a tourism-based economy; it receives an average of 4.3 million visitors each year. Jamaica ranks well in terms of press freedom and democratic administration. On the World Happiness Report for 2021, it rated top in the Caribbean. Politically, it is a Commonwealth country ruled by Elizabeth II. Her authorized representative in the nation is Patrick Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica since 2009. Since March 2016, Andrew Holness has been the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with legislative authority held by the bicameral Jamaican Parliament, which consists of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.
Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid vacation per year. Employees who have worked for the company for more than ten years are entitled to three weeks of paid leave.
In Jamaica, there are ten public holidays.
After 110 days of service, employees are entitled to 10 days of paid maternity leave.
Employees are entitled to 56 paid days of maternity leave. Employees must provide 52 weeks of regular work to give notice to the employer in order to obtain compensation.
There are currently no regulations in the Jamaican law regarding paternity leave.
There are currently no regulations in the Jamaican law regarding parental leave.
Employers should make a written statement or notify employees of their termination in the presence of a credible witness. Additionally, a notice of termination must be given.
Employers are required to give notice based on the length of time they have been employed. For up to 5 years of employment, you are entitled to a two-week notice period. A four-week notice period is required after five to ten years of work. A 6-week notice period is required after 10-15 years of employment. After 15-20 years of service, you are entitled to an 8-week notice period. Finally, there will be a 12-week notice period for employees who have worked for more than 20 years.
Although no probationary period is required, collective bargaining agreements typically include a three to six-month period.
Severance pay is required only in instances of redundancy. Severance pay for redundancy is two weeks' pay per year for the first ten years, increasing to three weeks' pay per year after the tenth year.
Full-time employment is defined as 40 hours per week, or approximately 8 hours per day. A week's maximum number of days an employee may work is six.
Overtime is defined as any time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Overtime, including work rest days, is compensated at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate. If an employee earns less than the minimum wage, public holidays and rest days are paid at a rate that is 100 percent higher than the regular rate.
The minimum wage in Jamaica is set at 7,000 Jamaican dollars in a week. Security guards have a different minimum wage, which is currently set at $9,700 a week.
In Jamaica, employee benefits can include, and is not limited to, any combination from the listing below:
Health insurance, including coverage of dental and optical care
Life insurance, including, in the case of public service officers, death benefit (JMD10 million)
Accidental death and dismemberment
Pension - employer voluntary contribution up to 20% of salary. This is additional to 2.5% compulsory for NIS
Sick leave with pay - up to 10 days per 12 months after first year
Casual leave with pay - up to 10 days off for the year at a maximum of 3 days at any time
Study leave with pay
Holiday with pay - up to 25 days after 3 years
Travel allowance and motor vehicle upkeep
Uniform and Laundry Allowances
Gratuity - after working 20 weeks
Motor vehicle - fully maintained
Subsistence level - $2,500 per 24 hour period for public service officers
Supper/Meal allowance - $700 per occasion for public service officers
Taxi Allowance - $700 per occasion for round town and $1,200 per occasion for out of town for public service officers
Shift allowance, between $13.75 and $20 per hour for public service officers
Funeral grant - $220,000 for public service officers
The benefit amounts are provided in JMD and apply to public servants and the 2015 financial year. The benefits depend on who is the employer (public or private) and level of appointment. For employers, some benefits are mandatory, for e.g., sick leave and holiday with pay. For others, it is discretionary, e.g., allowance for travel or subsistence.
Companies in Jamaica are imposed a corporate tax rate. The tax rate depends on the size of the company but generally, smaller companies are subject to a 25 percent rate while bigger companies are subject to a 33.3 percent rate.
Taxable persons in Jamaica are imposed a personal income tax rate within the range of 0 percent to 25 percent. The actual percentage depends on the income bracket the taxable person belongs to. Those who earn over 1.5 million Jamaican dollars are generally the ones subject to the 25 percent tax rate.
The value-added tax (VAT) or goods and sales tax (GST) in the Jamaica has different rates for goods and services. Services have a tax rate of 20 percent while goods have a tax rate of 16.5 percent.
Individuals seeking a work permit must apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) Work Permit Department via their prospective employer, contractor, or legal representation.
Employers filing work permit applications on behalf of potential workers must include a cover letter to the MLSS's Permanent Secretary outlining:
(1) The application's objectives;
(2) The time it will take to complete the task; and
(3) Any attempts to attract locals to carry out the specified job.
Applications for work permits on behalf of self-employed individuals must additionally include a cover letter outlining:
(1) The kind and length of the job that has been specified;
(2) Certified copy of the applicant's credentials;
(3) two (2) passport pictures;
(4) The résumé of the person; and
(5) The person's police record.
The application must be accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee of 14,400 JMD. If the grant is approved by the MLSS, the applicant must pay a work permit fee before the permission is given.
The work permit charge is 27,000 JMD for up to three months of labor. The price is 54,000 JMD for 3 to 6 months of work. The price for 6 to 9 months of work is 81,000 JMD. The price is 108,000 JMD for 9 to 12 months of labor.
The approval of a work permit takes usually 4 - 6 weeks.
In Jamaica, employment contracts might be either verbal or written. Written contracts should contain clauses identifying the parties, an end date (if for a defined period), a job description, working hours, a wage, a bonus (if applicable), and any other things agreed upon by the parties. Employment contracts may be for a set amount of time or for an unlimited period of time.
Background checks are permissible prior to hiring. Medical examinations and criminal background checks are examples of such procedures. Employers often notify candidates in advance of investigations and request permission to perform background checks.
There is no set length for assignments. This is usually indicated in the employment contract for fixed-term employments.
Jamaican Dollar (JMD)
United States Dollar (USD)
When studying how to set up a Jamaica subsidiary, you must consider many crucial criteria. First, we suggest researching the areas in Jamaica where you want to incorporate. The Jamaica subsidiary laws that you must follow might be changed by your location or city. If you are unsure about which region of Jamaica has the best legislation for foreign incorporation, you should speak with a consultant who is knowledgeable with the various places in Jamaica.
Every firm that wants to conduct business in Jamaica must choose the optimal subsidiary structure for their purposes. Your legal interactions with other companies, as well as your relationship with your surroundings, are defined by your structure. As a result, personality, purpose, size, management, and regulatory requirements must all be considered. A corporation and a firm are the two most common formations in Jamaica. Most individuals opt to incorporate as a limited liability company (LLC) because it gives them a lot of flexibility while also protecting the parent firm.
The following stages are involved in the establishment of a subsidiary in Jamaica:
1. Complete all registration paperwork.
2. Your company's name should be reserved and registered.
3. Notify the Registrar of Companies of any new or changed directors.
4. When you incorporate, notify the Registrar of Companies of your registered office address.
The subsidiary laws of Jamaica change depending on the entity. A private business usually requires at least $500,000 in shares. If you form an LLC, your shareholders' liability will be restricted depending on the amount of capital they invest. In addition, your firm will need at least three directors, two of whom must not be employees of your company or any related company. Finally, you will need to recruit a business secretary.
Because LLCs have the greatest flexibility in Jamaica, you'll need to select a registered auditor to assist you with a yearly audit. You must retain your accounting records at your registered office in Jamaica if you have one.