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Cayman Islands

Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Cayman Islands

Mandatory benefits

In the Cayman Islands, several employee benefits are mandated by law, ensuring a minimum level of security and support for workers.


Under the National Pensions Law, employers are required to contribute to a pension plan for their employees. Both the employer and the employee contribute a percentage of the employee's earnings, with a minimum combined contribution of 10%. Employees contribute up to 5%, and employers must contribute at least 5%, with a maximum earnings threshold for contributions.


The Labour Law outlines various types of leave employees are entitled to:

  • Annual Leave: Employees receive a minimum of two weeks of paid annual leave, increasing to four weeks after ten years of continuous service with the same employer.
  • Sick Leave: Employees are entitled to ten days of paid sick leave per year, subject to submitting a doctor's certificate for each absence.
  • Maternity Leave: Female employees with at least twelve months of continuous service qualify for a minimum of twelve weeks of maternity leave.
  • Paternity Leave: Male employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks of paternity leave.

The Labour Law also provides for compassionate leave, bereavement leave, and special leave in certain situations. While these are the minimum mandated benefits, employers may offer additional benefits to attract and retain talent. These could include extended leave periods, higher contributions to pension plans, or other perks.

Optional benefits

Beyond the mandatory benefits, employers in the Cayman Islands often provide attractive perks to enhance their employee value proposition. Some of these optional benefits include:

Health and Wellness

  • Private Health Insurance: Some employers offer upgraded health insurance plans with wider coverage or lower employee contributions compared to the mandated basic plans.
  • Wellness Programs: Companies may offer on-site fitness facilities, gym memberships, or health and wellness programs to promote employee well-being.

Financial Security

  • Life Insurance: Employers might provide life insurance coverage for their employees, offering financial security to their families in case of an unfortunate event.
  • Disability Insurance: Some companies offer disability insurance to provide income protection if an employee becomes unable to work due to illness or injury.

Work-Life Balance

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: In today's world, employers may offer flexible work schedules, remote work options, or compressed workweeks to promote a healthy work-life balance for employees.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): Some companies offer additional paid time off beyond the mandated minimum leave allowances, allowing for more vacation days, personal leave, or sick leave.

Professional Development

  • Training and Development Opportunities: Employers may invest in their employees' growth by offering tuition reimbursement, professional development courses, or conference attendance to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Additional Perks

  • Company Cars or Transportation Allowances: In a geographically spread-out territory like Cayman Islands, some employers might provide company cars or transportation allowances to ease employee commute.
  • Meal Subsidies or Free Meals: Employers may offer subsidized meals in the cafeteria or provide free meals to reduce employee lunch expenses.
  • Discounted Services or Memberships: Companies might negotiate discounts with gyms, health clubs, or other service providers and extend these benefits to their employees.

This list is not exhaustive, and the specific benefits offered by an employer will vary depending on the company size, industry, and overall compensation strategy.

Health insurance requirements

In the Cayman Islands, all residents, including employees, are required to have "adequate" health insurance coverage. This mandate ensures that they have access to necessary medical care.

Employer Responsibilities

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) provides guidelines for health insurance. Employers are generally responsible for providing health insurance for their employees, although there are exceptions for certain work permit holders.

  • Minimum Coverage: The mandated health insurance plans typically cover a range of medical services, including hospitalization, doctor visits, specialist consultations, and some prescription drugs. However, the specifics of coverage may vary depending on the chosen plan.
  • Cost Sharing: In most cases, there's a cost-sharing arrangement between employers and employees. Employers contribute a portion of the premium, and employees may also contribute a share through payroll deductions.

Employee Options

While employers provide a baseline health insurance plan, employees may have some options:

  • Upgraded Plans: Some employers might offer the option to upgrade to a plan with wider coverage or lower employee contributions compared to the basic mandated plan.
  • Individual Coverage: For employees who are not eligible for employer-sponsored plans or want additional coverage, there are options to purchase individual health insurance plans from licensed insurers in the Cayman Islands.

Importance of Health Insurance

Having adequate health insurance is crucial for employees in the Cayman Islands, offering financial protection in case of medical emergencies or illnesses. It ensures they can access necessary healthcare services without facing significant financial burdens.

Retirement plans

The Cayman Islands is known for its mandatory pension plan system, which provides a level of retirement security for employees.

Mandatory Pension Plans

The National Pensions Law in the Cayman Islands mandates that all employers provide a pension plan for their eligible employees. These plans are defined contribution plans, where contributions are invested and grow over time to provide retirement benefits.

  • Contribution Structure: The law requires a combined minimum contribution of 10% of an employee's pensionable earnings to be directed towards the pension plan. Employers contribute at least 5%, with employees contributing a maximum of 5%. There's a maximum earnings threshold for contributions.
  • Plan Selection: Employers choose a registered pension plan from a list approved by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). These plans can be local or international, offering a variety of investment options.

Plan Eligibility

The National Pensions Law outlines eligibility requirements for participation in these mandatory plans:

  • Age: All Caymanian and permanent resident employees between 18 and 65 years old are automatically enrolled, regardless of probationary periods.
  • Exceptions: There are limited exceptions, such as Caymanians under 23 pursuing full-time education. Expatriates may also have a waiting period before becoming eligible, typically after nine months of continuous employment.

Benefits of Mandatory Plans

These mandatory pension plans offer several advantages for employees:

  • Forced Savings: The system enforces regular contributions towards retirement, fostering a culture of saving for the future.
  • Employer Contributions: Employers share the financial responsibility, easing the burden on employees.
  • Investment Growth: Contributions are invested and have the potential to grow over time, accumulating a larger retirement nest egg.
  • Portability: In most cases, employees retain ownership of their pension plan benefits even if they change jobs, promoting portability within the system.

While mandatory plans provide a foundation, individuals can also explore voluntary contributions to their plans or invest in additional retirement savings vehicles for a more secure future.

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