Rivermate | Dominica flag


Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Dominica


In Dominica, the termination of employment is regulated by the Protection of Employment Act and the Labour Contracts Act. These laws define the obligations of both employers and employees during the termination process.

Lawful Grounds for Dismissal

Dominican law provides several reasons for which an employer may lawfully terminate an employment contract:

  • Redundancy: Termination due to economic or structural reasons within the business.
  • Misconduct: Serious misconduct by the employee that breaches their terms of employment.
  • Poor Performance: Consistently poor performance or inability to adequately complete assigned duties.
  • Mutual Agreement: Both the employer and employee may mutually decide to terminate the employment relationship.

Notice Requirements

The notice period required for termination in Dominica depends on the duration of the employee's continuous employment:

  • Less than 3 months of service: 7 days' notice.
  • Between 3 months and 1 year of service: 14 days' notice.
  • Between 1 year and 5 years of service: 28 days' notice.
  • Over 5 years of service: 42 days' notice.

These notice periods apply to both employer and employee-initiated termination, except in cases of serious misconduct.

Severance Pay

In Dominica, employees are entitled to severance pay if they are dismissed for reasons other than serious misconduct. The amount of severance pay depends on the employee's length of service:

  • 3 months to 1 year of service: 6 days' pay for each completed year of service.
  • 1 year to 5 years of service: 13 days' pay for each completed year of service.
  • Over 5 years of service: 21 days' pay for each completed year of service.


The Constitution of Dominica serves as the primary source for anti-discrimination legislation in the country.

Protected Characteristics

The Constitution explicitly prohibits discrimination based on several characteristics. These include sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color, and creed.

Redress Mechanisms

If an individual experiences discrimination based on the protected characteristics, they have several options for redress. They can bring claims of discrimination to the High Court, which has the authority to interpret and enforce constitutional provisions. Alternatively, they can direct their complaints to the Labor Commissioner's Office, as Dominica's Labour Standards Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, origin, color, creed, or sex.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Dominica have a responsibility to uphold the country's anti-discrimination laws. This involves creating inclusive workspaces, ensuring fair hiring and promotion practices, providing education and training on Dominica's anti-discrimination laws, and implementing clear and effective procedures for handling discrimination complaints within the workplace.

Working conditions

In Dominica, labor standards have been established to provide a basic level of protection for employees. These standards cover aspects such as working hours, rest periods, and ergonomic requirements.

Working Hours and Overtime

According to the Labour Act of Dominica, employees cannot be required to work more than 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day. Any overtime work that exceeds these limits requires the consent of the employee. Overtime pay is mandated and is calculated as time and a half for exceeding daily or weekly hours and double time for work on public holidays.

Rest Periods and Leave

The Labour Standards Act of Dominica guarantees rest periods and leave entitlements for employees. Employees are entitled to a minimum 30-minute lunch break if they work more than six hours a day. Employers are required to schedule workweeks to include at least one full day of rest, preferably Sundays. Employees also accrue paid vacation leave based on their tenure, with two weeks after one year of service and three weeks after five years of continuous service.

Ergonomic Requirements

While Dominica has legislation ensuring occupational safety and health, there is limited information on specific ergonomic requirements in workplaces. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has highlighted concerns regarding the lack of mandatory use of protective equipment and proper equipment monitoring and maintenance. These limitations suggest that ergonomic considerations in Dominica's workplaces might be variable.

Health and safety

Dominica prioritizes worker well-being through its health and safety regulations. These regulations outline employer obligations, employee rights, and the enforcing bodies.

Employer Obligations

The Employment Safety Act, 1997, places significant responsibility on employers to ensure a safe work environment. Here are some key employer obligations:

  • Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Employers must conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards and implement measures to minimize risks.
  • Safe Work Procedures: Employers are required to establish and enforce safe work procedures to protect employees from potential hazards. This includes providing adequate training on these procedures.
  • Provision of Safety Equipment: Employers have a duty to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when necessary and ensure its proper use and maintenance.
  • Accident Reporting: Work-related accidents and injuries must be reported to the Labour Division.

Employee Rights

Dominica's health and safety regulations empower employees to participate in creating a safe work environment. Key employee rights include:

  • Right to a Safe Workplace: Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable risks to their safety and health.
  • Refusal of Unsafe Work: Employees can refuse work they believe is unsafe, provided they have reasonable justification for their concern.
  • Access to Training and Information: Employees have the right to receive information and training on health and safety hazards and procedures.

Enforcement Agencies

The responsibility for enforcing health and safety regulations in Dominica falls on two main bodies:

  • Labour Division: The Labour Division within the Ministry of National Security, Immigration and Labour conducts inspections and investigates complaints regarding workplace safety.
  • Environmental Health Department: This department, under the Ministry of Health, plays a role in ensuring health and safety in workplaces, particularly regarding sanitation and hygiene.
Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.