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Jamaica Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Jamaica




Jamaican Dollar (JMD)


English, Jamaican Patois

Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea with the third most English speaking population in the Americas. The country is the 46th freest economy in the world and 7th among 32 countries in the Americas. Its economy is mostly based on the services sector which makes up 70% of the country’s GDP while the industry sector (mining, manufacturing) make up 21% of its economy.

Major economic hubs:

Kingston, Portmore, Montego Bay

Skills in demand:

ICT Professionals, Financial Professionals, Manufacturing Professionals, Tourism Professionals

Map 18

Local Universities

The top local universities in Jamaica are as follows:

Uni1 28

University of Technology, Jamaica


Local: 1

World: 5649

Uni2 27

Northern Caribbean University


Local: 2

World: 5931

Uni3 28

The University of the West Indies, Mona


Local: 3

World: 6705

Uni4 27

University of the Commonwealth Caribbean


Local: 4

World: 7225

Uni5 26

Mico University College


Local: 5

World: 10475

Salary Data

The table below mentions the average monthly salary in Jamaica;

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (in JMD) Average Monthly Salary (in USD)
Financial Manager 196,000 1295.07
General Manager 171,000 1129.89
Business Development Manager 164,000 1083.63
Financial Analyst 131,000 865.59
Business Analyst 129,000 852.37
Project Manager 113,000 746.65
Talentsource 57

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

Caribbean Jobs Online, Career Jamaica, Jamaican Jobs Online

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

ILDS Jamaica, E-Jam Jobs, GPS Jamaica

Employing in Jamaica

Hiring in Jamaica requires you to be aware of the local employment laws, benefits, payroll, and taxes. Below is everything the employer needs to know to successfully onboard talents from Jamaica.

Employee Contract

Contracts in Jamaica can either be written or oral. However, the best practice is to provide a written contract in English with all the provisions and details for employment.

Probation Period

The probationary period for new employees ranges from 3 to 6 months.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public Holiday
2 Jan Day off for New Year’s Day Public Holiday
22 Feb Ash Wednesday Public Holiday
7 Apr Good Friday Public Holiday
10 Apr Easter Monday Public Holiday
23 May Labor Day / May Day Public Holiday
1 Aug Emancipation Day Public Holiday
6 Aug Independence Day Public Holiday
7 Aug Day off for Independence Day Public Holiday
16 Oct National Heroes’ Day Public Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public Holiday
26 Dec Boxing Day Public Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of leave Time period Mandatory
Annual leave/Earned Leave 14 to 21 days Yes
Sick Leave 10 days (After 110 days of service) Yes
Maternity Leave 84 days Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

Employees in Jamaica are paid on a monthly basis.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Jamaica except for security guards is JMD 9,000.00 per week. For private security guards, the minimum wage is JMD 10,500.00.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

The standard working hours in Jamaica are 40 hours across 7 days. Overtime pay in Jamaica is usually 150% of the normal wage. For holidays and weekends, overtime pay is 200% above the normal wage. There is no limit to overtime hours. However, women have a limit of 50 total working hours per week and not more than 200 overtime hours for 12 months.


13th Month Pay

The 13th-month pay is not mandatory in Jamaica. 

Employee Benefits

Full-time employees in Jamaica are ensured to have insurance benefits such as

  • Old Age Pension
  • Advance and Alimentary Allowance
  • Housing Benefits
  • Education Grants
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance



Employer Payroll Tax

Contribution Basis Rate (%)
Education Tax Taxable emoluments 3.5
National Housing Trust  Contributions Gross emoluments 3
National Insurance Scheme Contributions Gross emoluments up to a maximum of JMD 1.5 million annually 3
HEART Contributions Gross emoluments 3
Total 12.5

Employee Payroll Tax

Contribution Basis Rate (%)
Education Tax Taxable emoluments 2.25
National Housing Trust Contributions Gross emoluments 2
National Insurance Scheme Contributions Gross emoluments up to a maximum of JMD 1.5 million annually 3
Total 7.25

Employee Income Tax

Taxable Income Rate (%)
Up to JMD 6,000,000.00 25
More than JMD 6,000,000.00 30

*Tax-free threshold of JMD 1,500,000.00 annually for tax resident individuals


The standard VAT in Jamaica is 15%.

Offboarding & Termination

Employers must provide written notice for terminating employees. The employees can pay in lieu while the process of dismissal is ongoing. Resignation without providing notice is illegal under the Labour Code of Jamaica in which employees are entitled to additional payments.

Employees associated with the employer for at least four consecutive weeks are must serve a notice period varying with the total length of service, as given below:

Length of service Notice period
Less than 5 years 2 weeks
5 years – 10 years 4 weeks
10 years – 15 years 6 weeks
15 years – 20 years 8 weeks
More than 20 years 12 weeks

The severance pay is legally required for redundancy cases for employees with 104 weeks tenure (2 years) in Jamaica. The payments amount to depending on the tenure of the employee: 

  • 2 weeks’ pay per year of service for first 10 years of service
  • 3 weeks’ pay per year of service from the 10th year of service

Visa and Immigration

Applying for a business visa to Jamaica is easy. However, travellers (looking to work in Jamaica) must obtain a work permit or work permit exemption from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in order to enter the country. For business travellers, different documentation is needed as per country. You can contact the Jamaican embassy or consulate in your country for more details.

Visa 58
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration