Employer Payroll Contributions
Employee Payroll Contributions
Employee Income Tax
The national minimum hourly wage in Belize is 3.30 BZD.
Employees can be paid on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis.
It is not mandatory or customary to pay 13th-month payments in Belize
In Belize, the standard working hours per week consists of a maximum of 45 hours, 9 hours per day, and all employees are entitled to at least one day of rest per week.
Overtime is due for any time worked over 9 hours and is generally paid at 150.00% of the regular salary.
Some industries/jobs have specific hourly maximums per day in relation to when overtime pay starts, such as the Shops Act states overtime begins after 8 hours, in contrast to the Labour Act which states overtime starts after 9 hours.
Should an employee need to work on an assigned rest day or public holidays, compensation must be paid at 150% of the ordinary salary rate, except when required to work on Christmas Day, Good Friday, or Easter Monday. The employer must pay the compensation rate at a minimum of 200% of the ordinary salary rate. Time off in lieu is occasionally offered as an alternative.
Employees are entitled to 2 working weeks of paid leave per year. In general, employees will take these two weeks consecutively; if not, the employer and employee need to agree on splitting the leave into two separate leave periods.
Where the employee takes an annual holiday in one period, the average pay shall be paid no later than the day preceding the start of the leave. If it’s taken in two periods, the employer will split the holiday pay into two equal payments; both are still paid the day immediately before the start of both leave periods.
There are 13 public holidays.
Once an employee has worked for a company for a minimum of 60 days within the last 12 months, they are entitled to 16 days paid sick leave at their basic rate of pay. All sick leave must be validated by the production of a medical certificate from a medical professional within 48 hours of the start of the sick period.
The first 16 days are paid for by the employer, with the employer paying the difference between payments made by the Social Security Board (SSB) and the employee’s basic pay rate. After the 16 working days of illness, the SSB will pay the payments following the Social Security Act. Labour Act; Sec 131.
Insured women are entitled to receive maternity leave and payments based on specific eligibility requirements.
Provided that during the preceding 12 months the employee was employed by the same employer for a period of not less than 150 days, she’ll be entitled to a maximum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. Seven weeks paid before birth and seven weeks after.
The maternity pay is calculated based on 80% of the average weekly Insurable Earnings of the insured woman in 39 weeks before maternity leave commences. The minimum benefit is 44.00 BZD per week and 384.00 BZD per week at a maximum.
Paternity leave is not required by law.
Parental leave is not required by law.
There are no other leave types required by law in Belize.
The termination process is standard in Belize, with notice periods required unless an employer can provide sufficient cause for dismissal without notice due to misconduct, disobedience, lack of skill, neglect of duties, or absence without permission.
The length of employment determines the amount of notice period required by an employee as below:
- Over 2 weeks to 6 months – 1 week notice
- Over 6 months to 2 years – 2 weeks’ notice
- Over 2 years to 5 years – 4 weeks’ notice
- Over 5 years – 8 weeks’ notice
Severance pay is calculated based on the employee continuous employment by any employer for a period of
(a) five to ten years and
(i) the employer terminates employment, or
(ii) the worker retires on or after attaining the age of sixty years or on medical grounds,
that worker shall be paid a severance pay of one week’s wages in respect of each complete year of service; or
(b) over ten years, and his employment is
(i) terminated by the employer for reasons, which do not amount to dismissal, or
(ii) ended because the worker retires on or after attaining the age of sixty years or on medical grounds,
(iii) worker abandons the service of an employer for good and sufficient cause, or
(iv) a worker who resigns after a minimum of 10 years is eligible for a gratuity equal to severance pay, or
(v) terminated on the expiration of a contract for a definite period.
That worker shall be paid a severance pay of two weeks’ wages for each full year of service.
Due to changes in legislation, where an employee has completed over ten years of continuous employment, the severance pay shall be calculated as follows:
- For the period served before 1st May 2011 at the rate of one week’s pay for each complete year of service
- For the period served after 1st May 2011 at the rate of two weeks’ pay for each full year of service.
In the case of casual workers, they must work an aggregate of one hundred and eighty (180) days in a year to be entitled to severance pay.
The first two weeks of employment are considered a probationary period.
A work permit is required before any foreigner can work in Belize.
The Ministry of Labour process and approve the issuing of work permits for three months to 12 months. The Immigration Department and the permit fee can range from 100.00 BZD to 600.00 BZD depending on the person’s level of skill.
After obtaining and completing the form, the applicant will need:
- Three passport-size photographs (signed on the back)
- A letter from the Mayor of San Pedro regarding the nature of the employment request
- A letter from the Belize Tourist Board regarding the nature of the employment request
- If an employer is seeking the permit on behalf of the future employee, the employer will request them to attend an interview to prove that a Belizean cannot fill the position.
- Proof of residence in Belize for at least six months.
The Ministry of labor generally take at least one month to review, approve, or reject applications for a work permit.
There is no VAT in Belize however, there is a standard GST rate is 12.50%