Jamaica Employment Laws


There are 2.6 million people living in Jamaica. Nearly 1.1 million are active in the workforce. Most Jamaican employees work in either the services or agricultural industry. The Jamaican government regulates employment in the country with various laws. These laws are maintained and enforced by the Jamaican Ministry of Justice.

Minimum Wage

Jamaica has a national minimum wage. Those who work a 40-hour week in Jamaica must be paid at least 3,200 Jamaican dollars. The hourly minimum wage is 80 Jamaican dollars, or about 1 U.S. dollar.

Another employment law in Jamaica is the Holiday with Pay Order. This piece of legislation provides sick leave and vacation time for employees in the private sector. Under the act, people who work more than 110 consecutive days are entitled to vacation and sick leave of at least two weeks a year.

Maternity Leave

The Ministry of Justice in Jamaica enforces a national insurance act that ensures pregnant women are given maternity leave. The act is especially aimed at domestic workers, who are among the worst paid. Because of the act, workers who go on maternity leave are entitled to a maternity allowance at the national minimum wage for up to eight weeks.


In Jamaica, employers are required to give their employees notice before they fire them. The employer must give at least two weeks notice if the person has been employed for less than five years. Those who have been employed for five to 10 years are given four weeks notice. Employees that have worked at a company for more than 10 years must receive at least six to eight weeks notice. All employees must give only two weeks notice, regardless of how long they have been working for a company.

Unemployment Insurance

Jamaica has a form of unemployment insurance. It is called the Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payments) Act. The legislation was enacted in Jamaica in 1974. This act provides compensation to workers who have lost their jobs.

Social Security

Those who can no longer work in Jamaica due to age receive social security. (Social assistance is provided to all Jamaican citizens classified as needy.) Social security in Jamaica is technically called the National Insurance Scheme.

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