When you develop a successful company in your home country, you may consider expanding overseas. This move can be beneficial to your company when executed correctly. While you can choose to handle the process independently, Globalization Partners can streamline the process and help you start your global success.
Our Employer of Record model involves hiring your employees through our entity in your country of expansion. Our connection to over 180 countries makes it possible to expand around the world. You can also count on our team of legal and HR experts to keep your employment terms compliant while offering streamlined payroll and onboarding services.
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This setup allows you to offload all legal risks to us. With your employees under our name, we’re responsible for following Belize’s employment laws and keeping your company legal. With peace of mind, you can focus on what you know best — growing your company.
Take a look at some of our legal knowledge on Belize to see how our expertise can guide your expansion.
Off the coast of Central America, Belize is an island nation with growth potential for companies. The country is a tax haven open to international investors and offers tax exemptions in many circumstances. With a focus on industries such as agriculture and tourism, Belize is an excellent area to begin your expansion around the world.
Belize’s labor laws dictate employment contracts as expressed or implied agreements, and they can be oral or written. You may hire a worker for an indefinite or definite period.
A written contract is required when:
- The work period exceeds three months.
- You create the agreement in the country, but most or all the work will take place outside of it.
- The conditions of employment differ from the standards outlined in the country’s labor laws.
A written contract is only valid for a service time of one to two years if the employee’s family is with them.
Your employment contract should include basic information about you and your worker, including names and addresses. You should also detail other valuable terms, such as the payment duration, wages, notice periods, and any special conditions.
The standard workweek is 45 hours. A workday should not exceed nine hours before overtime, and all employees are entitled to one rest day a week. The typical rest day is Sunday, though you may choose a different day of the week and include it in the employment contract.
An employee is never required to perform overtime work, but they may choose to. Any hours worked over the set schedule in the employment agreement should count for overtime pay. The pay rate must be 150 percent of regular wages. If an employee works on their assigned rest day, they should also make time and a half.
After a year of work, employees must receive at least two weeks of paid annual leave. You determine when a worker takes their time off, and they must take it within six months of earning it. Labor laws require that workers take annual leave in a single period or two periods per an agreement with you.
During annual leave, employees receive average pay — 1/26th of a year’s pay. If any employee takes their leave in two periods, the pay should be an appropriate average for the time off.
When an employee has worked for you for 60 days within 12 months, they are entitled to sick leave. Workers receive 16 days of paid sick leave and must present a medical certificate within 48 hours of taking leave. If an employee does not present a medical certificate, you aren’t required to pay them during their leave.
The country’s social security fund covers sick days after three days of absence — you must pay for the first three days. If social security doesn’t cover an employee’s wages completely, you are responsible for making up the difference for the last 13 days of absence.
Employees that work the day before and after a public holiday are entitled to a paid day off for that holiday. The country recognizes 13 public holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Commonwealth Day
- Good Friday
- Holy Saturday
- Easter Monday
- Baron Bliss Day
- Labor Day
- Independence Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- Pan American Day
- Garifuna Settlement Day
- Independence Day
If an employee works on a holiday, they should make 150 percent of their regular rate. Work on Good Friday, Easter Monday, or Christmas Day requires 200 percent of the employee’s regular wages. When a holiday falls on an employee’s standard rest day, you do not need to pay workers for the time off.
Female employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. They can take up to seven weeks before delivery but must use at least two weeks. Employees are also required to take at least seven weeks off after delivery. To receive full pay, they must work for your company for 150 days.
If the employee receives a maternity benefit from social security, you must pay the difference to equal her wages. In cases where social security covers a worker’s regular rate, you are not responsible for paying maternity leave.
You must deduct income tax and make contributions to the social security fund from employee paychecks.
Termination and Severance
Termination regulations depend on the type of contract and time an employee has served your company. For oral contracts, notice is:
- Three days for work between two weeks and six months.
- One week for six months to one year.
- Two weeks for one year to two years.
- Four weeks for more than two years.
If an employee fails to give notice to terminate an oral contract, they must pay you half the wages made during a notice period. You, as the employer, must pay the employee an amount equal to full wages during the notice period if you do not provide notice.
A written contract may determine notice periods for termination, but the minimum requirements are:
- One week of notice for a month of work or less.
- Two weeks of notice for more than a month of service.
Explanations for termination may include misconduct or disobedience in the workplace, lack of skill to complete the job, neglect of duties, and continual unapproved absence from work.
Severance pay is required in certain circumstances, including retirement, expiration of the contract, and termination by you.
Health insurance is not a requirement since the country does have public health care and the social security fund. However, there are private health care facilities on the island, if you choose to provide a health insurance scheme.
Bonuses and Additional Benefits
There are no bonuses or additional benefits outlined in the employment laws. You may provide these incentives as you are able.
Expand Business to Belize With Globalization Partners
Globalization Partners offers the support you need for your global expansion in Belize. Contact our team to learn more.