Expanding your company across multiple countries can be a well-intentioned business move, but it may be challenging to face on your own. When you work with Globalization Partners, you gain access to our Employer of Record model for a streamlined international expansion.
We hire your employees through our subsidiary using our skilled team of HR and legal experts. Then, we help you, onboard employees, manage compliant payroll, distribute proper benefits, and stay in contact with your team through our global PEO software.
Our model helps you complete your global expansion to Brunei in just a few days, so you can focus on building your company while we handle the details.
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Doing Business in Brunei
Located in southeast Asia, Brunei has excellent infrastructure and a well-educated population, making entrepreneurial endeavors wise. While the oil and gas industry makes up most of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the country is interested in various business types to diversify investments and economic pursuits. Brunei has an advanced economy with high-income citizens who are ready for incoming business ventures.
International businesses must work with the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish a legal company. Multinational companies can own 100% of their business without a local partner unless they’re involved in the petroleum industry or a government agency.
According to Brunei’s labor laws, employment contracts are required to hire an individual. They should include vital information such as the nature of employment, how long it will last, the termination policy, and salary. There’s no federal minimum wage in the country, so pay is open for negotiation and mutual agreement between you and your employees.
An employee should be paid at least once a month and receive the money within seven days of the end of the pay period.
Non-shift employees typically work eight-hour days and up to 44 hours a week. Anything over this allotted time is overtime, paid at 150% standard pay. An employee cannot work more than 12 hours a day unless the job is:
- Essential to life or security.
- Urgent for the business.
- Interrupted for an extended period.
Shift workers can work no more than an average of 44 hours in a week over three consecutive weeks, and workdays should not exceed 12 hours. A shift worker cannot work over 12 hours a day in any circumstance. All hours beyond what is stated in the employment contract are overtime hours.
Employees are entitled to one day of rest every week without pay. Typically, Sunday is the weekly day off, but you can choose any other day of the week as your employees’ compulsory day off in the employment contract. For shift workers, this rest day is classified as 30 consecutive hours of rest.
Workers receive vacation based on the amount of time they have worked with the company. At one year of service, they must receive a minimum of seven days of paid time off. This minimum increases by one day with every additional year of service. By eight years or more, employees must receive at least 14 days of paid leave. However, you can mention terms beyond these minimums in an employment contract.
Workers must receive a minimum of 14 days of paid outpatient sick leave and 60 hospitalization days. They earn these days on the condition that they:
- Have worked for the company for at least six months.
- Obtained a medical notice from the company doctor or another approved medical professional.
- Gave you, the employer, 48 hours of notice.
Brunei is a hub for various international workers, and the country’s maternity leave policy differs for local workers and employees working abroad.
International employees, or noncitizens, earn nine weeks of maternity leave, eight of which are paid. The first four weeks must occur prior to the delivery to give workers a chance to return to their home countries and make arrangements. The last five weeks of leave occur after the delivery, and four of them can happen over the six months following the birth.
Local workers receive 15 weeks of maternity leave, 13 of which are paid. Women must take two weeks off before the delivery and 13 after. While international employees only need 180 days of work to receive their leave, local workers must also be legal residents of Brunei and lawfully married.
As the employer, you are responsible for paying for the first eight weeks of maternity leave in both local and international circumstances. However, you can make a claim to the government to earn a refund after paying for the remaining five weeks of leave for citizens.
Employees are entitled to the following public holidays each year:
- January 1st
- Chinese New Year
- Brunei’s National Day
- Eid al-Fitr
- Hari Raya Aidiladha
- First day of Ramadan
- Anniversary of the revelation of the Quran
- His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Birthday
- Christmas Day
If an employee requests to work on a holiday, they earn their standard wage. However, if you require the employee to work on a holiday, they should receive double their regular wage.
Termination and Severance
Termination can occur in a few situations, the simplest one being the end of service. If the job has a set end or completion date described in the employment contract, service will end on the date noted.
You and your employees can incite termination with the proper notice. Regardless of position, notice periods are as follows:
- One day for less than 26 weeks of service
- One week for 26 weeks to two years of work
- Two weeks for two to five years of employment
- Four weeks for five or more years with the company
You can terminate an employee without notice if the employee breaches the contract in any way. Legal reasons for dismissal include:
- Misuse of facilities.
- Immoral or disorderly conduct.
- Willful insubordination.
There is no federal income tax for individuals, so you do not have to consider withholding it from paychecks. Employees do have the option to deduct up to 5% of their paycheck for their provident fund. In this instance, you will match their contributions.
Medical care is free at a federal level, so health insurance is not required. Workman’s compensation, however, is compulsory should an employee sustain an incapacitating injury on the job. The amount you have to pay depends on the loss of an employee’s earning capacity based on the injuries they sustained.
Bonuses and Additional Benefits
The 2009 Employment Order does not outline required benefits or bonuses, though you can determine these items at your discretion. You may offer benefits such as housing or meals, though you can choose to deduct these expenses from employees’ paychecks.
Don’t let borders be boundaries. Globalization Partners will change the way you expand your business through our Employer of Record services. Contact us today to learn more about our services.