Expanding your business to new countries can lead to newfound levels of success. When you’re ready to build a team in Saint Lucia, you’ll encounter a different economy, new labor regulations, and a unique business culture. While you can face these hurdles on your own, working with a professional team can support a smoother transition.
Globalization Partners offers all the guidance you need for your global expansion. Our team of HR and legal experts provides the information you need to draft employment contracts, hire nonnational workers, handle payroll, and manage benefits packages.
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With our expertise, your business will remain compliant and organized. As your Employer of Record, we’ll hire your employees through our subsidiary. You can enjoy the benefits of our expansion expertise while we take on all the legal liability. You’ll gain peace of mind and time to focus on the big picture — growing your company.
Take a look at the knowledge we apply to global expansion in Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia is an island nation located in the Caribbean, well-known for its luxury resorts and volcanic beaches. The country’s economy relies on tourism, light manufacturing, and banana production. Businesses involved in food service, hospitality, and retail all have the chance to thrive in the nation’s tourism sector.
The island’s labor regulations focus on employee provisions and representation. When you’re ready to take your business to this island nation, make sure you’re familiar with the employment laws.
Saint Lucia labor laws allow for both written and verbal employment contracts. These agreements can have a specified time or task, or they can be indefinite. If an employer chooses to provide a written contract, they must have it within 14 days of employment commencing. These written contracts must cover a range of information, including:
- Names of both parties
- Terms of employment
- Leave provisions
- Working hours and rest
- Remuneration, calculation, and payment schedule
- Termination policy
If an employment contract is verbal, the employer must discuss these terms with all new hires before starting work. An employee may request a written contract at any time, and the employer must provide it within a month of the request. In all cases of a written agreement, both parties must sign the document and keep a copy.
The standard working week is 40 hours at eight hours a day. No employee may work more than six consecutive days without a 24-hour rest period. This day is often Sunday, but an employer may clarify different terms in the employment agreement. If a worker must provide service on a Sunday, they must earn 200 percent of their standard wages.
Overtime is any working time over the prescribed hours, and employers must provide 150 percent of an employee’s standard wages during these hours. Hospitality workers may work more than 40 hours a week without overtime due to the nature of their job, but they must not work over 80 hours in two weeks.
When a worker has provided their services for a year, they are entitled to paid vacation leave. Employees should receive at least 14 days of vacation for the first five years with an employer. After the five-year mark, they must receive at least 21 days yearly.
Employees can take vacation leave in parts or as a whole. This leave must be used within six months of the award unless otherwise discussed with the employer. Public holidays should not be counted as used vacation days if they fall during a period of leave.
Employers should cover sick leave for employees for two consecutive days and 12 days total each year. If an employee needs to take more than two consecutive days off for sickness, they must provide a medical certificate for proof of illness. The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) will take over sick day payments after two consecutive sick days at 65 percent of standard wages.
An employer may require a medical certificate at any point during sick leave.
Saint Lucia observes eleven public holidays, and they are:
- New Year’s Day
- Independence Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Labor Day
- Whit Monday
- Feast of Corpus Christi
- Emancipation Day
- National Day
- Christmas Day
Employees should receive paid time off on these days if they work the day before and after a public holiday. If a worker must provide service on a public holiday, employers must pay 200 percent of their standard wages.
Employees receive maternity leave based on what they qualify for with the NIC. Workers must take six weeks before confinement and six weeks after.
Workers using maternity leave are qualified for pay through the NIC and their employer if they’ve served for at least 18 months, or 150 days in the case of a part-time employee. If an employee has served less than that time, they will receive six weeks without pay as part of maternity leave.
Termination and Severance
Both employees and employers may terminate a contract on legal grounds with appropriate notice. That said, the legal notice requirements are different for workers and employers. Workers must provide notice as follows:
- One week for 12 weeks to five years of service
- Two weeks for more than five years
The employer notice policy is as follows:
- One week for 12 weeks to two years of service
- Two weeks for two to five years of service
- Four weeks for five to 10 years
- Six weeks for more than 10 years
Employers may dismiss an employee on the grounds of:
- Serious misconduct
- Willful disobedience
- Repeated neglect of duties
- Repeated unexcused absence from work
- Refusal to follow health and safety measures
- Theft or intentional damage of property
- Lack of qualifications
- Conduct inconsistent with terms of the employment contract
Employee dismissal in these cases does not require notice.
In the case of unsatisfactory performance, the employer must provide at least two written warnings at separate times detailing what an employee must change. If the worker doesn’t respond to these warnings after two notices, the employer can follow through with contract termination.
Severance pay requirements vary based on industry-specific collective agreements.
Saint Lucia operates on a progressive income tax system, and employees may pay from 10 to 30 percent on their earnings. Alongside Pay As You Earn taxes, employees and employers make contributions to the NIC.
With the NIC in place, employers are not required to provide health insurance schemes. They must match employee contributions to the national fund.
Bonuses and Additional Benefits
Saint Lucia labor laws do not designate any required bonuses or additional benefits for employees.
Expand Business to Saint Lucia With Globalization Partners
Globalization Partners provides the resources you need for your company’s expansion to the Caribbean. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our international Employer of Record services.