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Payroll and Benefits Guide Belize

Last updated: May 02, 2023

Currency
Belize Dollar (BZD)
Employer Taxes
5.0% - 8.13%
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Employee Costs
4.5%
Capital
Belmopan
Date Format
dd/mm/yyyy
Fiscal Year
1 April - 31 March
video poster

Contribution

Employer
Employer Payroll Contributions
Effective from 4/4/2022
8.13%
0 BZD – 70 BZD
8.13%
70 BZD – 109.99 BZD
8.13%
110 BZD – 139.99 BZD
7.54%
140 BZD – 179.99 BZD
7.03%
180 BZD – 219.99 BZD
6.69%
220 BZD – 259.99 BZD
6.45%
260 BZD – 299.99 BZD
6.27%
300 BZD – 339.99 BZD
6.12%
340 BZD – 379.99 BZD
5.96%
380 BZD – 419.99 BZD
5.81%
420 BZD – 459.99 BZD
5.65%
460 BZD – 499.99 BZD
5.50%
500 BZD and above
5.50% to 8.13%
Total Employment Cost

 

Employee
Employee Payroll Contributions
1.88%
0 BZD – 70 BZD
1.88%
70 BZD – 109.99 BZD
1.88%
110 BZD – 139.99 BZD
2.46%
140 BZD – 179.99 BZD
2.97%
180 BZD – 219.99 BZD
3.31%
220 BZD – 259.99 BZD
3.55%
260 BZD – 299.99 BZD
3.73%
300 BZD – 339.99 BZD
3.88%
340 BZD – 379.99 BZD
4.04%
380 BZD – 419.99 BZD
4.19%
420 BZD – 459.99 BZD
4.35%
460 BZD – 499.99 BZD
4.50%
500 BZD and above
1.88% to 4.50%
Total Employer Cost
Employee Income Tax
25%
On income from 26,000.01 BZD and above

Employer taxes

Highest
Lowest

Employee taxes

Highest
Lowest

Minimum Wage

General

The national minimum hourly wage in Belize is 5.00 BZD.

MINIMUM WAGE (PER MONTH)

Highest
Lowest

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

Employees can be paid on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis.

13th Salary

It is not mandatory or customary to pay 13th-month payments in Belize

Working Hours

General

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

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.

Leave

Annual Leave (vacation)

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.

Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays.

Date Day Holiday Note
01 Jan 24 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 24 Monday George Price Day
9 Mar 24 Saturday National Heroes and Benefactors Day
11 Mar 24 Monday National Heroes and Benefactors Day Day off in lieu
29 Mar 24 Friday Good Friday
30 Mar 24 Saturday Holy Saturday
01 Apr 24 Monday Easter Monday
29 Apr 24 Monday Labour Day Day off in lieu
01 Aug 24 Thursday Emancipation Day
10 Sep 24 Tuesday St. George’s Caye Day
21 Sep 24 Saturday Independence Day
12 Oct 24 Saturday Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day
14 Oct 24 Monday Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day Holiday Day off in lieu
19 Nov 24 Tuesday Garifuna Settlement Day
25 Dec 24 Wednesday Christmas Day
26 Dec 24 Thursday Boxing Day

Sick Days

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. Labor Act; Sec 131.

Maternity Leave

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

Paternity leave is not required by law.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is not required by law.

Other Leave

There are no other leave types required by law in Belize.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays
Highest
Lowest

PAID MATERNITY LEAVE (DAYS)

Highest
Lowest

Termination

Termination Process

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.

Notice Period

The length of employment determines the amount of notice period required by an employee or employer 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

Severance pay is calculated based on the employee’s 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:

  1. For the period served before 1st May 2011 at the rate of one week’s pay for each complete year of service
  2. 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.

Probation Period

The first two weeks of employment are considered a probationary period.

VISA

VISA

A work permit is required before any foreigner can work in Belize.
The Ministry of Labor 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:

  1. Three passport-size photographs (signed on the back)
  2. A letter from the Mayor of San Pedro regarding the nature of the employment request
  3. A letter from the Belize Tourist Board regarding the nature of the employment request
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

VAT

General

There is no VAT in Belize however, there is a standard GST rate is 12.50%

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

April 13, 2022
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
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Questions & Answers

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Kevin montoya
Kevin montoya
1 year ago

I want to know if i should get a week pay if i worked for a company 3 months and they fired me

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin montoya

An employer is not required to pay severance to an employee who has only completed 3 months of employment.

Edmir
Edmir
1 year ago

I would like to know if I should get paid after 2 years part time anđ then following 2 years full time. After the pandemic hit the job was on pause after 2 months got called back to work and did so until 30th of december 2020 which I was then never called back to work

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Edmir

It is only after five years of continuous employment that employees in Belize receive severance.

Mallory
Mallory
1 year ago

Are independent contractors under these same laws and regulations as employees?

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Mallory

Hi Mallory, Independent Contractors will not be entitled to the same benefits are regular employees. Before hiring a contractor, the company should review the legal requirements with a local legal expert to ensure hiring is done compliantly.

Joselito
Joselito
1 year ago

What should we do if the employer doesn’t pay for the required 2 week leave a year?

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Joselito

If an employer in Belize does not pay for the required two weeks of annual leave, employees may take the following steps:

1.Negotiate with the employer: Employees can try to resolve the issue by speaking directly with their employer and explaining the situation.

2.Contact the Ministry of Labour: If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation, employees can contact the Ministry of Labour in Belize, which is responsible for enforcing labour laws and ensuring that employers comply with their obligations.

3.File a complaint: If the issue remains unresolved, employees can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry will then investigate the complaint and may take action against the employer if it finds that the employer has violated the law.

4.Take legal action: As a final resort, employees may choose to take legal action against their employer if the employer continues to refuse to pay the required leave.

It is important to keep in mind that the exact process for resolving disputes over annual leave in Belize may vary and it is advisable to seek advice from a local employment law expert.

Marvin givarra
Marvin givarra
1 year ago

Do I get service pay after 8 years

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Marvin givarra

In Belize, a worker with 8 years of employment shall be paid a severance pay of one week’s wages in respect of each complete year of service.

Erle Grinage
Erle Grinage
1 year ago

HOW MUCH HOLIDAY PAY IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO AFTER HE WORKED FOR FIVE YEARS AND THREE MONTHS AS WAS TERMINATED

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Erle Grinage

A worker receives one week’s wage for each complete year of service.

Mikey
Mikey
11 months ago

If I worked for 5 years and was paid 360, how much severance would I be paid for those 5 years of work?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
11 months ago
Reply to  Mikey

Generally, termination pay out may vary depending on the dismissal circumstances, but as a general rule Severance pay is 2 weeks’ wages for each full year of service.

abi
abi
9 months ago

can i just resign bcz of the work suoervisor with out a notice

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
1 month ago
Reply to  abi

This depends on the duration of the employment:

Continuous service Period of notice

-Over 2 weeks to 6 months One (1) week
-Over 6 months to 2 yearsTwo (2) weeks

Jermaine Hendy
Jermaine Hendy
9 months ago

If I was asked to tender my resignation after 2 years and 4 month of service am I entitle to any payment

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
8 months ago
Reply to  Jermaine Hendy

Hello, severance is only required by law after a continuous service length of 5 years.

denis
denis
8 months ago

Is severnce pay taxable??

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
8 months ago
Reply to  denis

Tax is applied based on total income per annum and applied according to the salary and tax thresholds in place.

Judy
Judy
8 months ago

Is it legal if a worker gets paid the annual vacation leave, but continues working during the two weeks and never takes the weeks off?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
8 months ago
Reply to  Judy

Hello, would you be able to provide more context? What do you mean by saying the annual leave has been paid but no days off have been taken? Why would this be the case? Thanks

Jamal
Jamal
8 months ago

Hi. I would like to know what should happen in a situation where an employee has worked somewhere for a year and plans to resign? I know about the 2 weeks notice but what happens if employee leaves without the 2 week notice? And should employee be paid for the 2 weeks after if notice is given?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jamal

Hello,

When an employee decides to resign from their job, they are required to provide notice to their employer as outlined in Section 37(2) of the Labour Act.
Upon acceptance of the notice by the employer, it becomes the employer’s responsibility to settle all terminal benefits as stipulated by the Labour Act.

It is important to note that the employer does have the option to waive the two-week notice period. However, it is advisable to seek guidance from a local legal expert to fully understand the available options and consider the grounds that led to the resignation.

Consulting with a legal professional will help explore the possibilities and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

Jamal
Jamal
8 months ago

Are there consequences for an employer being late repeatedly with salaries?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jamal

Hello, we don’t have any information to share, we advise you to seek local advise from legal local representatives.

Antoinette
Antoinette
7 months ago

If an employee resigns what gratuity are they entitled to

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
6 months ago
Reply to  Antoinette

A worker who resigns after a minimum of 10 years is eligible for a gratuity equal to severance pay.

Ally
Ally
6 months ago
Reply to  Enny Shmurin

is one entitled to that final pay after working 9 months?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
6 months ago
Reply to  Ally

A worker who resigns must always be paid out for time worked and benefits earned. In terms of gratuity, a worker who resigns is only entitled after a minimum of 10 years service.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

If i were to let go an employee who has more than 5 years working with me how much severance would i need to pay?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Workers with service between 5 to 10 years shall be paid a severance pay of two weeks’ wages for each full year of service. After 10 years service the severance is calculated differently.

Adriannie
Adriannie
5 months ago

Are you entitled to any benefit(s) if u have worked for over 3 years and decide to resign with immediate effect?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
5 months ago
Reply to  Adriannie

Information about severance pay can be found in the Countrypedia which outlines when it is given. If you meant another type of benefits, please specify which benefits you are referring to and how long exactly you had been at the company.

Lucy
Lucy
4 months ago

Should you be charged tax from your tips?

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
4 months ago
Reply to  Lucy

We recommend reviewing your base salary with a local tax consultant or consulting the local tax services. Generally, all income is subject to taxation and accordance to the tax bracket.

France
France
3 months ago

If a holiday falls on Sunday, eg November 19th but they take the holiday on Monday the 20th, do I have to work the 19th and 20th and 21st to be eligible for a holiday time and a half pay? Reality do I have to work a day before and a day after to collect a public and bank holiday pay?

Last edited 3 months ago by France
Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
3 months ago
Reply to  France

Hello, we cannot advise on the specific set up of the worker’s entitlement. Generally, holidays that falls on Sundays are moved to Monday as a day in lieu.

Minc
Minc
2 months ago

Working as a doctor with a private firm for 8 years and counting but not yet 10. I would like to resign, am I entitled to any benefits?Never took a sick day during those 8 years.

Last edited 2 months ago by Minc
Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
2 months ago
Reply to  Minc

We suggest examining your contract; nevertheless, if resigning with less than 10 years of service, the employee is not eligible for any form of benefits.

Leslie
Leslie
2 months ago

Work for 7 years an reign what am I entitled to

Enny Shmurin
Admin
Enny Shmurin
2 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

Do you mean resign? If resigning with less than 10 years of service, the employee is not eligible for any form of benefits.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Belize

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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Public Holidays Calendar

Belize
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ICS
Date Day Holiday Note
01 Jan 24 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 24 Monday George Price Day
9 Mar 24 Saturday National Heroes and Benefactors Day
11 Mar 24 Monday National Heroes and Benefactors Day Day off in lieu
29 Mar 24 Friday Good Friday
30 Mar 24 Saturday Holy Saturday
01 Apr 24 Monday Easter Monday
29 Apr 24 Monday Labour Day Day off in lieu
01 Aug 24 Thursday Emancipation Day
10 Sep 24 Tuesday St. George’s Caye Day
21 Sep 24 Saturday Independence Day
12 Oct 24 Saturday Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day
14 Oct 24 Monday Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day Holiday Day off in lieu
19 Nov 24 Tuesday Garifuna Settlement Day
25 Dec 24 Wednesday Christmas Day
26 Dec 24 Thursday Boxing Day