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Hiring in British virgin islands

British Virgin Islands, officially known as the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. Road Town is the capital and the largest industry of the British Virgin Islands. Financial services and tourism are the primary sectors of economy. Its main trading partners are Malta, Seychelles, Switzerland, Netherlands and Cyprus. Global PEO or Employer of Record (EOR) play a pivotal role in providing companies with services related to hiring employees, and ensuring compliance with British Virgin Islands’ legal and tax regulations. Employment regulations including probation, holidays and termination are covered by the Labor Code. The Labor Code stipulates that employees are subject to a 90-day probationary period of employment pursuant to the “Virgin Islands Wrongful Discharge Act”. There is no income tax; however, employers and self-employed individuals are subject to payroll tax. Global PEO’s facilitate companies by ensuring compliance with the Labor Code and the tax laws.

statutory labor requirements

Probation Period

  • Most Virgin Islands employees are subject to a 90-day probationary period of employment pursuant to the “Virgin Islands Wrongful Discharge Act”.

Annual Leave

  • An employee who has successfully completed his or her probationary period is entitled to be granted vacation leave at the rates set out below in respect of each year of service: 
  • employees with less than ten years’ service, to a minimum of twelve normal working days;
  • employees with ten years’ service and less than twenty years’ service, to a minimum of fifteen normal working days; and 
  • employees with twenty years’ service or above, to a minimum of twenty normal working days.

Public Holidays

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)
  2. Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Holiday (2nd March)
  3. Commonwealth Day (9th March)
  4. Good Friday (10th April)
  5. Easter Monday (13th April)
  6. Whit Monday (1st June)
  7. Queen's Birthday (13th June)
  8. Territory Day (1st July)
  9. Festival Monday (13th August)
  10. Festival Tuesday (4th August)
  11. Festival Wednesday (5th August)
  12. Saint Ursula's Day (21st October)
  13. Christmas Day (25th December)

Boxing Day (28th December)

Maternity Leave

  • The period of maternity leave shall not be less than thirteen weeks of which not less than six weeks shall be taken after the date of confinement.

Paternity Leave

  • Where a female employee is granted maternity leave under this section, the husband or de facto spouse of the employee shall, upon application, be granted paternity leave without pay for such period as requested in the application, but in any case not exceeding one month, to be taken during the period his wife or de facto spouse is on confinement or not later than six months from the birth of the child.

Sick Leave

  • An employee who becomes ill shall, where service with his or her employer is for a continuous period of not less than four months, be eligible for sick leave with pay for a period of not less than twelve working days in any one year.

Work Hours

  • The normal hours of work, exclusive of the meal interval, shall be eight hours and the standard work week shall be forty hours.

Overtime

  • For any hours of work accrued by an employee for his or her employer at the employer’s request on a rest day, or in excess of eight hours on any work day or in excess of forty hours in any week, the employer shall pay the employee at the rate of at least one and one half times his or her basic rate of pay.
  • An employer shall not employ any person in excess of twelve hours in any period of twenty-four hours’ subject to a maximum of sixty hours in any period of one hundred and sixty-eight hours.

Notice Period

  • Where an employer is required by section 89 to give an employee notice of termination of the employment contract, such notice shall be determined on the following basis unless a written contract provides more favorable terms: 
    • where the employee’s length of service does not exceed seven years, the period of notice shall be at least equivalent to the interval of time between the affected employee’s pay days; 
    • where the employee’s length of service exceeds seven years but does not exceed fifteen years, the period of notice shall be at least one month; 
    • where the employee’s length of service exceeds fifteen years, the period of notice shall be at least two months.

Severance

  • In the case of an employee who is not a periodic employee and who is not paid on a piece-work basis, severance payment shall consist of three-quarters of one day’s pay or nine days’ pay per year, at the employee’s latest basic rate of pay, for each month or major fraction thereof of his or her period of employment with his or her employer and any predecessor-employer.
  • In the case of a periodic employee, 
    • severance payment shall consist of three quarters of one day’s pay or nine days’ pay per year for each twenty-nine days worked; 
    • any fraction of a day which is obtained by dividing the number of days worked by twenty-nine shall be reckoned as one day; and 
    • one day’s pay shall be calculated as equal to the total of his or her basic wage in the last twelve-month period worked divided by the number of days worked.

income tax

  • Under the Payroll Taxes Act, 2004, corporate tax, Pay As-You-Earn (PAYE) income tax and any other income tax payable under the Income Tax Ordinance is applied at a 0% rate. 
  • Payroll tax is imposed on the following: 
  • Remuneration provided in cash or in kind by employers to employees and deemed employees 
  • Remuneration received in cash or in kind by self-employed persons 
  • Any benefits received in cash or in kind by employees, deemed employees or self-employed persons as a result of his or her employment
  • Remuneration is defined as the payment an employee receives for services rendered to his or her employer. 
  • The first USD10,000 of earnings is exempt from payroll tax. 
  • Persons receiving remuneration from a second employment are not entitled to the exemption of USD10,000 with respect to that remuneration because the exemption is granted only once.
  • The applicable rate of payroll tax depends on whether the employer is classified as a Class I employer or Class II employer. 

Class I employers

  • For Class I employers, which include self-employed persons, payroll tax is imposed at a rate of 10%.
  • A Class I employer or self-employed person is one who meets the following conditions: 
  • Its annual payroll does not exceed USD150,000. 
  • Its annual turnover or gross receipts does not exceed USD300,000. 
  • The total of its employees and deemed employees does not exceed seven.

Class II employers

  • For Class II employers, which include self-employed persons, payroll tax is imposed at a rate of 14%. 
  • A Class II employer is an employer that does not satisfy all of the requirements for qualification as a Class I employer.

Payroll Tax

Class I

10%

Class II

14%

 immigration

 
 
  • In general, all visitors may enter the British Virgin Islands if they meet certain requirements. 
  • A person entering the British Virgin Islands to visit must satisfy the Immigration Officer at the port of entry that he or she satisfies all of the following requirements: 
  • He or she possesses a valid travel document.
  • He or she does not intend to remain permanently in the British Virgin Islands. 
  • He or she has sufficient funds to support himself or herself, as well as any dependents, without working for the duration of his or her stay, and can meet the cost of return or onward travel. In general, a return ticket is required. 
  • Citizens of the British Commonwealth, except Guyana and Jamaica, do not require visas to visit the British Virgin Islands. 
  • All visitors to the British Virgin Islands are allowed entry without medical certification for 30 days. 
  • After the 30-day period expires, visitors can apply for an extension with the Department of Immigration
  • Persons who are employed in the British Virgin Islands on a temporary or periodic basis must obtain temporary or periodic work permits (as applicable). Work permits for foreign nationals are issued by the Labour Department for specific positions with specific employers if the positions cannot be filled locally. The permits are usually valid for one-year periods. However, one month before expiration, they may be submitted for renewal. Temporary work permits are issued to persons to enter and work in the British Virgin Islands for a single period not exceeding three months. Periodic work permits are issued to persons to enter and work in the British Virgin Islands for short periods within a one-year period.
  • In general, an applicant cannot reside in the British Virgin Islands during the period during which his or her work permit application is being processed. However, if the applicant is changing employers and has worked and lived in the jurisdiction for five years or more, he or she is not required to leave while his or her work permit is being processed. Approval of work permits may be issued within six to eight weeks if all of the appropriate documentation is in order when it is submitted to the Labor Department.

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Work Permit

  • A letter issued to his or her prospective employer by the Labor Department approving employment in the British Virgin Islands together with all documents stipulated in the letter.
  • A certificate of good health from the country where the applicant lived before arrival.
  • A recent Police Certificate of Character issued by the police department in the applicant’s country of residence
  • Evidence of a return travel booking to the applicant’s country of origin. 
  • Two passport-size photos.
  • Proof of address in the jurisdiction

1 year

Foreigners seeking employment in BVI must obtain a work permit.

value added tax

The BVI does not levy VAT or sales tax.

withholding tax

  • There is no withholding tax in BVI

termination

  • The employment contract of an employee shall not be terminated by an employer without a valid and fair reason for such termination connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee, or with the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service
  • An employee is entitled to terminate his or her employment contract without notice or with less notice than that to which the employer is entitled by any statutory provision or contractual term, where the employer’s conduct has made it unreasonable to expect the employee to continue the employment contract.
  • The employment contract of an employee may be terminated with notice, or with pay in lieu of notice, for any valid and fair reason connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee, or the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service.

statutory benefits

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Paternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

payments and invoicing

  • The tax year is the calendar year. 
  • Employers and self-employed persons must pay the payroll tax within 21 days after the end of each month for which the tax is due. 
  • A failure to comply with this rule results in the imposition of a penalty of 5% on the outstanding tax. 
  • The Commissioner of Inland Revenue may request that a return of payroll or remuneration for a tax year be submitted to the Inland Revenue. 
  • Married persons are taxed separately.

employee accruals   

   
Christmas Bonus%
0%
Christmas Bonus Over Vacations % 0%
Severance per Year % Employees are entitled to 9 days of pay for each year (2.46%)
Vacations % Employees are entitled to 12 days of annual leave (3.29% of annual salary)
Notice % Employees are entitled to one month's of notice period after seven years of service (8.33%)
Christmas Bonus Over Notifications% 0%
Vacations Plus% 0%
Total percentage of Salary (yearly) The total employment accruals as a percentage of salary per anum are equal to 14.08%

employer accruals

Employer Accruals Additional information

    Employment Accruals
Annual Leave An employee who has successfully completed his or her probationary period is entitled to be granted vacation leave at the rates set out below in respect of each year of service:
• employees with less than ten years’ service, to a minimum of twelve normal working days
This equals 3.28% (12/365 days) of annual income
Maternity Leave The period of maternity leave shall not be less than thirteen weeks of which not less than six weeks shall be taken after the date of confinement. This equals 25% (13/52 months) of annual income
Sick Leave An employee who becomes ill shall, where service with his or her employer is for a continuous period of not less than four months, be eligible for sick leave with pay for a period of not less than twelve working days in any one year. This equals 3.28% (12/365 days) of annual income
Overtime For any hours of work accrued by an employee for his or her employer at the employer’s request on a rest day, or in excess of eight hours on any work day or in excess of forty hours in any week, the employer shall pay the employee at the rate of at least one and one half times his or her basic rate of pay. Subjective
Severance In the case of an employee who is not a periodic employee and who is not paid on a piece-work basis, severance payment shall consist of three-quarters of one day’s pay or nine days’ pay per year, at the employee’s latest basic rate of pay, for each month or major fraction thereof of his or her period of employment with his or her employer and any predecessor-employer. This equals 2.46% (9/365 days) of annual income
Social Security The total contribution rate is 8.5%; employers pay 4.5% and employees pay 4%.
This equals 4.5% of annual income

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