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Hiring in Trinidad‌ ‌and‌ ‌tobago‌

Trinidad and Tobago, officially known as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a country in the Caribbean. Port of Spain is the capital and San Fernando is the largest city. English is the official language and Trinidad and Tobago Dollar is the official currency. Petroleum industry dominates the economy. Tourism and manufacturing are important sectors as well. Its main trading partners are the US, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Global PEO or Employer of Record (EOR) play a pivotal role in providing companies with services related to hiring employees, and ensuring compliance with Trinidad and Tobago’s legal and tax regulations. Labor Code stipulates that probationary period is of 3 to 6 months. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income; non-residents are taxed on their Trinidad and Tobago-source income only. Global PEO’s or Employer of Record (EOR) facilitate companies by ensuring compliance with Trinidad and Tobago’s Labor Code and tax laws.

statutory labor requirements

Probation Period

  • Probationary period is usually between 3 to 6 months

Annual Leave

  • There are no statutory leave provisions which apply to workers in general in Trinidad and Tobago. 
  • State employees have leave entitlements set out in legislation which deals with each Service.
  • This includes paid vacation leave

Public Holidays

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)
  2. Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day (30th March)
  3. Good Friday (10th April)
  4. Easter Monday (13th April)
  5. Eid al-Fitr
  6. Indian Arrival Day (30th May)
  7. Corpus Christi (11th June)
  8. Labor Day (19th June)
  9. Emancipation Day (of Trinidad and Tobago) (1st August)
  10. Independence Day (31st August)
  11. Trinidad and Tobago Republic Day (24th September)
  12. Diwali
  13. Christmas Day (25th December)

Boxing Day (26th December)

Maternity Leave

  • Female employees are entitled to thirteen (13) weeks maternity leave (six weeks prior to confinement, 7 weeks after) and one month's pay during such leave. 
  • An employee on maternity leave shall have the right to return to work. 
  • To qualify for maternity leave, employees must have worked for an employer for a period of no less than 12 months

Paternity Leave

  • There is no paternity leave

Sick Leave

  • The International Labor Organization reports that under sick leave labor law in Trinidad and Tobago, sick leave for state employees is mandatory — typically 14 paid days per year. 
  • In the private sector, employees receive paid sick days at their employer’s discretion. 
  • Many private employers offer 14 days as well under their company’s sick leave policy.

Work Hours

  • For employees in general, other than shift workers, the normal hours of work are eight hours a day, usually from 8:00am to 4:00pm, five days a week.

Overtime

  • For the first four hours of overtime the worker shall receive one and one half times the hourly rate. 
  • For the next four hours, two times the hourly rate and thereafter three times the hourly rate.

Notice Period

  • Usually in collective agreements and individual contracts a requirement for notice of termination is stipulated. 
  • For monthly paid employees this notice period is usually one month.

Severance

  • The Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act was passed to provide severance payments for retrenched employees.
  • A formula for the payment of severance is contained in the Act, with a stipulation that where more favorable benefits are provided by a collective agreement that applies to the retrenched worker, the collective agreement takes precedence over the Act.

13th / 14th Month Pay

  • No 
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th or the 14th month salary.
  • There is no statutory holiday entitlement and holidays are given to employees based on individual contracts.

income tax

  • Persons who are resident, ordinarily resident, or domiciled in Trinidad and Tobago are taxed on their worldwide income, whether or not such earnings are remitted to Trinidad and Tobago. 
  • A non-resident individual is taxed on income arising in Trinidad and Tobago, subject, where applicable, to the provisions of double taxation treaties (DTTs).
  • The income tax rate for individuals with chargeable income less than TTD 1 million is 25%. 
  • For chargeable income in excess of TTD 1 million, the rate of tax applicable is 30%.

Income Tax

Income (JMD)

Tax Rate (%)

Less than TTD 1 million

25%

Over TTD 1 million

30%

deductible expenses

Employment Expenses

  • An employed individual is not entitled to any blanket or standard deductions in computing taxable income. 
  • Such an individual may claim a deduction only for unreimbursed travel expenses incurred wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the course of employment.

Personal Deductions

  • A resident individual is entitled to a deduction in respect of the following:
    • Tertiary education expenses, up to a maximum of TTD 72,000.
    • Aggregation of contributions to approved pension funds, annuity plans, and National Insurance, up to a maximum sum of TTD 50,000.
    • Capital expenditure on conversion of a house to an approved guest house.
    • 100% covenanted donations to charitable organizations and sporting bodies, up to 15% of total taxable income.

Personal Allowances

  • A personal allowance of TTD 72,000 per taxpayer is granted.

Business deductions

  • A self-employed individual carrying on a trade, business, profession, or vocation may deduct those expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of such income.
  • Promotional expenses incurred by professionals in the construction sector or persons employed in agriculture in the expansion of existing markets or the creation of new markets for the export of services or locally produced goods are deductible as an expense at 150% of the actual outlay.

 

Deductible Expenses

Employment Expenses

  • An employed individual is not entitled to any blanket or standard deductions in computing taxable income. 
  • Such an individual may claim a deduction only for unreimbursed travel expenses incurred wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the course of employment.

Personal Deductions

  • Tertiary education expenses, up to a maximum of TTD 72,000.
  • Aggregation of contributions to approved pension funds, annuity plans, and National Insurance, up to a maximum sum of TTD 50,000.
  • Capital expenditure on conversion of a house to an approved guest house.
  • 100% covenanted donations to charitable organizations and sporting bodies, up to 15% of total taxable income.

Personal Allowances

  • A personal allowance of TTD 72,000 per taxpayer is granted.

Business Deductions

  • A self-employed individual carrying on a trade, business, profession, or vocation may deduct those expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of such income.
  • Promotional expenses incurred by professionals in the construction sector or persons employed in agriculture in the expansion of existing markets or the creation of new markets for the export of services or locally produced goods are deductible as an expense at 150% of the actual outlay.

immigration

  • Only Trinidad and Tobago nationals and residents have the right to enter the country freely.
  • Nonresidents are subject to varying entry requirements, depending on whether a temporary visa or resident status is required. 
  • General entry visas are not required for nationals of countries that are members of the following: 
    • CARICOM 
    • European Union (EU) 
    • British Commonwealth
  • Trinidad and Tobago has a well-educated labor force with an adequate supply of skilled workers.
  • Therefore, the government requires offering employment opportunities first to Trinidad and Tobago nationals and residents before nonresidents. 
  • The Ministry of National Security requires specific and detailed information before granting foreign nationals work permits. 
  • In practice, however, in highly technological industries, most foreign investors prefer to rely on expatriate personnel at the senior management level
  • Broadly, individuals offered business offices or employment in Trinidad and Tobago who are not residents of countries that belong to the CARICOM, EU or the British Commonwealth must obtain both entry visas and work permits. 
  • A foreign national interested in establishing a business in Trinidad and Tobago must apply for a work permit. 
  • Foreign subsidiaries and branches may be headed by foreign nationals. 
  • Foreign nationals intending to work in Trinidad and Tobago for less than 30 days do not require work permits. 
  • This is a one-off exemption granted on the first entry. 
  • The one-off exemption is not intended for individuals who intend to exercise employment in Trinidad and Tobago for greater than 30 days within a 12-month period.
  • If persons are required to work for a period exceeding 30 days, the employers of such persons must apply to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security for work permits.
  • The employer must include a statement indicating the steps taken to recruit a citizen or resident of Trinidad and Tobago for the position in question. 
  • The Ministry of National Security usually requires employers to advertise locally to secure the services of a Trinidad and Tobago national. 
  • The employer must document the results by presenting the advertisements and responses to the Ministry of National Security together with the foreign national’s work permit application.

 

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Work Permit

  • 3 passport photographs
  • CV/Resume
  • Police Clearance Certificate 
  • Copy of passport
  • Valid passport
  • Completed visa application form
  • Proof of Temporary Accommodation
  • Evidence of legal immigration status
  • Medical Certificate

Varies

  • Individuals offered business offices or employment in Trinidad and Tobago who are not residents of countries that belong to the CARICOM, EU or the British Commonwealth must obtain both entry visas and work permits. 

Entry Visa

  • 3 passport photographs
  • Copy of passport
  • Valid passport
  • Completed visa application form
  • Proof of Temporary Accommodation
  • Evidence of legal immigration status
  • Medical Certificate

Variable

  • Foreigners from non-visa exempt countries must apply for a temporary visa to enter Trinidad and Tobago

value added tax 

  • VAT is applicable to a wide range of goods and services. 
  • The standard rate applicable to commercial supplies is 12.5%.

VAT

Standard Rate

12.5%

Zero Rate

0%

withholding tax

Dividends

  • Dividends paid to a nonresident are subject to a 10% withholding tax (5% where the distribution is made to a parent company), unless the rate is reduced under a tax treaty

Interest

  • Interest paid to a nonresident on a debt, mortgage or other security is subject to a 15% withholding tax, unless the rate is reduced under a tax treaty

Royalties

  • Royalty payments made to a nonresident are subject to a 15% withholding tax, unless the rate is reduced under a tax treaty

Fees for Technical Services

  • Fees for technical services paid to a nonresident are subject to a 15% withholding tax, unless the rate is reduced under a tax treaty

Type of Payment

Residents

Nonresidents

 

Company

Individual

Company 

Individual

Dividends

0%

0%

5%/10%

10%

Interest

0%

0%

15%

15%

Royalties

0%

0%

15%

15%

Technical Service Fee

0%

0%

15%

15%

termination

  • Whether a contract of employment is for a fixed term or for an indefinite period it may be terminated by either the employer or the worker. 
  • There is no legislation governing termination of contract in general in Trinidad and Tobago, and
  • Common Law applies in the absence of termination provisions in a collective agreement. 
  • There may be termination by performance, by expiry of a fixed term, by agreement of the parties or by breach. 
  • An employer has the right to dismiss an employee for just cause. 
  • The Common Law on summary and constructive dismissal also applies.
  • Usually in collective agreements and individual contracts a requirement for notice of termination is stipulated. 
  • For monthly paid employees this notice period is usually one month
  • The Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act was passed to provide severance payments for retrenched employees.
  • A formula for the payment of severance is contained in the Act, with a stipulation that where more favorable benefits are provided by a collective agreement that applies to the retrenched worker, the collective agreement takes precedence over the Act.

statutory benefits

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity 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

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

 payments and invoicing

  • The tax year corresponds to the calendar year in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Tax returns must be filed by 30 April of the year following the calendar or accounting year-end.
  • An automatic six-month grace period is allowed, following which a penalty of TTD 100 accrues for every six months or part thereof that the return remains unfiled. 
  • Tax returns are filed for income earned in a calendar year (which coincides with the tax year) except in the case of a sole trader or partnership, where filing is done according to the accounting terminal date.
  • Resident individuals earning only employment income are not required to file a tax return.
  • Each individual must file a separate tax return. 
  • There is no provision for joint filing by husband and wife.
  • Income tax is deducted at source on all employment income under the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system. 
  • Any shortfall of taxes deducted at source should be settled by the due date (i.e. 30 April following the year of income).

 ease of doing business

  • The ease of doing business index is an index created by Simeon Djankov, an economist at the Central and Eastern Europe sector of the World Bank Group.
  • Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • According to the World Bank Trinidad and Tobago ranked 105th in the World in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business.

employee accruals

   
Christmas Bonus%

0%

Christmas Bonus Over Vacations %

0%

Severance per Year %

Employees are entitled to severance pay that equals two weeks of pay after one year of service (2.74% of annual salary)

Vacations % No statutory leave for private sector
Notice %

Employees are entitled to a 1 month of notice period for one year of service or more (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 11.07%

employer accruals

Additional information (Country Accruals)

   
Vacations 6.58%
Description There is a social security tax, referred to as National Insurance, that is deducted at source at varying rates. The maximum rate is TTD 414.30 per week for monthly income over TTD 13,600, which is payable TTD 276.20 by the employer and TTD 138.10 by the employee. 70% of such contributions are deductible by a resident individual in arriving at taxable income.

 

Employer Accruals Additional information

    Employment Accruals
Maternity Leave Female employees are entitled to thirteen (13) weeks maternity leave (six weeks prior to confinement, 7 weeks after) and one month's pay during such leave. This equals 8.33% (1/12 months) of annual income
Sick Leave The International Labor Organization reports that under sick leave labor law in Trinidad and Tobago, sick leave for state employees is mandatory — typically 14 paid days per year. This equals 3.83% (14/365 days) of annual income
Overtime  For the first four hours of overtime the worker shall receive one and one half times the hourly rate. Depends on the number of overtime hours worked
Social Security There is a social security tax, referred to as National Insurance, that is deducted at source at varying rates.
The maximum rate is TTD 414.30 per week for monthly income over TTD 13,600, which is payable TTD 276.20 by the employer and TTD 138.10 by the employee.
This equals TTD 276.2 per week or 1104.8 TTD per month.

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