Working in The Bahamas
The Bahamas is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the Americas in terms of the country’s standard of living and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, estimated at $22,832 in 2012. Tourism is responsible for most of the GDP of The The Bahamas, accounting for 60%, followed by the financial sector.
More than half of the Bahamian labor forces are employed in tourism and financial services – two of the most significant sectors that develop and fuel the country’s economic activity. As such, foreign nationals aspiring to work in The Bahamas can look into the industries of tourism, financial services and engineering, as these industries have the highest demand for workers. However, foreigners must take note that before they can work in The Bahamas, they should first be approved by The Bahamas Department of Immigration.
The minimum salary in The Bahamas is $4 per hour for those who are employed by the hour; $30 a day for workers employed by the day; and $150 a week for workers employed by the week. Employees who work in banks and offices can earn from $20,000 to $25,000 a year, while those employed in menial jobs and farm workers or unskilled workers are compensated about $9,000 to $13,000 a year. Senior executives and other workers employed in a high position can get as much as $100,000 or more.
The standard work week in The Bahamas is eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Since The Bahamas operates on “island time” the business hours of establishments can sometimes vary, but the general working hours is from 9AM to 5PM, Mondays to Fridays and 10AM to 5PM on Saturdays. Banks operate from 9AM or 9:30AM to 3PM, Mondays to Thursdays and 9AM or 9:30AM to 4:30 PM on Fridays. Employees who have been working for a year or five years are usually entitled ten working days of paid annual leave, while those who have been working for a company for a period of ten years are entitled to have fifteen working days of paid annual leave. Workers are entitled to an average of two weeks paid sick leave and ten days of public holidays. Maternity leave is set at a maximum of eight weeks.
The Bahamas employees enjoy a tax-free salary, as the government does not have any taxation laws in place that normally deducts monthly income tax from workers’ wage. The country also does not have corporate tax, capital gains tax, value-added tax (VAT), or wealth tax. However, all workers (including self-employed ones and non-residents) are required to pay contributions to the national insurance which funds the benefit system.
Expat Services in The Bahamas
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