Belize: A Guideline to Payroll and Employer of Record

Run your business seamlessly with Neeyamo as we help you go beyond borders to manage your international payroll and hire new talent in Belize.

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Overview

Did you know that Belize stands out as a unique country where over 90% of the people speak not one, not two, but three different languages? Over 90% of Belizians speak English, Spanish and Creole fluently. In comparison, globally, only 17% of the population is fluent in more than two languages. Belizeans are not only trilingual but are also recognized for their dedicated and skilled workforce.

If your organization’s expansion plans require you to hire employees in Belize and you lack a physical entity in the country – a key requisite to hire local talent, your solution is right here with, Neeyamo – Payroll management services. Neeyamo's global payroll solutions provide assistance for the onboarding and management of employees in Belize, along with the processing of a firm's payroll accounting and tax services, handling payroll risks and controls, compliance, benefits, and more.

Tools And Instances

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Global Payroll

Neeyamo’s global payroll solution covering 180+ countries

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Global Work

A tech-based EOR solution to manage your extended workforce

Facts And Stats

Capital

Belmopan

Currency

Belize Dollar (BZD)

Official Language

English

Fiscal Year

1 April - 31 March

Date Format

DD/MM/YYYY

Country Calling Code

+501

Other Languages

Spanish

Time Zone

GMT-6

Global Payroll

Overview

Handling payroll for a widespread workforce can pose as a major challenge for any firm. The added complication of compliance can make things worse and drastically effect the time and efforts that can be used in other equally important aspects of an organization's development. 

Over the years, Neeyamo has observed these complexities and strived to provide a global payroll solution through a single technology platform, Neeyamo Payroll.

Payroll Taxes

Payroll tax is the percentage amount retained from an employee's salary and paid to the government to invest in the welfare of the general population.

Employee Taxes

Employee Payroll Contributions

Rate

Income

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

Employer Payroll Contributions

Rate

Income

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

Payroll Cycle

Overview

Undoubtedly, payroll is a critical aspect of any organization. The Pay cycle is a notable feature that provides a sense of accountability for an employee to be paid consistently for their work.

Frequency

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

13th Month Cycle

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

Global Work

Overview

An Employer of Record service provider helps you get rid of the hassle of handling the complexities that come with setting up a new employee in remote locations. They act as legal employers, facilitate salary payments, and handle everything from health insurance, payroll taxes, and employee benefits to comply with local tax laws and regulations.

This ensures that the client company can focus on the employee’s everyday tasks safely in the knowledge that they have a cost-effective solution as they continue their global expansion.

HR Mandates and Practices

Minimum Wage

The national minimum hourly wage in Belize is 5.00 BZD.

Overtime

Labour Act; Sec 118.

Employees are required to be paid at a rate of not less than one and one-half times the ordinary rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 9 hours in any day or 45 hours in any week.

In the case of employees remunerated by the piece or by the task and who are subject to continuous supervision, the expression ordinary rate of pay shall be deemed to be the piece rate or the task-rate. 

Data Retention Policy


In Belize, the specific duration for which an employer can keep an employee's data is not explicitly mentioned. However, it's important to note that the retention of personal and employment-related data is governed by the Information Privacy Act (IPA) of 2013, which sets out the principles and obligations for the processing of personal data. Employers are required to retain personal data for as long as it is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected unless there is a legal obligation to retain it for a longer period.

Hiring and Onboarding Requirements

Hiring

Employment Laws in Belize

The employment laws in Belize are broadly regulated by the Labor Act Chapter 297. This Act governs and dictates the terms and conditions for all employees in Belize. Some of the provisions covered in the Act are working hours, minimal wages, occupational health and safety, terms for contract renewal, and termination. Therefore, while drafting employment contracts, employees should comply with the minimum requirements as per the Act. Also, any business crossing a pre-set threshold for hiring is obligated to obtain a recruitment license from the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

For hiring in Belize, it's essential to ensure compliance with local employment laws. This includes obtaining work permits for foreign workers and adhering to Belize's labor laws. The Labor officer must be satisfied that all efforts to employ a national have been exhausted before a foreign worker can be hired.

Onboarding

The specific onboarding documents required for employees in Belize may vary depending on the employer and the industry. However, some of the most common onboarding documents include:

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Contact information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Proof of Identity
  • Educational Documents

Probation

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

Leave

Overview

The statutory public holidays in Belize for the year 2024 are as follows:

  • 1 January - New Year's Day        
  • 15 January -  George Price Day        
  • 9 Mach - National Heroes and Benefactors Day        
  • 11 March - Day off for National Heroes and Benefactors Day        
  • 29 March - Good Friday        
  • 30 March - Holy Saturday        
  • 1 April - Easter Monday        
  • 29 April - Day off for Labor Day / May Day        
  • 1 May -Labor Day / May Day        
  • 1 August - Emancipation Day        
  • 10 September - St. George's Caye Day        
  • 21 September - Independence Day        
  • 12 October - El Día de la Raza
  • 14 October - Day off for El Día de la Raza        
  • 19 November - Garifuna Settlement Day        
  • 25 December - Christmas Day        
  • 26 December - Boxing Day

Annual Leave

Labour Act; Sec 127, 128 & 130

Every employee at the end of each year is entitled to an annual leave of at least 2 working weeks. 

The annual leave shall be given and taken in one period, or if the employer and employee so agree, in two separate periods and not otherwise. If the employer and employee so agree, the annual leave or either of such separate periods may be taken wholly or partly in advance before the employee has become entitled to such a holiday. 

The annual leave shall be given by the employer and shall be taken by the employee before the expiration of six months after the date upon which the right to such leave accrued, provided that the giving and taking of the whole or any separate period of such leave may, with the consent in writing of the Commissioner, be further postponed for a period to be specified by the Commissioner.

The employer shall determine the date on which the annual leave shall commence and shall give the employee no less than 7 days notice of such date. 

Where the annual leave or any part thereof has been taken before the right to such annual leave has accrued, the right to a further annual leave shall not commence accruing until after the expiration of the period of twelve months in respect of which the annual leave or part thereof has been so taken. 

Annual Leave coinciding with Statutory Holiday

Where any public holiday, Sunday, or other agreed rest day occurs during any period of annual leave taken by an employee, the period of the leave shall be increased by one day in respect of such public holiday, Sunday, or other agreed rest day.

Vacation Pay:

Every employee who takes an annual holiday shall be paid by the employer in respect of such annual holiday the average pay in respect of the period of employment with such employer during the period of twelve months to which such annual holiday relates. 

Where the employee takes an annual holiday in one period, the average pay shall be paid to him not later than the day immediately preceding the commencement of such an annual holiday.

Where the employee takes an annual holiday in two separate periods of equal duration, one-half of the average pay shall be paid to him not later than the day immediately preceding the commencement of each of the two periods. 

No deduction shall be made with respect to public holidays, Sundays, or other agreed rest days from the wages of an employee, which are to be paid to him as holiday pay. 

Where an employee has been employed by the same employer for a period of not less than three months and such employment is terminated before the worker becomes entitled to an annual holiday in respect of that period of employment, the employer shall pay to the worker, in addition to all other amounts due to him, the average pay for the period of employment with such employer.

Sick Leave

Labour Act; Sec 131

An employee has to be employed for at least 60 days to be entitled to sick leave with pay. Within any 12 months period, he is entitled to 16 working days of sick leave with full pay. An employee should produce a medical certificate to be entitled to sick leave with pay. An employer should give a worker in writing 48 hours to produce a medical certificate. 

Payment for Sick Leave

The employer pays the difference between payments made by the Social Security Board (SSB) and the employee’s basic rate of pay for 16 working days. Payment after the 16 working days of illness will be paid by Social Security in accordance with the Social Security Act.

 

Maternity Leave

Labour Act; Sec 177 & 178

A female employee is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave on full pay. Maternity leave shall be taken as follows: 

  • Up to a maximum of 7 weeks before the expected date of confinement;
  • The balance after the expected date of confinement;
  • 2 weeks before and 7 weeks after the expected date of confinement is mandatory. 

Provided that during the twelve months preceding her confinement, she was employed by the same employer for a period of not less than 150 days to qualify for full payment from the employer. 

If an employee is entitled to maternity benefits under the Labour Act and Social Security Act, the worker will receive maternity benefits from Social Security and, in addition, be entitled to be paid by her employer the difference, if any. Please note that an employer cannot terminate an employee during this period.

Termination

Overeview

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 

(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:

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

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.

Visa

Overview

A work permit is required before any foreigner can work in Belize.

Work Permit Duration: Work permits in Belize are issued for specific durations. Temporary work permits are valid for up to one year, intended for short-term work or training. Permanent work permits are valid for three years and can be renewed for additional three-year periods, intended for specific employment positions .

Application Process: Applications for work permits can be initiated by the prospective foreign employee or their Belizean employer. The application must be submitted electronically through the Ministry of Labour's website. The processing time for a work permit is typically 30 to 45 days.

Required Documents: The documents typically required for a work permit application include a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining, a letter of recommendation from the previous employer (if applicable), and a copy of the employment contract with the Belizean employer. There might be additional requirements depending on the specific circumstances of the application.

Employee Background Checks

Legal and Background Checks

Below are types of background checks for Belize:

  • Employment Verification
  • Identity Verification
  • Education Verification
  • Criminal Record Checks
  • Education and Employment Verification
  • Professional License Verification

Last updated on March 12, 2024

If you have any queries or suggestions, reach out to us at irene.jones@neeyamo.com

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