Bahamas: 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 the Bahamas.

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The Bahamas is one of the only places in the world where you step into soft, blush pink-hued sand as you walk into the beach and turquoise-colored water so clear you can see right through it. This enchanting pink sand beach can only be found in a handful of locations around the world apart from the Bahamas and is considered to be nature’s canvas and one of the main attractions of the Bahamas. The Bahamas also attracts various companies looking to hire as they possess a skilled and talented workforce.

Do your organization's expansion plans require hiring employees in the Bahamas? Do you lack a physical entity in the country – a key requisite to hire local talent? Neeyamo – one of the top Global payroll providers, assists organizations worldwide with onboarding and managing employees in the Bahamas - processing payroll, managing local compliance requirements, benefits, and more.

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Facts And Stats




Bahamian Dollars (B$)

Official Language


Fiscal Year

1 July - 30 June

Date Format


Country Calling Code


Time Zone

UTC -04:00 

Global Payroll


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

There is no income tax in the Bahamas. The National Insurance Board (NIB) of the Bahamas is a social security program that provides benefits such as pensions, healthcare, and unemployment benefits. NIB contribution rate for employees is 3.9% of their salary.

Employer Taxes

There is no income tax in the Bahamas. The National Insurance Board (NIB) of the Bahamas is a social security program that provides benefits such as pensions, healthcare, and unemployment benefits. National Insurance Board (NIB) contributions: Employers are required to contribute to the NIB on behalf of their employees. The NIB contribution rate for employers is 5.9%.

Payroll Cycle


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.


The most common payroll frequency in the Bahamas is monthly. However, some employers may pay their employees more frequently, such as biweekly or weekly. The payroll frequency is typically specified in the employee's employment contract.

13th Month Cycle

There is no 13th or 14th-month payment in the Bahamas. This is because there is no law in the Bahamas that requires employers to pay their employees a bonus or gratuity at the end of the year.


Global Work


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 minimum wage in the Bahamas for 2023 is $260 per week.


The overtime law in the Bahamas is set out in the Employment Act, 2001. The Act states that employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week or 8 hours in a day.

The overtime premium is 50 percent of the regular rate (time and a half). Work performed on public holidays or days off is paid at twice the normal rate. Employers cannot require employees to work more than 12 hours in any one day.

Data Retention Policy

Employers must keep records for each employee, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Age
  • Wages
  • Hours worked
  • Annual vacations.

Records of wage payments must be kept for at least three years.

Hiring and Onboarding Requirements


The employee hiring criteria and eligibility in the Bahamas are set out in the Employment Act, of 2001. The Act states that employers must consider the following factors when hiring employees: 

  • The qualifications of the applicant for the position 
  • The experience of the applicant 
  • The applicant's ability to perform the job 
  • The applicant's citizenship or immigration status

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Employers are also required to check the applicant's immigration status to ensure that they are legally authorized to work in the Bahamas.


The specific employee details that need to be submitted to the employer to start a new job in the Bahamas will vary depending on the employer and the job position. However, some common employee details that are typically required include:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Board (NIB) number 
  • Contact information (email address, phone number, and mailing address) 
  • Emergency contact information
  • Education and work experience
  • References

In addition to the above information, employers may also require employees to submit other information, such as:

  • Copies of identification documents (such as a passport or driver's license)
  • Copies of educational and professional
  • Certificates
  • Proof of immigration status (if applicable)
  • Medical records (for certain jobs)

It is important to note that employers are not allowed to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Therefore, employers should only request information that is relevant to the job position and that is necessary to comply with applicable laws and regulations.


In the Bahamas, the probationary period for employees is not specifically defined by labor laws, and it can vary depending on the employer's policies and the terms outlined in the employment contract.


Public Holidays

The public holidays in the Bahamas for 2023 are as follows: 

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • April 7: Good Friday
  • April 10: Easter Monday
  • May 29: Whit Monday
  • June 2: Labour Day
  • July 10: Independence Day
  • August 7: Emancipation Day
  • October 12: National Heroes' Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day

Please note that some of these holidays fall on a weekend, so the following Monday may also be a public holiday.

Annual Leave

In the Bahamas, employees are generally entitled to annual leave or vacation leave based on the length of their continuous service with the same employer. The following is a common annual leave entitlement structure:

  • one week if employed between six months and one year;
  • two weeks if employed between one year and seven years, and
  • three weeks if employed for seven years or more.

Employees must be paid their usual wages during leave, and the payment must be made prior to the beginning of leave. The vacation must be extended by one day for every public holiday that occurs during the leave.

Sick Leave

Employees who have been employed for at least six months are entitled to one week of paid sick leave.

Maternity Leave

To qualify for maternity leave, a female employee must be employed for at least 12 months by the employer and must not have received maternity pay from the same employer within the past three years. The employee must provide a certificate issued by a medical practitioner confirming the expected date of her delivery.

Female employees who qualify for maternity benefits are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave, which must be arranged so that the employee is allowed at least one week of leave before and eight weeks after the birth if she so chooses.

While the employee is on maternity leave, 66.6% of her wages are paid by the National Insurance Board (NIB), the remainder by her employer. If the birth occurs after the expected date, the leave is extended for the period between the expected and actual date of birth. An additional six weeks may be granted for illness arising from the birth.

This leave is paid by NIB and not by the employer. Employees may not be dismissed or required to resign because they are pregnant or while they are on maternity leave. If a woman is dismissed after six months of pregnancy, it is presumed the dismissal was on the grounds of pregnancy unless proven otherwise.

Paternity Leave

There is no specific provision for paternity leave, but employees who have been employed for at least six months are entitled to one week of unpaid family leave following the birth of a child.

Other Leave

Employees who have been employed for at least six months are entitled to one week of unpaid leave for the death or illness of a spouse or parent.



The employee termination process in the Bahamas is as follows:

Provide notice of termination: The employer must provide the employee with notice of termination, either orally or in writing. The length of the notice period will depend on the employee's length of service and position.

Pay severance pay: If the employee is terminated for reasons other than misconduct, the employer may be required to pay severance pay. The amount of severance pay is calculated based on the employee's length of service and salary.

Provide a termination letter: The employer should provide the employee with a termination letter that confirms the date of termination, the reason for termination, and any other relevant information.

Return company property: The employee must return all company property, such as laptops, cell phones, and badges.

Process the employee's final paycheck: The employer must process the employee's final paycheck and pay the employee all wages and benefits that are owed.

Notice Period

Entitlement of employees whose tenure is between 91 and 179 days: No notice of an accrued vacation – 4% of the total salary earned for the applicable period 

Entitlement of employees whose term is between 6 and 12 months: 
One week's notice OR 1 week's pay in lieu of notice, AND 1 week's salary

Entitlement of non-managerial employees whose tenure exceeds one year: 2 weeks' notice OR 2 weeks' salary in lieu of notice, AND One week's salary

Entitlement of non-managerial employees whose tenure exceeds one year: 2 weeks' notice OR 2 weeks' salary in lieu of notice. Entitlement of managerial staff is entitled to the following: 4 weeks' notice OR pay in lieu of notice, AND 4 weeks' salary for every year of employment, up to 12 years.

An employer may summarily dismiss an employee without pay or notice when the employee has committed a fundamental breach of their employment contract or acted in a manner that contravenes the employer's interests.

Severance Pay

There is no statutory severance pay requirement in the Bahamas. This means that employers are not required by law to pay their employees severance pay when they are terminated from their employment. However, some employers in the Bahamas may choose to pay their employees severance pay, especially if they are terminated for reasons other than misconduct. The amount of severance pay that is paid will vary depending on the employer and the employee's circumstances.



Non-Bahamian nationals who wish to work in the Bahamas for more than 90 days must obtain a work permit. Work permits are issued by the Department of Immigration. There are two types of work permits: 

  • Short-term work permits: These permits are valid for up to 90 days and are typically issued for emergency purposes or for short-term projects. 
  • Long-term work permits: These permits are valid for up to one year and can be renewed. 

To apply for a work permit, the employer must submit the following documents to the Department of Immigration: 

  • A completed application form A copy of the employee's passport 
  • A copy of the employee's medical certificate 
  • A copy of the employee's police certificate 
  • A letter from the employer explaining why they are hiring a foreign national instead of a Bahamian national 

The Department of Immigration will review the application and may request additional information. If the application is approved, the employee will be issued a work permit.

 Digital Nomad Visa: Professionals seeking to work remotely in the Bahamas for a company that does not have a presence in the country can apply for the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) permit. The visa is valid for an initial one-year period and can be extended for up to three years. Holders of a BEATS permit or their dependents cannot gain employment in the Bahamas during the term of the permit.

Employee Background Checks

Legal and Background Checks 

There is no legal requirement for employers in the Bahamas to conduct background checks on their employees. However, many employers choose to do so in order to protect themselves and their employees. 

The type of background check that is conducted will vary depending on the employer's needs. However, some common background checks that are conducted in the Bahamas include:

  • Criminal record checks 
  • Credit checks 
  • Educational and Qualification Verification 
  • Employment history checks 
  • Reference checks 
  • Work History & Employment Gap

Employers should obtain the employee's consent before conducting a background check. Employers should also be aware of the Data Protection (Privacy of Personal Information) Act, 2003, which imposes certain requirements on organizations that collect and process personal information.

Last updated on October 16, 2023

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