Country Information

An island nation in the West Indies, Antigua & Barbuda is made up of two major islands combined with a collection of smaller ones. English is the official language, but Spanish is widely spoken. Tourism is the primary industry, but Antigua & Barbuda also is a well-known banking and financial services hub. An investment-friendly economy combined with political and economic stability make Antigua & Barbuda an ideal location for expansion.

Employment Contracts

Employers must provide the employee with an employment contract within ten days of the start of employment that includes the job duties and responsibilities, work hours, salary details, vacation and other leave benefits and probation period (if applicable). Employment contracts can be for a fixed period or indefinite. If the employment contract is for a fixed duration, the end date should be included in the employment contract.

Working Hours

The standard workweek is 48 hours or eight hours day over six days. Overtime is typically 150% of the basic wage for the first four hours over normal work hours and double the basic wage for hours over that. Employees receive at least 24 hours of consecutive rest in a period of seven days in a row. Special rules apply to younger workers.

Sick Leave

Eligible employees paid sick leave after the third day of illness for up to 26 weeks. Sick leave can be extended to 39 weeks with a doctor’s certificate. Employees may be able to receive a percentage of salary while on leave if they meet certain requirements.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive between six and 13 weeks of paid maternity leave, as well as a maternity grant. Employees on maternity leave will earn a percentage of their average weekly earnings. The maternity grant is a one-time payment for each child delivered. There is no statutory paternity leave.


Bonuses based upon performance are common but not required. Like other countries, employees are also entitled to a basic minimum wage.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive up to 12 days of paid annual leave. Both the employer and employee must agree on the vacation date and vacations are paid in advance.

Public Holidays

The following public holidays are observed in Antigua & Barbuda:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Carnival Monday
  • Carnival Tuesday
  • Independence Day
  • V. C. Bird Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Most employers offer private healthcare insurance.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Employers need just cause to dismiss an employee, which can include employee misconduct, poor performance or economic reasons. Notice of termination generally is required except for in a limited set of circumstances. The notice period is one month. Employees receive one day of severance per month of service after they have 12 months of service.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partner with Atlas

Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Antigua & Barbuda, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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