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$ (BZD)

Work Hours


Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America. English is the official language, although a form of Belize Creole is spoken throughout the country in formal and informal settings. Spanish is also spoken by portions of the population. Historically, the economy in Belize has centered around agriculture; however in recent years the tourist industry has grown considerably. Economic stability and access to Central American markets are key considerations for businesses considering Belize for expansion.

Employment contracts in Belize may be expressed, implied, written, oral, for a fixed term, for an indefinite term, individual or collective. Oral contracts are not valid and binding unless the employee’s work has begun within one month from the date of the contract. The first two weeks of an oral contract shall be deemed to be probationary employment and may be terminated at will by either party without notice. The parties may agree differently. Employment contracts that last more than three months must be in writing.

A written contract must include:

  • name of the employer or employers,

  • place of employment,

  • identification of the employee,

  • name and addresses of the employee's relatives,

  • nature of the job,

  • duration of the employment,

  • method of calculating this duration,

  • notice period for terminating the contract,

  • wages, and

  • benefits.

The standard workweek in Belize is 45 hours with nine hours a day over six days. Employees receive an hour of daily rest if the workday is longer than six hours. Overtime is paid at a higher percentage rate if worked on a Sunday or public holiday or a different percentage if the work occurs on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Easter Monday.

Employees receive 16 days of fully paid sick leave in Belize if they have 60 days of service and a medical certificate. This certificate must specify the duration of leave and be presented to the employer within 48 hours of the illness for the employee to be eligible.

Female employees receive 14 weeks of maternity leave in Belize with at least two weeks before the birth and seven after the birth as mandatory leave if they have a year of service. Otherwise the leave is unpaid. The employee’s job is protected during this period, but they must submit a medical certificate at least 10 weeks before the due date.

Belize does not require employee bonuses.

Employees receive 10 days of paid annual leave in Belize after one year of employment, and it should be taken in one period. It can be split to two periods if the employer agrees. Annual leave must be taken within six months of being earned.

In Belize, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day

  • National Heroes and Benefactors Day

  • Good Friday

  • Holy Saturday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • Commonwealth Day

  • St. George's Caye Day

  • Independence Day

  • Pan American Day

  • Garifuna Settlement Day

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

Belize provides universal healthcare that is free or low cost. Companies offer supplementary private healthcare insurance.

The termination notice period in Belize is one week for up to six months of service, two weeks for up to two years of service, four weeks for up to five years of service and then eight weeks beyond this. The first two weeks of service are the probation period and contracts can be terminated during this period without notice. Those employees with five to 10 years of service with the same employer, retiring after 60 years old or for medical reasons, receive a week of severance pay for each year of service when their contract is terminated.

  • 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.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Belize 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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