Country Information

Bermuda is a British territory located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bermudian English is the predominant language. The economy is centered around the banking and financial services sector. Tourism is another staple of the Bermudian economy. With strategic proximity to assist in serving global clients, no taxes on income, as well as political and economic stability, Bermuda is an ideal destination for international expansion.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Bermuda must be in writing and provided to the employee within one week of beginning work.

The contract needs to include:

  • Employer and employee names
  • Place of work
  • Job title and description of work to be performed
  • Salary and intervals of payment, holidays and vacation, any probationary period, normal days and hours of employment
  • Pension provisions whether under National Pension Scheme or otherwise end date (if fixed-term contract)
  • Signatures of employer and employee
  • Background checks, credit checks and criminal record checks are permitted.
Working Hours

The standard work week in Bermuda is 40 hours over five days. Overtime is paid at typically 150% of the basic rate. The workweek is Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. However, an employer will not be allowed to give work to employees for more than five continuous hours without 30-minute meal break.

Sick Leave

Employees receive eight days of sick leave after one year of service. The employee is required to provide a certificate from a medical practitioner verifying that the employee is unable to work due to illness after two days. Employees on sick leave cannot be served a notice of termination before four weeks of missing work due to illness.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive 13 weeks of paid maternity leave after one year of service and time off from work to attend doctor appointments related to the pregnancy. Female employees with less than one year of service are entitled to 13 weeks of unpaid leave. Employees are required to provide a medical certificate verifying the pregnancy and expected due date. Male employees receive five days of paternity leave after one year of service. Employees on maternity and paternity leave cannot be served a notice of termination.

Compensation

Employees in Bermuda are entitled to a monthly minimum wage. However, the law states that the wages shall include bonuses and tips to reduce the cost of redundancies and termination for the employer.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive two weeks of paid annual leave that cannot be carried over into the next year. Employees receive three days of bereavement leave for the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling or member of the employee’s household (not a landlord, employer or employee. Bereavement leave is increased to five days if the employee needs to attend an overseas funeral for an immediate family member. Employees also receive time-off to vote, attend to public duties and jury service. Employees on vacation or bereavement leave cannot be served a notice of termination.

Public Holidays

There are many holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Bermuda Day
  • National Heroes’ Day
  • Emancipation Day
  • Mary Prince Day
  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Employers are required to provide health insurance to their employees and non-working spouses. Coverage must be provided to employees working over 15 hours a week and more than two calendar months in a year. Employers are responsible for the full insurance premium and must contribute half of the premium rate. The rest of the premium rate may be deducted from the employees’ salary. The policy must be through a local, licensed insurer. Employers are responsible for employees’ health costs during any period not covered by an insurance plan.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Termination of employment in Bermuda can occur at the end of a fixed-contract term or completion of a project, by the employer for a valid reason or by the employee. An employee may be terminated without notice during the probation period. There is no statutory probation period in Bermuda, but one may be specified in the employment contract. An employee can also be terminated without notice for serious misconduct that is so detrimental that it would be unreasonable to retain the employee. In situations where an employee’s conduct does not rise to this level of seriousness or where the employee’s performance is unsatisfactory, the employer must provide a written warning. If, after six months, the employee’s conduct or performance has not improved, the employer can terminate the employee without notice. Outside the probation period and absent serious misconduct, the employer must have a valid reason for termination and provide written notice to the employee. The notice period is one week for employees paid each week, two weeks for employees paid every two weeks or one month for all other employees. Employers can provide pay in lieu of notice. Employees with at least one year of service are entitled to severance. The severance amount is two weeks for each year of service up to 10 years and three weeks for each completed year of service after that. The maximum severance is 26 weeks. Employers may eliminate redundant positions. Employers must inform the trade union or other representative bodies of the termination and will need to work with the trade union to mitigate the impact of reductions, which can include reassignments.

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 Bermuda, 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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