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$ (GYD)

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The official name of Guyana is the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. The country is located in the northern portion of South America’s mainland. Guyana is unique in that it is South America’s only country with English as the official language. Guyanese Creole is also spoken throughout the nation. Agriculture and mining have been staples of the Guyanese economy. Recently, the country has made strides to diversify its economy in order to draw new investment into Guyana.

Employment contracts in Guyana can be written or verbal, but it is advisable to execute a written contract. The contract should include:

  • type of work,

  • work hours, overtime and leave,

  • salary, bonuses, and benefits,

  • frequency and method of payment,

  • duration of contract (if for a fixed term), and

  • any other terms agreed to by both parties.

The standard work period in Guyana is 40 hours per week over six days. Employees generally work eight hours per day and receive a 60-minute break. Working hours may change with the seasons (summer or winter hours) and location of work. Standard hours also may vary by industry. Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the standard rate. Overtime may be paid at double the standard rate on certain public holidays. Employees receive one day of rest every week and one half-day off on every other Sunday.

Employees are not entitled to employer-paid paid sick leave in Guyana but may be eligible for benefits under the social security system. Eligible employees receive 70% of their average wage after the third day of illness for up to 26 weeks. To qualify, employees need to have been employed just prior to becoming sick, have made at least 50 contributions and eight contributions in the 13 weeks before becoming ill.

Female employees are entitled to 13 weeks of maternity leave in Guyana paid through Guyana’s social security system. In some cases, thirteen more weeks are permitted up to a maximum of 26 weeks. A female employee qualifies for maternity benefits if she or her spouse makes at least 15 contributions to social security, including seven contributions in the 26 weeks before taking leave. Female employees have a four-week window for filing a claim for maternity benefits, starting nine contribution weeks before the expected leave date. The time can be reasonably extended for people in remote areas. A person failing to make a claim for benefits during the prescribed time is disqualified from receiving benefits.

Bonuses are not required in Guyana.

Employees paid on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis receive one day of paid leave for each month of service in Guyana. Employees paid daily receive one day of paid leave for every 20 days worked. Employees paid hourly receive one paid day of leave for every 160 hours worked.

In Guyana, the public holidays are:

  • New Year's Day Holiday

  • Mashramani (Republic Day)

  • Phagwah (Holi)

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day / May Day

  • Arrival Day

  • Independence Day


  • Eid al-Adha

  • Emancipation Day

  • Youman-Nabi (Mawlid)

  • Deepavali

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

The healthcare system in Guyana consists of both public and private sectors. Residents get public health insurance through the social security system. For some, private insurance is a secondary source of coverage. To access specialist care, a primary care physician referral is mandatory.

An employment contract in Guyana may be terminated at the end of a fixed-term contract, by mutual consent, by the employer or by the employee. An employer is prohibited from terminating employment based on an employee’s legitimate leave of absence. An employee can be dismissed without notice or severance for serious misconduct. Absent misconduct, employers must provide notice of termination in advance and pay severance to the employee. The employer must give two weeks of notice to employees with less than one year of service and one month of notice to employees with one or more years of service. Employers may provide payment in place of notice. Employers must pay severance to employees with one year of service terminated for reasons other than misconduct or outside the probation period. Severance ranges from one to three weeks based on the length 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.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Guyana 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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