It's always important to know your rights. We urge every employee to become familiar with their employee handbook in addition to familiarising themselves with Cayman's Labour Law and the proposed changes to that law.
Below are some of the highlights of the laws governing employment in the Cayman Islands:
Sexual Harassment: The Gender Equality Law (2011 Revision), states that sexual harassment is illegal in the Cayman Islands.
Maternity Leave: The Labour Law (2011 Revision) stipulates that 12 weeks must be granted for maternity leave. The amount of paid maternity leave is four weeks full pay; four weeks half paid and six weeks no pay for all female employees who have completed 12 months of employment otherwise it will be on a prorate basis.
Holiday Pay: According to the 2011 Labour Law, each employee is entitled to a minimum of two weeks’ vacation (10 working days) for the first four years of employment, three weeks (or 15 working days) for years four to 10, and four weeks (20 days) if employed for over 10 years for the same company.
Severance Pay: Under the Labour Law (2011 Revision) all employees who have continually worked for their employer for more than a year is entitled to receive severance pay if their employment is terminated for any reason other than for misconduct and poor performance, at a rate of one weeks’ salary for every completed year of service.
Unfair Dismissal: If an employee feels that they have been unfairly dismissed they have 90 days from the date the employment was terminated to file a claim for unfair dismissal with the Department of Labour and Pensions. If the employee is successful with their claim they may be entitled to further compensation if the Labour Tribunal deems fit.
Minimum Wage: The current National Minimum wage is CI$6, as set by The Labour (National Minimum Basic Wage Order, 2016), except for service employees that receive gratuities, under a plan that has been approved in writing by the Director of Pensions, as the Order allows for the National Minimum wage to be lowered to CI$4.50 in those circumstances.
Working overtime and weekend hours in the Cayman Islands is the standard for many employees. As is the case in most leading jurisdictions around the world, many companies expect their employees to work beyond the normal eight-hour work day. Conversely, standard human resource (HR) practices may vary from country to country.
So before taking a job, familiarise yourself with the work culture. Ask your prospective employer’s HR professional whether overtime pay is provided or time in lieu. Again, knowledge of Cayman’s Labour Law will assist you in determining what is legal in Cayman.
Check the Department of Labour and Pensions’ website for more information on your employee rights. And the Cayman Islands Society for HR Professionals (www.cishrp.ky) is a great resource for HR professionals.
Health insurance in the Cayman Islands is mandatory. Employers are required to provide employees, their spouses and dependents with health insurance. Employees are also entitled to a pension plan.
Similar to other parts of the world, employers may offer enhanced benefits to prospective employees and it is not uncommon to see employers offering enhanced vacation leave, relocation expenses, additional pension contributions, bonus options, upgrades to premium health insurance and private school fees, amongst others. It can be very expensive to move household items to Cayman and different employers will have more or less generous relocation packages, so review the offer of employment carefully.
Many employers offer attractive health insurance packages for their employees, some even including wellness and preventative options. Click this link for the Health Insurance Providers page.