Labour Overview – St.Kitts & Nevis

The Labour (Minimum Wage) Act, Cap. 18.19 of the 2002 Revised Edition of the Laws of St Christopher and Nevis, establishes minimum wages for different types of workers.  In 2010, the minimum wage of many of these workers was made uniform.

By the protection of Wages Ordinance 1967, an employee is not entitled to maternity leave of 13 weeks unless she has worked for the employer for not less than 150 days in the one year period immediately preceding her leave. It is illegal to dismiss an employee on maternity leave. There is no law for paternity leave.

Under the Holidays with Pay Act, once a person has worked continuously for over one year, he is entitled to 14 vacation days not including Sundays and Public Holidays. Of course it is possible for an employer to give more than the minimum. There are 9 public holidays, under the Public Holidays Order.

In the case of termination, the Ordinance requires the employer to provide the employee wages and other benefits to which the employee is entitled during the period of notice and sets out the amount of termination pay required, which varies depending on length of service. In addition to termination pay, the Ordinance provides for severance pay in certain circumstances.

Pension Overview

Currently, no legislation exists to regulate pension plans in the private sector. However, St. Kitts is part of a larger review being conducted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Commission on the Pension and Pension Administration Reform. The goal of the Commission is to review and make recommendations to achieve the goals of stable, predictable and adequate income security throughout retirement.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commission.

Social Security Benefits

The long term benefits provided by the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board include:

  • Invalidity Benefit– this benefit is payable to insured persons who have been medically declared invalid and are under the age of 62.
  • Age Benefit– this is payable to an insured person who has attained the age of 62 and has been credited at least 500 contributions. He or she becomes entitled to a monthly age pension for the duration of his or her life.
  • Assistance Benefit– this type of benefit is payable to a widow, widower, child or dependant parent of a deceased insured person
  • Survivors’ Benefit– this type of benefit is payable to persons who are over 62 years of age and who have not qualified for the regular Age Pension from Social Security.

There are also two types of non-contributory pensions paid by the Social Security Fund. They are Assistance Pension and Invalidity Assistance.

Assistance Pension

This is a monthly pension paid to persons who are over 62 years of age and who have not qualified for the regular Age Pension from Social Security. A successful applicant must be in need; not having a secure source of income and having no other means of support.

Invalidity Assistance

This is a monthly pension paid to persons who are between the ages of 16 and 62 years of age and who are unable to work, but who have not qualified for the regular Invalidity Benefit from Social Security. A successful applicant must be in need; not having a secure source of income and having no other means of support.

Current to May 2015, the rate of the non-contributory pensions is $250.00 per month.

There are two types of Age Benefits, for one of which a person reaching age 62 may qualify.  They are Age Grant or Age Pension (the latter is described above).

An Age Grant is payable as a lump sum payment of six times the average weekly wages for each unit of 50 contributions.  This is paid when the claimant fails to qualify for an Age Pension. The claimant must be age 62 or older and who has paid or credited to him 50-499 contributions into the Social Security Fund.

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