Labour Overview – Belize

The Labour Act, Chapter 297, REVISED EDITION 2000, addresses a myriad of topics. Parts V through VII deal with contracts of service while Part XI addresses the core provisions governing the day to day employment relationship, namely hours of work, overtime and holidays. The Act addresses forced labour and employment of women and children in Parts XIV and XV. Part XVI deals with maternity protection while part XVIII governs severance pay.

The other acts which regulate labour include:

  • Shops Act
  • Factories Act
  • Government Workers’ Regulations
  • Wages Councils Act
  • Trade Unions Act
  • Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act
  • Trade Dispute (Arbitration and Inquiry) Act
  • Trade Unions and Employers’ Organizations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act
  • International Labour Organization Conventions Act
  • Equal Pay Act

Pension Overview

The Pensions Act, Ch. 30 governs the Pension Plan for Public Officers, which is an unfunded, noncontributory defined benefit scheme. No legislation governing private sector pension plans exists. A Private Pension Act was proposed in October 2013. This law proposes to standardize pension schemes being offered to workers and would establish a Supervisor of Pensions.

Social Security Benefits

The Belize Social Security Board provides coverage for insured persons. The pension system consists of an earnings-related defined-benefit component and a retirement grant for those with some but insufficient contributions. For those with inadequate income there is a non-contributory pension available.

A Retirement Pension is payable to insured persons who meet the contribution requirement and who are between 60 and 64 and not employed or who are 65 years or older (whether employed or not). Where the contribution requirement is not met, a one-time Retirement Grant is paid. A minimum of 26 paid contributions are required for a Retirement Grant to be paid.

A Non Contributory Pension (NCP) is a monthly pension of $100.00 paid to females 65 years of age or older or males 67 years of age or older who have no source of income or inadequate means of support.

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