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Bahamas: Labour Regulation

Regulatory Environment

Work-place relations and employment are governed by the Fair Labour Standards Act 1970 and the Industrial Relations Act 1970 as amended.

Labour unions are organised by industry rather than by craft. About 30% of the workforce is unionised, predominantly in the hotel and shipping industries. There are no 'closed shops'. Strikes are rare, and industrial relations generally good; the unions act effectively in negotiation with employers and in controlling their members.

Written contracts of employment are not mandatory, but are often prepared, especially when a union is involved. One week of paid holiday is the entitlement after one year of employment, although normally two are given. Two weeks of paid sick leave are usually allowed. The law gives eight weeks of paid maternity leave.

There is no legal entitlement to notice on termination, but one pay period is the norm. There are no formal procedures to terminate employment, but it is prudent to consult with the Labour Board - a dismissed employee may appeal to the Labour Board if he believes the dismissal was unjust.



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