Labour Department has responsibilities under
the law for the regulation of trade unions,
personnel management and policies, the security
of workers, management responsibilities
including the collective bargaining process
and grievance and disciplinary procedures.
December 29, 2006, the Minimum Wages Council
presented its Final Report and recommendations
to the Minister of Labour, Hon. Francis
Fonseca, and on January 8, 2007, the Cabinet
approved the Final Report and its recommendations,
of which the following was included: the
creation over the next three years of one
Minimum Wage Rate of BZD3.00 for all workers.
involved increasing the Minimum Wage Rate
for Agricultural Workers from BZD2.00 to
BZD2.50 in 2007, to BZD2.75 in 2008 and
to BZD3.00 in 2010; and increasing the Minimum
Wage for Shop Assistants/Domestics from
BZD2.25 to D3.00 in 2007. In July, 2010
Labor Commissioner Ivan Williams confirmed
that the Attorney General's Ministry was
in the process of drafting the statutory
instrument to increase the minimum hourly
rate to BZD3.10. The rate was increased
to BZD3.30 in 2012. The Statistical Institute
of Belize is tasked with setting a formula
for calculating the minimum wage after 2012.
first two weeks of employment is the probation
period. Between 2 weeks and 6 months, three
days' notice of termination must be given;
between 6 months and one year, one week's
notice; and after that 2 weeks' notice.
are entitled to 2 working weeks' vacation
annually, and to 16 days' sick leave at
their basic rate of pay providing they have
worked an aggregate period of not less than
60 days within the previous 12 months.
and employment disputes are handled by the
Labour Commissioner who will instruct a
Labour Officer to apply conciliation procedures.
law provides for collective bargaining and
unions practice it freely throughout the
country. The Trade Unions and Employers
Organizations Act of 2000 became law in
December of that year. Employers and unions
set wages in free negotiations, or, more
commonly, employers simply establish them.
The Labor Commissioner or his representative
acts as a mediator in deadlocked collective
bargaining negotiations between labor and
management, offering nonbinding counsel
to both sides. Historically the Commissioner's
guidance has been accepted voluntarily.
However, should either union or management
choose not to accept the Commissioner's
decision, both are entitled to a legal hearing
of the case, provided that it is linked
to some provision of civil or criminal law.
Constitution prohibits anti-union discrimination
both before and after a union is registered.
Unions may organize freely, and the Trade
Unions and Employers Organizations Act requires
employers to recognize unions when a critical
level of membership is reached. Some employers
have been known to block union organization
by terminating the employment of key union
sympathizers, usually on grounds purportedly
unrelated to union activities. Effective
redress is extremely difficult to obtain
in such situations. Technically, a worker
can file a complaint with the Labor Department,
but in practice it is difficult to prove
that a termination was due to union activity.
additional information contact:
Phone: (501) 8-22323, (02) 44907
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Belize Work Permits
application process takes approximately
three weeks. Although the Ministry of Labour
processes and approves the issuing of work
permits, the permit is issued by the Immigration
Department - the fee can range anywhere
from BZD100 to BZD1,000 (at the time of
writing) depending on the level of skill.
Two recent passport size pictures endorsed
by the applicant must accompany the application.
the case of an investor he must present
his passport, have three passport size pictures,
and substantive proof of his ability to
sustain himself without infringing on the
country's limited economic resources. Bank
statements or other proof of financial independence
are also required.
'life' of a work permit ranges from three
months to one year and is subject to renewal.
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