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Hire in Barbados 2023 Guide | What Employers Need to Know

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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Hire in Barbados

Barbados, an independent British Commonwealth nation, is a small island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. This is a middle-income nation with a diversified economy—the economy of the country is dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Being tourism dependent, the economy of the country was massively affected by the pandemic. In 2021, though tourism has rebounded, serious challenges to medium-term economic growth are still there. The government is introducing multiple new programs to enhance the island’s food security and different industries.

Barbados has an open, market-oriented economy—services, manufacturing, and agriculture are the significant revenue-generating sectors of the nation.

Overview of Barbados

Population: 282,309 people (2024)

GDP: 6.66 Billion USD (2024 estimate)

Economic Overview:

As per the report of the Barbados Statistical Service, the real GDP of Barbados fell by around 0.1 % in 2019 and in 2020, the graph was much below the usual, at – 17.6%, due to the pandemic strike. The government has taken multiple initiatives to improve the situation, and it is forecasted that 2021 will end up with a 4.1% real GDP hike.

Market Size:

The employment market is highly competitive in Barbados. Lower employment opportunity plus skill gap both are equally responsible for the 10.3% unemployment rate of the nation. There is no limit on foreign investment as well as ownership. The government had introduced multiple skill training programmers to fill the skill gap in people management, business analysis, digital skills, customer care, selling and persuasion. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy as the chief foreign exchange earner as well as a major employer.

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A brief glimpse of industries

  • The government has introduced several programs and critical structural reforms to stabilize the economy of the country.
  • The main industries where Barbados has started to invest more are agribusiness, tourism, telecommunication, international banking, export/distribution, technology, fashion, creative arts, retail and medical services.
  • The government is also working to boost the manufacturing sector related to medical supplies, fashion, pharmaceuticals, electronics, optical devices, printing & publishing, chemicals, and paper products.
  • Foreign investments and ownership are always welcomed in Barbados, but some sectors, like telecommunications, utilities, and banking, need government licenses. The banking sector provides a huge chance of employment.
  • The average fixed broadband Internet speed in Barbados is 113.71 Mbps (download). The average upload speed is 58.83 Mbps.

Cost of living in Barbados

The cost of living is quite high in Barbados—groceries, communication system, transport, healthcare, personal care items, most of the commodities are expensive. As the country has to depend on importing the majority of products from the US and even from the UK, the average living expense is high. The living expense in Barbados depends on your lifestyle and your location on the island. The following table represents an outline of the general living cost in Barbados.

A snapshot of the Average Cost of Living in Barbados

Category Area of Expense Estimated Monthly Cost (USD)
Rental Monthly rent for furnished accommodation $ 945.61
Rental Monthly rent for a 480 sqft furnished studio $ 541.67 – 415
Food and beverage Household groceries $ 350 – 450
Transport costs Monthly ticket public transport $ 62 – 65
Utilities including water, cooling, heating, internet service, and garbage services $200 – 230
Personal care Membership at a fitness club $ 82.85

Cost of renting

House rents vary greatly depending on the location—whether you have chosen a living place in or near a city center or outside the city center. The rental cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $541.67 per month, and a three-bedroom apartment costs $1,062.50 for a month. Outside the city centre, the prices of similar types of apartments drop down significantly to $415 and $850 respectively.

Your cost of living in Barbados depends on your location

Name of the Cities Average Salary Cost of Living without rent /person Rent
Bridgetown $ 1,587.50 $ 1,051.47 $ 341.67 – 608.33
Oistins $ 1,287.50 $ 1,045.67 $ 358.66 - 587.50
Holetown $ 1.119.67 $ 998.87 $ 300 – 500
Speightstown $ 837.98 $ 690.99 $ 200 – 300

Barbados is divided into 11 parishes, and there are four main towns: Bridgetown, Oistins, Holetown, and Speightstown. Each state or parishes have its own unique character, special attractions and offer different living experience. Being the capital of the nation, Bridgetown is the most populated and expensive place in Barbados.

The top sectors that are expected to hire in Barbados in 2024

S.No Industrial Sector Growth Percentage in terms of hiring and revenue
1 Communication 14%
2 Education 5%
3 Information technology 10%
4 Tourism 21%
5 Electronic 9%
6 Healthcare 15%

Top Skills in Barbados

Several new job opportunities are available in Barbados with multiple newly introduced programs and critical structural reforms. Skilled professionals are in high demand to meet the sector-wise requirements. Some of the top skill requirement for the current Bajan market includes:

  • People Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Digital Skills (like digital marketing, cloud computing and social media management)
  • Customer Care services
  • Selling
  • Online Marketer
  • Content Creator

With the increased demand for business development through selling and marketing, organizations in Barbados have a huge requirement of skilled salespeople, marketers, copywriters, and media professionals to promote products or services and establish a market.

Top Skills City-wise Occupation-wise

Nation capital Bridgetown has maximum job opportunities related to the stock exchange, finance, and banking. To handle the commercial banking service and offshore banking services, the city provides opportunities for young business professionals and expatriates to manage transactions in foreign currencies. This city offers most job opportunities in the field of

  • Economics
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Back end consumer assistance
  • Digital marketing
  • Cyber Security Specialists

Oistins and Holetown are coastal cities, mainly dependent on tourism. The hotel business is one of the main job opportunities here—hotel management, customer services, transportation services offer multiple job opportunities here.

Speightstown, the second largest city in Barbados, offers varieties of job opportunities. Some of the industries hiring in different positions are:

  • Information Technology
  • Teleworking Software
  • Groceries
  • Delivery Companies
  • Cleaning and Janitorial Companies
  • Educational Institutes

Hiring Cost

For any organization, recruitment programs and related costs are crucial factors. The hiring cost may vary depending on the living expense of that particular location, overall expenditure, and availability of required skill sets. Several expenditures that can hugely impact your hiring programs include

  • The cost acquired in taking interviews, conducting screening process, and completion of the hiring
  • Onboarding cost
  • Training cost
  • Opportunity costs

Salary structure for various roles

The following table represents the average annual salary of various sectors in Barbados

Working Area Average Monthly Salary depending on the role (BBD)
Accounting and Finance (Chartered Accountant) BBD 3,020
Administration / Reception / Secretarial (Office Manager) BBD 3,030
Advertising / Graphic Design / Events (Graphic Designer) BBD 2050
Airlines / Aviation / Aerospace / Defense (Aerospace Engineer) BBD 4,370
Architecture (Architect) BBD 3,940
Automotive (Mechanic) BBD 1,280
Banking (Bank Branch Manager) BBD 5,960
Bilingual (Translator) BBD 3,020
Business Planning (Business Analyst) BBD 4,310
Construction / Building / Installation (Civil Engineer) BBD 3,090
Customer Service (Customer Service Manager) BBD 4,720
Engineering (Electrical Engineer) BBD 3,160
Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering (Hotel Manager) BBD 6270
Health and Medical (Nurse) BBD 2560
Human Resources (Human Resources Manager) BBD 5,100
Information Technology (Computer Technician) BBD 2,490
Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology (Biomedical Engineer) BBD 2,860

Employment Laws in Barbados

In Barbados, Multiple labor laws define the rights and responsibilities of everyone in the workplace, including the employees, employers, and any respective representative groups. The labor laws of Barbados cover industrial relations, occupational safety, and health and labor standards, reflective of ratified ILO Conventions. Here is the list of principle labor laws in Barbados:

  1. Labor Department Act
  2. Occupational Training Act, Subsidiary Legislation A1
  3. National Insurance and Social Security Act,
  4. Better Security Act
  5. Accident & Occupational Disease (Notification) Act
  6. Domestic Employees (Hours of Duty) Act
  7. Employment Exchanges Act
  8. Employment of Women (Maternity Leave) Act
  9. Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act
  10. Holiday with Pay Act
  11. Labor Clauses (Public Contracts) Act
  12. Protection of Wages
  13. Radiation Protection Act
  14. Recruiting of Worker Act
  15. Severance Payments Act Subsidiary Legislation A1-F1
  16. Safety and Health at Work Act
  17. Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Enquiry) Act
  18. Trade Unions Act
  19. Wages Councils Act
  20. Employment Rights Act- 2012

Barbados is very much concerned about securing the rights of people working in both government and non-government organizations. Thus, it is mandatory to satisfy all the terms and conditions during recruitment for legitimate employment.

How Can Skuad Help You In Hiring in Barbados?

Hiring a professional in Barbados needs to ensure complete compliance, satisfy employment laws, salary negotiation depending on the cost of living, and so on. Having in-depth knowledge about the laws, trends, hiring costs, living costs city-wise, etc., is time-consuming, tedious, and even costly. Skuad can be your employer of record partners handling every minute aspect of your recruitment process. So, you can concentrate on your core business along with expansion plans without any hiring stresses.

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