Understanding terminations in the BVI Labour Code

We have posted the law concerning terminations of probationary and contract employees below. 

Termination of employment

contract within probationary period and short term contracts.

Termination of employment

contract with notice.

88.              (1) The employment contract of any employee may be terminated by the employer at any time during the probationary period for any valid and fair reason with twenty-four hours notice.


(2)               Where an employment contract is for a specified term

not exceeding four months, an employer may terminate the employee’s services for any valid and fair reason with twenty-four hours notice.


89.              (1)  The employment contract of an employee may be terminated with notice, or with pay in lieu of notice, for any valid and fair reason connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee, or the operational requirements of the undertaking, establishment or service.


(2)               Without derogating from the generality of subsection (1), notice of termination may be given by an employer in any of the following circumstances:


(a)               where two medical practitioners certify that the  

employee is unfit to continue in employment because of an incapacity of the mind or body which has lasted for at least six months and which is likely to be permanent;


(b)               where the employee could not continue to work 

in the position held without contravention of a provision of a law; or


(c)               where the employee is made redundant.


(3)               For the purposes of the Code,


“redundancy” means where the work required of the employee is             affected   because


  • the employer has modernised, automated or

mechanised all or part of his or her business;


  • the employer has discontinued or ceased to

carry on all or part of his or her business;


  • the employer has reorganised or relocated his or her business to improve efficiency;


  • the employer’s need for employees in a particular category has ceased or diminished;


  • it has become impossible or impracticable for the employer to carry on his or her business at its usual rate or level or at all, due to a shortage of material, a mechanical breakdown, a force majeure or an act of God; or


  • a reduced operation in the employer’s business has been made necessary by economic conditions including a lack of or change in markets, contraction in the volume of work or sales, reduced demand or surplus inventory.


  1. (1)           Where an employer is required by section 89 to give an Notice periods.

employee notice of termination of the employment contract, such notice shall  be determined on the following basis unless a written contract provides more favourable terms:  

  • where the employee’s length of service does not exceed seven years, the period of notice shall be at least equivalent to the interval of time between the affected employee’s pay days;


  • where the employee’s length of service exceeds seven years but does not exceed fifteen years, the period of notice shall be at least one month;


  • where the employee’s length of service exceeds fifteen years, the period of notice shall be at least two months.


  • The periods of notice under subsection (1) shall not

apply where the employer is entitled to summarily dismiss an employee under this Part.


  • A notice of termination under subsection (1) shall not be given by an employer during an employee’s period of absence on any leave granted under the Code.



Payment in lieu of notice.

Recovery of remuneration and notice pay. .

91.              (1) In lieu of providing notice of termination, the employer may, at his or her discretion, pay the employee a sum equal to the wages and other remuneration and confer on the employee all other benefits that would have been due to the employee at the expiry of any required period of notice.


(2)                    An employer, having given notice to terminate employment, and not having exercised the option provided in subsection (1), shall not be required to pay the employee’s wages if that employee voluntarily quits his or her employment prior to the effective date of termination specified in the notice.


92.              (1) Any amount due to an employee whose service is terminated shall be paid to the employee by the employer not later than the last working day before the termination becomes effective.


(2)                    Without prejudice to any other method of recovery, an amount due as pay for a period of notice may be recovered by civil proceedings in a court.



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