Hiring of foreigners is allowed in Antigua and Barbuda, but employers must first go through a five day consecutive advertising and interviewing process to ensure that a local can’t fulfil the vacancy and why they were not qualified. Additionally the potential foreign employee must provide a clean criminal record. Lastly the prospective employee has to be in possession of a work permit in Antigua and Barbuda and a temporary residency permit to be employed on the islands. The employer needs to apply for the potential employees work permit through the Commissioner of Labour, Ministry of Labour.
Work permits are normally valid for one year and may be renewed provided the employer can prove that there is a good reason to keep the employee. Employers hiring illegal workers face hefty fines and even prison terms. Employers are also required to ensure for the safety and health matters of the workers. Additionally they must provide supplies of drinking water, toilet facilities and lunch facilities for workers in any profession. All workers earn one day’s leave for each month worked, which they are entitled to only after completing twelve months in a given position.
There are many opportunities for expatriate workers in Antigua and Barbuda. Tourism industry offers the maximum number of employment possibilities but positions in teaching and medicine are also possible. Employment in this industry tends to be seasonal as not much business is done in the “Hurricane Season” which starts in June and extends to November. Work in the industry revolves around big hotels and resorts, or catering to the needs of boats and sailing.
Skilled labour capable of offering quality service of many basic services like builders, electricians, plumbers and carpenters are in short supply. While those capable of providing substandard service are easily available those with appropriate expertise are in short supply. Despite the poor quality of work done the charges are similar to those in Europe. Since there are masses of companies setting up offices on the islands with executives from American or European background, good providers of such skilled services have the potential to establish lucrative businesses.