Employment Agencies Unit
The Employment Agency Regulations Act 1956 was instituted to govern/regulate the activities of Private Employment Agencies which recruit and place persons in jobs locally and overseas. The Employment Agency Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) which is located at 1F North Street, Kingston, was established to monitor the activities of employment agencies island-wide and ensure their compliance with the law.
In order for employment agencies to operate legally in Jamaica they have to receive a licence from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It is illegal for an employment agency to operate without a license. To view a list of licensed agencies approved to place Jamaicans in jobs locally, please click here. The forms are in the portable document format (PDF). Consequently a PDF viewer should be installed on your computer to see the form. If you do not have one installed, please click here to download Acrobat reader for free.
To view a list of licensed agencies approved to place Jamaicans in jobs overseas, please click here. As a deterrent, the Employment Agencies Regulations were amended on June 18, 2010 to include substantial increases to fines and penalties for all offences. It should also be noted that MLSS, with assistance from the Police, is currently closing down illegal operations.
The procedure to register an employment agency and obtain a licence for local employment includes:
- Completion of FORM No. 1
This form is to be completed and signed by the applicant before being signed by a Justice of the Peace or additional persons listed on the document. It is then to be taken to the nearest Inland Revenue Department office where the requisite fee is to be paid. Please click here to download application form. Please click here to view the list of Employment Agencies Fees.
- Letter to the Trustee in Bankruptcy
A letter is to be taken from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to the offices of the Trustee in Bankruptcy at 52-60 Grenada Crescent, Kingston 5, where a fee of $1,000 is to be paid for a status letter.
- Letter to the Commissioner of Police
Applicants are given a letter which is to be taken to the Ministry of National Security located at 2 Oxford Road, Kingston 5, where they will be required to pay a fee of $1,000 to have their fingerprints taken and a Police Report is issued by the Criminal Records Office, 34 Duke Street, Kingston.
- Background Information Sheet
This form is to be completed and signed by the applicant. It should be noted that a Background Information Sheet should be submitted on behalf of the owner of the employment agency if he does not reside in Jamaica.
After the above steps the applicants are required to return to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to submit the documents i.e. the completed forms, letter received from the Trustee in Bankruptcy and the Police Report in addition to:
- Business Registration Certificate - The name of establishment is to be registered at the Company Office of Jamaica, 1 Grenada Crescent, Kingston 5 with payment of the relevant fees.
- Photo Identification - This can be a driver’s licence, passport or Voter ID.
- Tax Registration Number (TRN).
- 1 passport size photograph.
Persons who are desirous of operating an employment agency which places persons abroad should follow the steps given for local employment as well as complete a surety form. To download a copy of the surety form, please click here. The operators of employment agencies which place Jamaicans in jobs overseas should also note that medical tests on persons seeking to work abroad should only be conducted by doctors from an approved list of medical practitioners.
The forms and letters referred to above which are not available through this website may be collected from the Employment Agency Unit, 1st Floor, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, 1F North Street, Kingston or at any of our offices island-wide.
A licence may be revoked if:
- The employment agency goes bankruptcy.
- The holder of the licence is proven to be unsuitable.
- The premises from which the business is being conducted is deemed to be unsuitable.
- Business transactions are being improperly conducted.
- The owner/operator is convicted of a criminal offence.
- There is evidence of fraud.
- There is violation of the terms of licence.
Operators of Employment Agencies must:
- Be over 25 years of age.
- Have a business which is duly registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica.
- Have a valid ID and TRN.
- Be a Jamaican national or possess a work permit relating to the activity.
- Be in good financial standing.
- Have a physical place of business which can be inspected by MLSS as is required by law.
- Have good character references.
- Be able to present confirmation of job opportunities.
- Adhere to the guidelines of the Law.
Helpful Hints For Employment Agency Operators
- Documents provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security are free of cost.
- Application for the renewal of a licence should be made at least six (6) weeks before its expiry.
- To lessen the processing time for licences, all relevant documents should be submitted at once.
- The licence should be visibly displayed at place of business.
- Funds set aside for refund should always be readily available.
- Persons recruited should be properly screened and orientated.
- Passports of clients should only be kept for as long as is necessary to secure visas.
- The Ministry MUST be notified of the placement of workers by regular submission of quarterly information.
- Any difficulties encountered regarding procedures can be addressed through the employment agency federation.
Helpful Hints For Potential Job Applicants
- Persons wishing to use the services offered by employment agencies should ensure that they SEE a valid license issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
- There must be evidence which indicates that the job being sought is available.
- No processing fees are is to be paid to operators of employment agencies for placement under the H2B programme.
- All contracts to be signed should first be clearly and fully explained to you.
- Persons selected for work overseas should ensure that they have additional funds on hand in the event they encounter some unforeseen situation on arrival at their destination.
- All licenced employment agency operators are accountable to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the persons they place in jobs both locally and overseas. The agencies should ensure that the interests of the worker are protected at all times.
- All complaints will be thoroughly investigated by the Employment Agency Unit’s compliance inspectors to facilitate resolution.
- When in doubt contact the Employment Agency Unit at 922-9500-14, 922-4261 or 948-1230.