How to separate the right way: The Jamaican Perspective

Grace Royal Bassaragh, Assistant VP Legal Services, Group Legal, Trust & Corporate Services, Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited
Emile Leiba, Attorney-at-Law and Managing Partner, DunnCox

For employers and prospective employers, having a clear understanding of the employment law landscape in Jamaica is essential to successfully operating in Jamaica. This understanding involves knowing what the employer’s obligations during employment are and, as is the focus of this paper, knowing what its obligations are at the point of separation of the employee from the employment.

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Jamaica Employment Investment July 2022 Vol.15, No. 60, Summer 2022

Grace Royal Bassaragh


Grace Royal Bassaragh is an attorney-at-law specializing in Corporate and Commercial Law serving as in-house counsel for Sagicor Group Jamaica. For over 20 years, she has specialized in insurance and pension law and has made numerous estate planning presentations to organizations as part of their pre-retirement planning. She has spearheaded the legal team on legal issues evolving from the acquisition of a number of hotels, local and international franchises and has negotiated and finalized mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector in Jamaica, including banks and insurance companies. She has also managed the employment law issues arising out of these mergers and acquisitions. Grace has responsibility for the legal aspects of the real estate portfolio for the Sagicor Group, leading on several major real estate transactions. She has served on the board and as legal advisor for the Vaz Preparatory School for the past 15 years and is a former member of the board of the Church on the Rock Foundation. Grace has a passion for gardening with a keen interest in orchids.

Emile Leiba


Emile Leiba is is currently the firm’s Managing Partner. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. Emile Leiba practices in Employment Law and Civil Litigation specializing primarily in Commercial Litigation. Emile has acted for international and local clients in providing general labour law advice, drafting and reviewing policy manuals and contracts of employment, advising on claims for bargaining rights by unions and acted in contested dismissal claims in the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He has also acted for maritime clients and litigated contested ship arrest applications at the Supreme Court and Appellate levels in addition to other substantive maritime claims. Emile has presented at seminars and published articles on labour and maritime law. Emile practiced in Property and Commercial law prior to specializing in Litigation and Employment law. Emile is a Partner and member of the Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Department. He is the Immediate Past President of the Jamaican Bar Association and is a current member of the Executive and Bar Council of the Jamaican Bar Association. He is the Chairperson of the Industrial Relations and Labour Law Sub-Committee of JAMBAR. He is a member of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Legislation and Regulations Sub-Committee; the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, First Instance Tribunal. Emile has also served as Honorary Counsel to the Little Theatre Movement of Jamaica and is an Associate Tutor in Civil Procedure and Practice at Norman Manley Law School. Emile is a former Commissioner of the Fair Trading Commission, a member and former President of the Jamdammers Running Club, a primary organizer of the internationally known Reggae Marathon and an avid marathon runner and triathlete who has participated in several international events.



DunnCox offers a depth of expertise difficult to match in any other country of the English-speaking Caribbean. We are a full-service law firm in Jamaica, offering clients solutions to the most challenging legal issues in virtually every area of, commercial and corporate law, civil litigation, property law and estate planning. Founded in 1942, we are one of the longest-established and largest firms in Jamaica and the Caribbean. We act for a sizeable pool of local and international clients in a variety of sectors including financial services, energy, manufacturing, and commodities, as well as public authorities. We have successfully acted for clients in landmark court cases of legendary status within the local legal circles. Additionally, the firm has helped to structure commercial and financial transactions of historic significance in every decade of our existence.

Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited


Sagicor Group Jamaica is a financial services conglomerate. The Company commenced operations in 1970 as Life of Jamaica Limited, the first locally owned life insurance company and the first life insurance company to be listed on the JSE. The Group offers products and services in the areas of Banking, Insurance, Investments, Real Estate, Asset Management and Retirement Planning. Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited is the leading Life and Health insurance provider in Jamaica; the Bank is one of Jamaica’s largest banks, and Sagicor Investments is one of the top Investments companies in the Country. Sagicor Group Jamaica is a member of the wider Sagicor Financial Corporation. Sagicor Financial Corporation operates in over 20 countries and its operations date back to 1840.

Jamaica Employment Investment July 2022 Vol.15, No. 60, Summer 2022

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