For Current Employees

What is a temporary employee?
Temporary employees are appointed to a post for a limited period of time. Most appointments are temporary for the first six months to one year, after which time you may be made permanent and pensionable, depending on performance. Temporary appointments are also used to fill short-term personnel needs.

What is a contract employee?
Contract employees are persons recruited from overseas or within the BVI to fill technical or specialised positions. Most contracts are for a two-year, renewable term. Contract employees who have been employed by the Government for ten consecutive years and have applied (and not been turned down) for residency may become permanent and pensionable.

What is a permanent and pensionable employee?
Permanent and pensionable employees are long-term employees of the Government. They are eligible for a pension on their retirement from the Service and may be granted study leave after completing three years of service.

Health Insurance Benefits

Who is the Government´s medical insurance provider?
The Government works with Atlantic Southern Insurance Company, a San Juan-based insurance company, to provide insurance for its employees. Atlantic Southern is represented locally by Alphonso Warner Insurance Agency.

What is the premium I must pay to be covered by the Government´s group health insurance policy?
Employees who are insuring themselves alone must pay $72.30 per month, which is half of the monthly premium. The Government pays the other half. Employees may opt to insure their spouse and/or dependents as well. The premium for an employee and spouse or an employee and children is $198.86 per month. The premium for an employee and family is $298.54 per month. The Government pays the full premium for “risk employees”.

How do I obtain benefits through the medical insurance?
Once you are enrolled in the group medical insurance, you will receive an insurance card from the Department of Human Resources. Many medical establishments in the BVI accept this card. That means they will prepare a claim form for you, send it to the insurance company, and you will be asked to pay only your deductible/co-payment at the time of service. However, if you go to a doctor who does not accept the card, you will be asked to pay the full amount. You can then file a claim yourself for reimbursement. Our Benefits Unit staff can assist you with this. Remember that if you are filing the claim yourself, you must provide detailed original receipts that specify what services and procedures were conducted.

When is pre-certification required?
For certain procedures, you must pre-certify with the insurance company. Pre-certification is required for all non-emergency in-patient confinements, MRIs, CT Scans, laser procedures, lithotripsy (extracorporal shock wave) procedures, and air ambulance. You can pre-certify, you, your doctor, or the health care provider should call the insurance company on 787-758-9975, 787-758-7140, or 787-642-9712 (emergencies). These numbers are also printed on your insurance card.

How does the new payroll tax affect Government employees? 
On Jan. 1, 2005, the Territory´s income tax was abolished. A new payroll tax was instituted in its place. Under this new tax, all income over $10,000 per calendar year is taxed at a flat rate of 8 percent. The Government contributes an additional 6 percent on behalf of each employee. The payroll tax applies to allowances, too.


How much leave may I accumulate and “roll over” from one year to the next?
The Department of Human Resources has policies in place to encourage employees to take their annual leave during the year in which it is earned. According to the General Orders, approval must be granted by the Director of Human Resources for permission to defer annual leave beyond certain maximums. These maximums are as follows: Employees in grades 1-5, 18 days (36 days Maximum). Employees in grades 6-10, 24 days (48 days Maximum). Employees in grades 11-15, 30 days (60 days Maximum). Employees in grades 16-21, 36 days (72 days Maximum). Any leave accumulated beyond these maxium levels will be forfeited, unless you obtain the approval of the Director of Human Resources.

Performance Management Programme

What is the purpose of the Performance Management Programme?
The Performance Management Programme provides supervisors and employees with a means to define performance standards and objectives over a given year. These standards and objectives are then used to measure the employee’s performance and determine areas for future training and development.

What are the supervisor’s responsibilities in the Performance Management Programme?
Supervisors play a critical role in the effective implementation of the Performance Management Programme. Supervisors are responsible for determining the standards and objectives the employee will be expected to meet over the upcoming year, sharing these with the employee and ensuring that they are understood. Supervisors are responsible for providing employees with the resources they need to meet these objectives, and for providing regular feedback – both formal and informal – to the employee. Supervisors are encouraged to meet with employees at least once every six months to review the performance agreement and discuss any concerns or issues that have arisen. Supervisors are responsible for fairly assessing employees on the appraisal form and providing them with clear and specific examples to support their assessment. Finally, supervisors are responsible for recommending specific areas in need of development, forwarding this information to the Training Division and doing what is necessary to ensure that development opportunities are provided.

What are the employee’s responsibilities in the Performance Management Programme?
Employees are responsible for reviewing and agreeing to the standards and objectives listed on their performance agreement. If an employee does not fully understand an objective or standard, it is her responsibility to make their uncertainty known and seek out the necessary clarification. Employees are responsible for remaining open to suggestions and feedback from their supervisor and are encouraged to ask questions and seek input when they are unsure of what to do. Employees are responsible for attending all meetings with their supervisor and discussing their performance in an open, honest, and professional way. Employees are responsible for preparing a self-assessment prior to their annual assessment meeting and taking an active role in the assessment process. Finally, employees are responsible for pursuing available training and development opportunities and making any changes to their behaviour recommended as a result of the assessment.

What should I do if I disagree with my appraisal?
If you disagree with your appraisal, the first thing you should do is discuss the matter with your appraiser. Explain your objections clearly and provide evidence to support your position. If you and your appraiser are unable to reach an agreement, you should inform the Department of Human Resources of your objection to the appraisal. You can do this either by making a note of your objections under the “Employee’s Comments” section of the appraisal form or by writing to the Director of Human Resources. This letter may be written in your own hand as long as it is legible and signed. Your objection will be forwarded to the Performance Management Unit.

Do I have to sign my appraisal even if I disagree with it?
Yes. Signing your appraisal form indicates that you have reviewed the appraisal form and discussed it with your supervisor, not that you agree or accept what it says. If you object to the appraisal follow the steps outlined above.

What happens after my grievance is forwarded to the Department of Human Resources?
On receiving your written objection, the Assistant Human Resources Manager in charge of the Performance Management Programme will arrange a meeting with you and the person who conducted your appraisal. The objective of this meeting will be to encourage constructive communication between the parties involved with a view towards reaching an agreement on the performance evaluation. A record of your objections and the outcome of the meeting will be prepared in the form of a Grievance Summary, which is forwarded to the Director of Human Resources and attached to your personal file.

How can I learn more about the Performance Management Programme?
The Performance Management Unit of the Department of Human Resources is glad to answer any questions employees or supervisors may have about the Performance Management Programme. You can find current contact information for this Unit in the Who We Are section of this website. The Unit has produced a series of Performance Management Tips to assist employees and supervisors effectively use the programme. These are available in the News and Publications section of this website.

Employee Relations Unit

What is the purpose of the Employee Relations Unit?
The Employee Relations Unit was formed in 2002 to ensure the continuous improvement of the Government’s human resources by addressing work-related issues that destabalise job performance. We operate an Employee Assistance Programme, develop recognition activities for employees, and draft policies that address health and safety concerns within the Public Service.

What is the Employee Assistance Programme?

The EAP is a counselling-based, confidential service to employees to help them address a wide range of personal and work-related problems. Our counsellor can help you overcome marital and/or family discord, emotional distress, job-related stress, alcohol or drug abuse, child/spousal abuse, grieving and loss, concerns about ageing parents, issues with your children, and more.

How can I obtain help from the Employee Assistance Programme?
Government employees can receive help from the EAP by calling is private line, 468-3205. You may also call us at extension 3991. When you call, you will be asked to state whether it is an emergency and to give your name, your work and home phone numbers, and the best time to return your call. Our counsellor will arrange a meeting with you at a time and place that is convenient and comfortable for you.

Is the service confidential?
Yes, except in situations where the counsellor thinks you pose a danger to yourself or to others. We know that in order for our EAP to be successful, employees must have confidence that when they talk about things with the counsellor, the conversation will remain confidential. No records of your visits or counselling session will be placed on your personal file. However, in circumstances where our professional counsellor believes you pose a risk to yourself or to others, or if a court mandates us to, our counsellor will have to report the situation to the proper authorities.

Can the EAP counsellor deal will every kind of issue?
Our EAP counsellor can help you overcome any kind of situation, large or small. However, in certain situations she may refer you to an outside person or agency who can provide the specialised care you need.

Training and Development

Who is eligible to receive study leave?
All permanent and pensionable employees with at least three years of service are eligible for study leave.

How do I apply for study leave?
Interested Applicants can obtain a study leave form from the Training Division.

What factors determine whether my application will be successful? 
After we determine that you are eligible for study leave, we will examine your application with a view to determining how your further education would fit into the Government´s overall training needs. Every year we publish a list of priority training areas to assist students, current officers, and the public in understanding the Government´s most pressing human resource needs.

What fields are on the current training needs list?
The priority training areas for 2009/2010 are: Accounting, Agriculture, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Court Reporting, Development Control, Disaster Management, Economics, Engineering - Civil and Structural, Environmental Engineering, Gender Studies, GIS Technology, Information Technology Programming, International Relations, Land Administration/Management, Law, Legislative Drafting, Library and Information Science, Management, Mass Communications/Public Relations/Journalism, Organizational Behaviour/Industrial Psychology, Psychology/Sociology or related field, Public Health, Public Policy, Science (Chemistry, Biology, Bacteriology, Physics and Microbiology or Laboratory Testing), Social Work, Statistics, Surveying/Town Planning, Technical Drawing, Quantity Surveying and Veterinary Science.

I am not enrolled in classes that occur during working hours, but would like to be reimbursed at the end of the semester.  What should I do? 
Complete Form TD-15/1A, College Course Registration Permit, and submit it to the Training Division, via your Head of Department, at the beginning of the semester.  Training Division will forward the form to the Human Resources Department for approval.  At the end of the semester, complete Form TD-15/1B, Reimbursement Request Form, and submit it to the Training Division.

I am enrolling in classes that occur during working hours but I am not eligible for reimbursement, do I still need to complete the College Course Registration Permit?
Yes.  Form TD-15/1A, College Course Registration Permit, should be used for all public officers who are either enrolled in courses that occur during working hours or are in courses for which they plan to seek reimbursement at the end of the semester.

For Prospective Employees

How can I find out what vacancies exist?
Vacancies are posted on this website every Monday. Vacancies are also kept in a binder for examination at the Help Desk at the Central Administration Building, West Atrium.

Are all Government vacancies processed through the Department of Human Resources?
No. The Department of Human Resources administers posts only in the central Government. We do not hire teachers, police officers (with the exception of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force administration staff and officers with a rank of Superintendent or higher), or “daily-paid” workers. A number of public services are administered by statutory boards, which hire their own employees. To find out whether vacancies exist in these areas, contact the following:

Department of Education and Culture
Secretary, Teaching Service Commission
Central Administration Building
Road Town, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
284-494-3701 ext. 2151

Police (officers only)
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force
Human Resources Manager
Road Town Police Station

BVI Electricity Corp.
Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

BVI Tourist Board
Akara Building
Wickham’s Cay I
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
Paraquita Bay
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Financial Services Commission
Pasea Estate
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

BVI Health Services Authority

BVI Ports Authority
Purcell Estate
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

National Parks Trust
Main Street
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Development Bank of the Virgin Islands
Joshua J. Smith Building
Wickham’s Cay I
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Social Security Board
Joshua J. Smith Building
Wickham’s Cay I
Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Who makes hiring decisions?
The final decision regarding all appointments, contract renewals, promotions, transfers and terminations lies with the Governor. The Public Service Commission advises the Governor on all such decisions.

Who sits on the Public Service Commission?
The Public Service Commission is composed of five people. One member is appointed by the Civil Service Association, one by the Chief Minister and one by the Leader of the Opposition. The Governor appoints one member and the Chairman.

Retiring from the Public Service

What is the retirement age for Public Servants?
The age of 60 is considered retirement age in the Public Service, although individuals are sometimes able to retire sooner under certain circumstances. For example, you may be eligible for retirement before age 60 on medical grounds, on the abolition of your post, after 25 years of service or on termination of service in the public interest.

Can I continue to work after age 60?
The general policy is that you must retire upon reaching the age of 60. However, based on your job and the need for your services, you may be re-hired on a contractual or temporary basis.

If I would like to retire, how much notice should I give?
One year’s notice is required, but in some cases six months is accepted.

How many years of service must I have to qualify for a pension?
You must have 25 years of service to qualify for a pension.

If I die as a retiree, what benefit will my spouse receive?
If you die, your surviving spouse is entitled to 2/3 of your monthly pension.
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