Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Employers and employees have been promised that the Department of Labour is committed to improving conditions for all parties and will remain neutral in any engagement.
“We act and we will continue to act as referees, following the law which governs labour practices in St. Kitts and Nevis,” explained Senior Minister Honourable Vance Amory on Tuesday (June 30). He made the point while presenting in the National Assembly to give an update to the nation on issues related to labour, which he is responsible for in the Federal Cabinet.
“Where there are infringements or infractions on the side of either the employees or the employers we will use the laws as provided to govern any decisions that we make and that relates to the conditions of employment, the fair wage based on the minimum wage principle, and the condition of the [working environment] to make sure that places are safe and healthy …” he stressed.
Such reminders are proving valuable as officials try to close a number of matters resulting from the long service gratuity initiative which provides a severance payment for private sector workers who meet certain conditions.
The services of the Legal Department will be engaged on Senior Minister Amory’s instructions to review the legal language in order to reduce any discrepancies or uncertainties.
“You have people who are asking questions,” Honourable Amory revealed. “They worked in a particular establishment under the impression that they were providing a service and they are being told that they are not entitled to the long service gratuity. So we have to qualify and clarify that matter so that can be put to rest.”
The long service gratuity was passed in 2013 as an amendment to the Protection of Employment Act.