Government wants employers to pay employees for jury duties

BASSETERRE,ST. KITTS, MAY 14H 2012 (CUOPM) – Government is moving to ensure that persons who are employed and who perform duties as jurors do not suffer financial hardship.

Legislation going to the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly this week will make it mandatory for employers to pay the wages or salary of employees who perform jury duties.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett will introduce and pilot through the lawmaking body on Thursday The Jury (Amendment) Bill 2012.

The proposed amendment inserts a new section 39A which states: Where a person is selected as a juror, the employer of that person shall be required, whilst the person is acting as a juror, to pay that person the wages or salary that would normally due to that person, as if the person were carrying out his or her regular duties, in relation to that employment.’

Another proposed amendment states: “An employer who acts in contravention of subsection (1) by refusing to pay the employee or by deducting from the wages or salary of that person for the time that he or she is selected for jury duty, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding EC$10,000.

A third amendment states that an employer who is convicted of not paying an employee or deducting from the wage or salary of an employee who served as a juror, shall be required to remunerate the employee in question in respect of any prior non-payment or deduction from the employee’s salary or wages.

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