(ZIZ News) — A launching ceremony by the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration that will improve the quality of life of workers in the Federation of St. Kitts And Nevis was held on Wednesday morning.
The Ministry of Labour organised an event to mark the launching of the new National Minimum Wage and the Long Service Gratuity Scheme.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, in delivering the feature address said the government of St. Kitts and Nevis believes in the protection and recognition of workers, hence the increase in the minimum wage.
“And we did this because we understand that in addition to creating a vibrant and healthy business environment, in addition to creating a nation that is safe and secure, in addition to ensuring that our country has twenty-first century telecommunications and transportation infrastructure, the workers of this country must be protected, they must be valued, they must be looked out for. And this is what this Labour government has always done,” he said.
The Prime Minister further spoke of the amendment to the law to ensure gratuity for persons working at one institution for 10 years.
“The government is also committed to ensuring that the people of this country are protected when they decide that the time has come to move to another company, to start their own small business, or to devote their time and energy to some matter that is of special importance to their families. When an employee has been with one employer for ten years or more, we do not feel that they should have to walk away with only a smile and a handshake – in the event that they decide to leave that employer. And so, on July 29th 2013, we amended this country’s laws to ensure that any person who has worked for one employer for ten years or more would be entitled to a gratuity should they decide to leave that company,” he said.
The National Minimum Wage will increase from EC$8.00 per hour to EC$9.00 per hour or EC$320 to EC$360 per 40-hour week with effect from November 1st 2014.