Repealed Amendment to benefit workers

ZIZ News — The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has announced some good news for workers in the private sector following a decision to make a change to the Protection of Employment Act.

During National Assembly, parliament voted to repeal a condition in The Protection of Employment Act which stated that employees in the private sector could not apply for benefits granted under the act if their company’s separation package was more favourable that what the act would provide.

Minister of Labour, The Hon. Patrice Nisbett said this interpretation has been a cause for concern on several occasions.

“If your benefits under the separation package are more favourable than under the provisions of the legislation you should not avail yourself of the provision of the legislation.  Mr Speaker many people don’t agree with that interpretation of the legislation,” he said.

Nisbett said the proviso created a number of challenges and unintended consequences.

“There are certain anomalies which come as a result of the operations of that proviso and sometimes those anomalies prove inimical for claimants and create situations at the labour department which calls for the attention of our Attorney General.  He has to go to court very often to defend the government because people have sought recourse to the court in relation to having a judicial interpretation of that particular proviso,” he said.

This change to the Protection of Employment Act would apply to all workers except employees of the crown and statutory corporations, the director of a company, or an employee who is a spouse, parent, sibling or child of that employer who is living with them.

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