Bill to suspend payment of gratuity and severance has been shelved says AG

Steadroy "Cutie" Benjamin, Attorney General

The government has shelved the passage of a bill that would suspend gratuity and severance payments while the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda was scheduled to meet next Tuesday, June 2,to suspend certain laws during emergencies.

However Attorney General Steadroy Cutie Benjamin said that provision has been shelved.

“We understand that the concern was to preserve businesses and at the same time, ensure that the employees were taken care of, especially during the period of the state of public emergency. At this time, I am of the view to shelve any intended legislation at this point,”
Benjamin told Pointe Xpress.

“Several persons have called me to say that they could run out of business because no money is generated coupled with a lack of financing in order to meet their bills and overhead etc,” he added.

“At the same time, employees have also indicated that they too are suffering from being out of work for an extended period. When we say ‘market  forces’ we mean the prevailing conditions of the market of supply and demand,” he further explained.

The minister is holding another meeting with hoteliers today to update them on the situation.

He suggested that employers and union representatives meet to work out solutions.


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  1. Good decision. You have to wonder what some of these companies do with their profits. If I have a choice between protecting employees and protecting a business I would protect employees

    • You are right. What do they do with all the tax breaks they get from the Government…they should be ashamed

  2. Even entertaining any such suggestion deserves a resignation from the one who considered such ignorance.

    One thing is now certain chattel slavery is one step away from the Is have it.

  3. If the government would have gone through they would have committed political suicide. It is just like them fighting off laying off in the public sector.

  4. I do believed it was the Employers who were pushing the Administration to introduced that Bill.The Administration was willing to go along with it.Until the people spoke out against doing it.That Bill would have sent many persons to the sidewalks of St.Johns to beg,daily.In the end common sense and good judgments prevailed.People always stand up for your rights.Your rights are not for sale to anyone.

  5. The bigger picture 👀 increases in crimes of all types, antigua would never be the same again‼️ Just do the right things please because a lot of hungry an angry 😡 persons waiting patiently!

  6. Employers now should seek loss of pay or disaster via Insurance Co. Perhaps, to revisit their policy and put things in place by paying the additional money to ensure that they are fully covered by any “Act of God/Pandemic/Epidemic crisis”. There’s always hope in the air but none in the grave. Both employees/employers are viewed at 50/50 each. It must be a level playing field; straight across the board: not to mention legislature were put in place through blood and suffering. Try reading pappie Sammy book entitled to “Shoot Hard Labour”.

  7. It is absolutely shameful that a government that usually proclaims it has come from the bowels of labour would amend the Labour Code in such a significant way to throw workers under the bus.

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