Union says Saturday is a Public Holiday by Law


The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union is aware of a release from of the Office of Labour Commissioner regarding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day holiday.

The Union sort further clarity from the Labour Commissioner having had differing views as it pertains to Saturday December 25th not being recognized and observed as a public holiday.

The Union further consulted with the Labour Minister, who agreed wholeheartedly with the position of the Labour Commissioner.

The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union has consulted with Counsel and is of the opinion that Saturday December 25th, 2021, should be recognized as a public holiday, and employees who work on that day should be paid accordingly due to the fact thatChristmas Day is and has always been a common law holiday and is considered part of the sacred Christian calendar of Common Law holidays and is recognized in The Public Holidays Act Cap 354 as such, along with Good Friday and Sundays.

The Explanatory Note to the Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill of 2019 sort to clarify the rationale for the amendments being sought and further stated that if Christmas Day and Boxing falls on a Saturday or Sunday the following Monday and Tuesday will be holidays and if Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday are declared as holidays. 

No where does it state that Christmas Day was being abolished as a common law holiday. And the Bill was made law without any changes to its statutory provisions.

We at the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union are of the firm view that employees who work on Saturday December 31, 2021 should be paid for work on a public holiday.

We have advised the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Labour that given our differing views, we shall be seeking an interpretation of the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act, 2019 from the Courts.

 Once found correct, we will be demanding that employers pay employees proper compensation for work done on Saturday December 25th, 2021.

We further urge the Hon. Attorney General to rethink and review his position against the background of the legislation because Good Friday, Christmas Day and Sundays have always been considered as part of the Christian calendar of holidays representing the death, birth and resurrection of Christ, our risen Savior. And there is no legislative provision which alters or revokes that common law position.

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  1. “All these girls out here in the crowd tonight. Ah Chester are you come look fah?” ~Wilmoth Daniel STRIPPER POLE BUS owner

  2. This is very confusing to me.If as an employee you were to work on Saturday and Sunday,there would be no Holidays pay for you.When in fact the actual Holidays are on those two days.However,if you were to work on Monday and Tuesday.The days those Holidays are observed,holiday pay would be applied.So all of those folks working on calendar Christmas Day and Boxing Day are screwed,in my opinion.This is not the first time those Holidays fell on the weekend.What did they do back then?

  3. I agree with the union’s position.

    If you call a dog a cat because of legislative change, is that dog a cat? No

    If the internet is to celebrate the holidays that fell on weekends on week days that’s fine but what is the point of doing that to achieve what?

    Public sector employees that make up the majority of workers for the most part are off on weekends so what’s the problem? The who works get compensated simple.

    These people has a way of complicatingmunor issues, from time immoral these holidays has been oscillating, how all of a sudden all this confusion?

    Are there no bright bulb that can consult the past to determine what the common position was . Jeezy these rocket people…..

  4. Good luck to employees getting paid later on if, it is found that the union is correct.

    Many employers know that jobs are hard to come by and will be afraid to rock the boat.
    Sad that all the unions in the country could not speak with one voice on this issue

  5. A common law position once superceded by a Statutory position no longer exist. The statutory position becomes the law.

    • Cool Ruler that is layman’s terms. Anyway, I believe the government is correct. No common law can take precedence over a statutory provision.

  6. Why is only the ABWU asking this question and not the other unions? You would think that Christmas and Boxing Day have fallen on Saturday and Sunday before. Therefore, we should have learned from the past. I guess when you are busy playing politics that is what you get. Looking like dunces. Fools, who should know better?

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