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Sep 18, 2019

Belizeans to Enjoy 2 Days Off for the Independence Celebration

There is clarity as to the holidays in observance of Independence Day. Government has announced that Saturday, September twenty-first is a public and bank holiday. Independence Day is normally observed on whatever day it falls. But, Monday, according to the government release, will also be a public and bank holiday. So, this year, Belizeans will enjoy two holidays for the Independence celebrations. The decision was announced only a few days after the administration at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone settled an issue that was spiraling there, after it was announced that the Free Zone would be open for business on Saturday, Independence Day. Workers were allegedly planning to protest, but the administration then sent out a memo, signed by C.E.O. Hilberto Campos, informing that the Commercial Free Zone will be closed on that day. It added that employers are not obligated to pay any wages for that day and any employee required to work on Monday must be paid time and a half.  Today, we contacted John Saldivar, Minister responsible for holidays who clarified that the reason for the decision had nothing to do with the situation at the Commercial Free Zone. The Minister said that “The ceremonies are been held on September twenty-first and maximum citizen participation would require the day to be a holiday.” He adds that employers are to follow payments to employees as applicable for public and bank holidays.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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