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Apr 1, 2020

What About Job Loss During State of Emergency?

Dean Barrow

During the national shutdown there are going to be several other businesses in various sectors that will be ceasing their operations, forcing employees to go jobless during the thirty-day interim.  The fate of those workers will be left hanging in the balance as a result of the urgent decision taken by the state.  So how will this issue be resolved?  It’s a concern that, according to PM Barrow, is being addressed by the Ministry of Labour.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Everybody who seeks that advice is being advised by the Ministry of Labor as to obligations when there is an end being put to labor contracts.  That certainly won’t change, but if a state of emergency is declared and in consequence thereof businesses are forced to close, that it seems to me, comes under that very useful legal category of force major or as it used to be known, Act of God.  In this case, we might be blaspheming, so I prefer the use of force major.  So that really is the answer, it’s not the fault of the employer; it’s as a consequence of an act of state.  The labour ministry will still, I believe, will be able to offer some kind of guidance.  But at the end of the day, those that are put off for a short period at least can be made whole again very quickly.  Naturally, our principal preoccupation remains with those who are not going to close because of the state of emergency but that have had to close because of the dramatic fall off in tourism and related businesses.”


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