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Nov 5, 1998

Labor Department addresses hurricane payment

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Since all Belizean employees returned to work on Monday, November second, the Labour Department has been swamped with numerous phone calls from both workers and employers inquiring whether an employee should be paid for the four days they were out of office due to the threat of Hurricane Mitch. In response, the Labour Department has issued a release stating that all workers with the exception of a few, should be paid. In an interview with Paul Williams, the Deputy Labour Commissioner, he cautioned all employers to take heed of the ministry’s release.

Paul Williams, Deputy Labour Commissioner

“It is stating that workers who are paid by the hour or they received their pay on weekly or fortnightly or monthly basis, they are to receive their normal wages; the employers are not to deduct from their pay. The only ones the employers are to deduct from their wages, are those workers who are paid on a daily basis even though they may receive their pay at the end of the week. I think it is section twenty-four which also clarifies that position. Section 124, of the Labour Act reads unless otherwise agreed or prescribed, workers whose wages are calculated on a daily basis shall be paid only for the number of days actually worked by them.”

Q: “Mr. Williams, what happens to the employer who does not adhere to the advice given out by the ministry?”

Paul Williams

“In a case where the employers refuse to adhere to the advice given by the Ministry of the Public Service and Labour, we from the ministry are appealing to all employers to write to the Labour Commissioner, stating their individual cases. Their cases will be dealt with on a one to one basis, based on the individual merits it may warrant.”

Williams says the Ministry of Labour will be pleased to answer any further questions on the matter.

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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