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Oct 14, 2022

A Labor Complaint Tribunal is Established

Valentino Shal

A five-member panel has been established by the Ministry of Labor to provide a fair and impartial appeal process arising from complaints of unfair dismissal or wrongful termination.  The Labor Complaints Tribunal was appointed by Minister of Labor Oscar Requeña in accordance with Section Two Hundred of the Labor Act.  It is historic, as it is the first time such an appointment has been made.  Those members include: Chairman Anthony Sylvester, Ashanti Arthurs Martin, nominated by the Chief Justice, Jacqueline Jex for the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ella Waight for the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Labor Commissioner as an Ex-officio member.  Earlier today, News Five spoke with Chief Executive Officer Valentino Shal about the establishment of the tribunal.


Valentino Shal, C.E.O., Ministry of Labor

“The Labor Complaints Tribunal is a tribunal allowed for in the Labor Act.  It has always been in the act, but it has never been acted upon and established by any previous government and so what we did was we… appointed the tribunal and made it operational and functional.  So now we have a live tribunal.  It was appointed back in March of this year, but the tribunal itself has been putting together the procedures as to how they will manage the cases that come before them and putting together the different management systems that they need to have in order to enable them to hear cases.  So, it has taken some time but they have done.  There is a procedure now for people who want to bring cases before the tribunal could use.  On October twelfth, two days ago, they delivered their first ruling in one of those cases that they have before them and so, that is very historic.  This now gives opportunity for aggrieved workers who feel that they may have been unfairly dismissed and terminated to go somewhere to have their case heard.  And of course, not all cases will be legitimate and of course not all will fall within the scope of the law, but there is an opportunity now for workers to go somewhere to have their cases heard.”

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