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Nov 4, 2022

Labour Laws in the Midst of Disaster

Prime Minister John Briceño

During Thursday’s press conference with Prime Minister John Briceño, we asked him about where the labor law requires that employers relieve employees of their duties in the event of an imminent disaster. This question was put to the prime minister in light of reports received that some employers were requiring their employees to report to work on Wednesday. Here is how he responded to that question.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Well certainly, because once we call that there is a hurricane, businesses should allow their employees to go. That is the law right now. So, I don’t think it is about revisiting the law. It is about ensuring that the law is carried out. If there are businesses that did not follow the law we could take action against them.”

Paul Lopez

“Is there a particular piece of legislation that speaks to that?”


Prime Minister John Briceño

“I can’t say. I am not an attorney, but I can say that once we declare that there is a hurricane coming there are certain things in place and one of them is to allow people to go home to look after their families.”


Shelton Defour

Shelton Defour, Coordinator, NEMO

“You are right Prime Minister. Once a hurricane watch is declared the law stipulates that employers must release their employees to go and seek safety, to go and look after their families and get out of harm’s way. That is a universal law or requirement by any state or nation in terms of emergencies.”

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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