St Helena : St Helena EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ORDINANCE – REMINDER
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 16.02.2013 (Article Archived on 02.03.2013)
St Helena’s Employment Rights Ordinance passed through Legislative Council in 2010. Parts of it (subsections 7-10) are already in force - allowing for the creation of an Employment Rights Committee and for work to be undertaken on a possible Minimum Wage.
EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ORDINANCE – REMINDER
St Helena’s Employment Rights Ordinance passed through Legislative Council in 2010. Parts of it (subsections 7-10) are already in force - allowing for the creation of an Employment Rights Committee and for work to be undertaken on a possible Minimum Wage. The remaining parts of the Ordinance had to await the appointment of a new Labour Regulating Authority, as the enforcing body. That appointment has now been made, with the role being fulfilled by the Chief Magistrate, and it is therefore the intention to bring the remaining parts of the Ordinance into force on 1 April 2013.
The Ordinance introduces new rights for employees and new responsibilities for employers. All employers and employees should make themselves aware of their rights and what employers will need to do or not do in order to comply with the new law.
The Employments Rights Ordinance is accessible on the St Helena Government website at www.sainthelena.gov.sh and additional advice may be sought through the offices of the Public Solicitor. Leaflets on the New Employment Law are also available from the customer service centre.
The idea behind the law is that individuals will have greater certainty as to their employment rights and both employer and employee, by complying with the law, will have a greater certainty as to exactly what the terms and conditions of the employment contract are.
The Ordinance introduces a number of important rights for employees (in all sectors), and also sets a number of duties for all employers. Whilst many employers may already be conforming to their new duties, it is essential that all make themselves aware of what they will be required to do under the new law. Those duties will be enforceable under statute by the Labour Regulating Authority, and any employers failing to comply may face financial penalties and compensation payments of up to £10,000 - and potentially more under some circumstances.
Those who adhere to the provisions of the ordinance will of course avoid such an outcome.
15 February 2013