The private sector is breathing a lot easier after finally getting its wish for a meeting with Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo at which they discussed concerns related to Government’s proposed Holiday With Pay Bill.
Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Alex McDonald told Barbados TODAY this morning that arising from last week’s meeting he anticipated that changes would be made to the proposed legislation.
“[The minister] understood our concerns and she convened a meeting quite quickly with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) where we expressed our concerns . . . so it was a very good outcome,” McDonald reported.
He said Byer-Suckoo appreciated the business community’s concerns and promised a review of the proposed measure, adding that the BPSA now awaited the revised language in the draft being prepared by the CPC.
“So that was a very positive outcome and it shows the strength of our ability to collaborate and to get the best results.”
McDonald warned last month that if the Bill were approved in its current form it would lead to increases in operating costs, forcing the private sector to cut jobs.
He said then that the issues with which businesses were “deeply” and “severely” concerned related to sections of the Bill which suggested that bonuses and commission would be added to holiday pay.
Section 4 of the Bill states in part that “an employee who takes his annual holiday shall be paid the average pay for his annual holiday by his employer”.
It goes on to list various ratios of “total remuneration” for calculating holiday pay based on the number of years of employment.
McDonald stated at the time that while the business community was happy with about 80 per cent of the proposed measure, some sections needed clarification.
The Private Sector Association had been trying since last year to arrange a meeting with the Ministry of Labour to seek clarity on the proposed bill.