During the review and consultation that led to the introduction of the Minimum Wage on St Helena, it was agreed to consider the introduction of paid annual leave and sick pay.  Improved conditions in the workplace will provide an incentive to securing skilled staff and increasing productivity.

Informal Legislative Council agreed on Friday 4 July to bring forward this proposal for public consultation.  Brian Isaac, Deputy Chair of the Social & Community Development Committee, commented:

“Some private sector employer’s terms and conditions are generous to their employees, but the current position remains that employer’s on St Helena are under no obligation to provide any statutory paid holidays or sick pay.

“In looking at this, the committee has taken into consideration the current economic position on the Island in the run up to the Airport, and wants to balance economic growth with employee protection.”

The Committee will now proceed to consult widely with the public on the introduction of a minimum level of paid annual leave and sick pay.  Discussions will be held with various groups, including private sector employees, the Chamber of Commerce, ESH, the Human Rights Office, plus at an open access event.  Surveys will also be issued to establish employees’ and employers’ views on the proposal.

The proposal is to phase in minimum levels of paid annual leave and paid sick leave over a number of years, as indicated below:

Year Paid Leave Paid Sick Leave
2015 5 5
2016 7 5
2017 10 7
2018 12 8
2019 15 10

 

The consultation process will form the basis of a report that will identify next steps. Both employers’ and employees’ opinions will be fully considered as part of this consultation process.

There will be advance notice of meetings for the public through the media, as well as progress updates.

SHG

14 July 2014

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