Employers: Sick leave hurting business

Employers in Saint Lucia are concerned about the amount of ‘uncertified’ sick leave available to workers.

The Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Employers’ Federation (SLEF), Joseph Alexander, told the Times that according to the Saint Lucia Labour Code, workers are entitled to a maximum of twelve uncertified sick leave days.

Alexander said all that is required is for an employee to say that he or she is unwell.

“The employee decides that he is sick – not a Doctor,” the SLEF official disclosed.

He explained that once an employer is so informed, the employee can stay home for two days at a time without a medical certificate, until the annual twelve days have expired.

“Think of a large company with a thousand employees and everyone takes their twelve uncertified sick days; that would be twelve thousand working days being paid for and no work is being done,” the  SLEF Executive Director told the Times.

Alexander said the twelve uncertified days of sick leave annually to which workers are entitled are in addition to certified sick leave.

“Certified sick leave means that the Doctor gives you a certificate indicating that you are unwell,” he said.

According to the SLEF Executive Director, under existing legislation the employer has to keep paying thirty-five percent of the sick leave pay for three months while the National Insurance Corporation continues paying for another three months.

Alexander expressed the view that the government should review uncertified sick leave.

“Right now it is just too many – twelve in a year; I think  government should bring this down to about six days,” he told the Times.

He observed that under the existing legislation,an employee can actually call in sick once every month.

In terms of certified sick leave, Alexander said he did not think there is much that can be done.

“If somebody comes with a Doctor’s certificate, most probably the person is genuinely sick,” he stated.

Alexander pointed out that the Labour Code allows  twenty-one working days vacation for someone who has worked for over five years.

“So you add twenty-one days to the twelve days of uncertified sick leave and then you also have fourteen public holidays, so you see the situation,” he told the Times.



  1. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Why are they continuing to mess with the working class?? 12 days out of year what is that man (Expression removed) issues ??

  2. Alli
    December 6, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Tell that man shut his mouth

  3. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Cutting it down to 6 wouldn’t stop ppl from calling in sick. They just know that no work no pay. This isn’t what should make the news is how workers are being under paid by employers and how the working environment isn’t comfortable for u to actually want to come to work even if u are sick!!

    1. Disgruntled
      December 6, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:24 am

    He wants da number of sick days to be revised but what about da minimum wage????

    1. Cristal
      December 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Very good question, they only care about their end!

    2. Anonymous
      December 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Very good what about people salaries…

  5. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Are you serious, real, some of the employers not even paying that well. Instead you’ll have the backs of the employees, you’ll don’t, you’ll checking for the employers. As always the employers can do want and you’ll let if happen. You need to start focusing in us the people. Without the employees the companies don’t have a company. They need to start respecting and appreciating the employees.

  6. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:26 am

    What Mr.Alexander should ne doing is to ask employers to stop calling doctors and inquiring as to their reason for issueing sick leave to empkoyees instead of complaining about thé twelve days per year

    1. nonsense
      December 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      What????? That happens??? Madness!! No doctor should give that kind of information!

  7. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:27 am

    So wat about the people working on holidays

  8. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:27 am

    What they want, focusing on us the people.

  9. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Machine ca break down, yo pa vle moon break down. Alexander ai shiay. Somebody pay you to say that. Nonsense. You sit down there counting how many days people getting off. You not counting how much of an increase workers can get. Is blood employers want from staff and they getting it, but before anything they hiding behind you to come and say their saloptey for them. That shouldn’t even have made the news.

    1. Barbara Marcelle
      December 7, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Lol….Amen to that!!!

  10. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Tell that bastard shut his dirty mouth he is getting a good salary that’s why he can talk crap he should know employees are under paid and tell him stop taking bribe from employers

  11. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Tell met shut up and watch for employers underpaying employeees…..

  12. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Mr Alexander, you can’t tell your body not to get sick it happens naturally. So if sick you remain at home in order to get better or to prevent the spread of a virus eg. flu, to your co-workers.

  13. No name
    December 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Your’ll don’t know what ppl situations are so your’ll cannot assume that ppl calling in sick and they not sick. Besides we working more than we have time for our selves so what’s 1 sick day per month. Choops

  14. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:43 am

    In this case we need to be better compensated

  15. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Some people take advantage of these things just for their own selfish gain. When things are not too good. No work. they are the first on the front line to protest against the government .we want jobs. Give them the job just to find out how much they can play de ass these things are affecting the country
    These things happens in all departments
    1.police doing it. Nurses doing it government workers doing it. Commercial workers they all doing it. No production. Yet everyone wants higher pay for their service. These are the things that are killing the country with all these lazy basterds who wants to do sweet fo- call .what else can we do. Nothing but just experiencing this for the rest of our lives in this country.
    Thanks alot for understanding the plit of our nation.

  16. Dr. Bash
    December 6, 2016 at 11:46 am

    What would he do if he was a woman with serious monthly period pains? Go to the doctor for his monthly period?????…..(Expression deleted)

  17. Dr. Bash
    December 6, 2016 at 11:47 am

    What would he do if he was a woman with serious monthly period pains? Go to the doctor for his monthly period?????…..(Expression deleted)

  18. Frustrated
    December 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

    This is ridiculous…. underpaying people and now they wanna complain about 12 uncertified sick days that they have to pay for…I say 12 not even enough cause theres no telling when u fall sick… People cant even afford to see their private doctor on the salary they are being paid… They have to go to a health center which allows only 20-30 ppl a day…. So yes there will be uncertified sick leave cause people are genuinly sick and just cant afford care, so they try to just rest it off…Some of us sometimes aren’t sick and just take advantage of the fact that we can stay home and be paid… Pay people right and they will see less uncertified sick days.. Why not argue that point. Use that same example of 1000 employees multiplied by 12, why not add a fraction of that amount of money to the employees salaries, cause clearly they can afford to pay for it cause they do.. Make employees happy and you will be happy also….Its always the rich getting richer .. and the poor getting poorer… Time to change that mentality..

    1. Mi say sah
      December 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Most of them not paying it

    2. Anonymous
      December 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      So you people accept a job knowing full well what the pay is yet you complain after saying that you are underpaid. How many of you work the full hours that you are paid for. Especially those Gov’t workers. So much time off, multi hour lunches. Calling in sick for no reason. Geez, the people have their profits to make. That’s why you start a business.

  19. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

    (Words deleted) no body care about thier worker sometime the working coming work sick u they calling u work but they want to cut down the sick days they shold be stoned any way they right UWP they wanted look it take it

  20. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

    When rise workers pay by 50%they can cut the sick leave

  21. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Well said Frustrated!!!

  22. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Well then just try to reduce the number of uncertified sick leave and experience a large demonstration in this country. Now you don’t want that do you?

  23. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    What about people that work and don’t send in sickleave or call sick ,They get nothing for that . Here in our country we need to appreciate our staff.

  24. Frustrated
    December 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Honestly my first time commenting on any of those things … That one just hit home, I had that argument some time ago with my employer…Its just stupid for someone to even bring that (Word deleted) to the media… Mr Alexander is being well paid so he doesn’t feel it like we do… Working hard like donkeys for minimum wage. Paying NIC a percentage , then paying tax a percentage.. When you go do your taxes they cant even say when you will be paid … Every aspect of complication leads to one ministry or another… So i say all ministries should sit and discuss a way to help not just the employer but the employees also… ministry of health for unaffordable health care .. ministry of labour for minimum wage and other aspects surrounding employment…ministry of Education for those who cant afford to earn a degree… ministry of finanace to figure out a way to pay ppl their money for tax and the list goes on… They always try to attack the problem from the bottom, with all their degrees dont they see the need to start at the top and move down, thats how you find a solution to everyones problems… Right now am unemployed due to the fact that i have almost used up all my uncertified sick days where i was genuinly sick and couldnt afford a Doctor on my salary so i stayed home and hope to feel better…Even though i was one of my companies best in performance. The need arised to let some go and i was one just cause of attendance… And i was told that to my face…. So yh this surely did hit home.. Oh well, its not like they ever listen to the poor ppl so lets just all wait and see the outcome.

  25. Frustrated
    December 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    What other choice do we have than to accept the underpaying jobs..with the rate of unemployment what other choice do we have..Electricity must be paid, water also. Children have to be fed. So yes we have to accept the jobs even though we are not being treated fairly.. But when someone accepts that minimum wage they do so with the intentions that they will be paid better later on. Yes profits have to be made and they do make profits, you see it urself when they pull up in a new ride or take trips all the time that are not business related , or even buy a new home…Whether they take a loan or not to do those things its because they can afford to. We the slaves cant.

  26. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    The SLEF Director should look well before speaking, the twelve sick days per year is to accommodate women facing their monthly cycle. To seek to shorten the period of time an employee gets off is to put employers and employees at variance with each other. On account, there are many companies under paying employees, businesses freely taking customers money, deductions for tax, insurance, and so on. Sir I beg if the interest of the people are not on your mind, you should keep quite, they are the ones hurting. The employees are not the ones hurting your businesses you are, because your businesses are not fair to them, don’t try to take away what was given to them. Were you there when they were being paid $0.25 per day after a hard days work on the banana farms? Sir, with respect let’s not go down that road.

  27. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Capital is always greater than labour isn’t it? And now they have a government that is very business friendly they blowing their loud horns.
    I think employers need to be a bit more balanced even though the scales is titled in their favour.
    Some employers are true models and they treat their staff well, but a larger number are just worth talking about.

  28. sweetness
    December 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Mr Alexander you all employers like people to work like donkeys and no pay. WE NEED TO WORK SHORTER HOURS BECAUSE WE DO NOT SPEND ENOUGH TIME WITH FAMILY..DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY? Do you see all the problems going on in society. Employees have 10 days uncertified not sure about the 12. THAT GUY IS SICK FOR SAYING THAT CRAP!

  29. smh
    December 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    That is the most retarded thing I have read in the news all day. Is that man not embarrassed to have such nonsense escape his mouth? Will he personally pay for each employee on this island to visit a doctor every time they feel sick? For a woman suffering from terrible monthly pains will he personally certify her pain one day a month? When everyone comes to work with the flu or common cold and spreads it to the entire work force reducing productivity overall, will he hide in his office or take it like a champ? Idiot.

  30. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Shut up . 12 days out of 365 days come on man do the math. We are human beans not machines. Worry about increasing jobs and salaries

  31. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I agree. had it been yall business yall would be crying the same tune. If you not willing to actually work for the pay then stay (Words deleted) at home. All you lucians on vacation yearly never missing a fete but missing work. Oh please there should be a cut off for bothe leave and I don’t think they should get paid unless there was a surgery done!

    1. upset
      December 6, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      That’s a bias comment , I hope u are at work every single day of the year. The human body gets sick sometimes one gets sick due the environment they work in. One person comes with the cold everybody gets it. Sometimes there’s mold in the buildings you work in and this affects your lungs. I am not seeing enviromental health departments actually doing any random checks of business places to ensure the buildings are safe enough for employees to work.

  32. Upset
    December 6, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    They right! They should start with police who only work 6 months in a full year… they so lazy and all they do is party and drink at the countries expense… then lets do the same for the rest of the government as well. They should reduce BOTH and should not pay anything unless the person was hospitalized for days and was injured or was actually sick… Some use asthma as an excuse but NEVER even own a damn inhaler. Its time people who actually want to work get a chance to work and not these lazy fools just looking for a pay packet to go buy rum and fete outfits!!!

    1. Anonymous
      December 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Listen to this….are you serious..are you born from people or donkies

  33. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Alexander, you need to shut up and sit down. Many employees are overworked and underpaid. This takes a toll on the human body.
    Slavery has abolish and it is people like you that you that does lazy work and get a fat salary and also never in the office that will think of coming up with such crap. Such oppressors like you.

  34. Chupse
    December 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    What about those persons who work even when they are sick? Teachers especially always thinking of instruction time and who will care for kids etc. When they are out they are sick! Some women even on their period with all menstrual cramps still go to work chupse .

  35. reap off system
    December 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thinking why is he concern about nic paying us so where all my ,$56 or more I paying nic every fortnight what is it for so am paying $112 a month some times more some ppl are paying more than that so what it’s our money regardless !!! I sent 2 sick leave a year they don’t pay weekends an I working weekends so that’s what needs to be revised so check it out again that’s not fair nic is a reap off I would stop making contributions if I could but in fortunately I can’t

  36. Sarah
    December 6, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Employers employers. Who are the ones doing the work… what is this man’s problem. He’s concerned more about his money and pocket. First of all 14 days is not sufficient for a years work as vacation. Secondly, some organizations don’t even pay their employees well. Thirdly, employers have to understand we are parents as well, we are at work 8 hours and sometimes lunch hours are denied for employers pocket. Fourthly if you so much want to start a revolution of 6 days per year. Be more than happy to accept sick leave. We are human we will get sick and tired especially if we work in poor conditions mister check yourself. And lastly appreciate those that come to work sick, in terrible conditions. I didn’t read you congratulating them.

  37. Concern
    December 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Well said sarah

  38. upset
    December 6, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    It was never an issue when employers did not have to pay for it. The amount of sick days used to be more but the minute employers have to pay for it its a problem. What they fail to realise is that the employees get drained from having to constantly work under prressure and sometimes one needs these days before they loose it. The employers dont give a damn about their employees they are off pocketing all the profits for themselves from your hard work. That’s one of the best implementations in the legislation

  39. Anonymous
    December 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    There is a particular call center in the north if you visit the washroom it’s taken out on your salary you eh gonna get paid. So your hours is 8 and within that 8 hours you used 15 mins out it you will only get paid for that 7 hrs 45 mins. Ppl get bladder infection because they cannot use the toilet if they go it comes out their salary this leads them to doctor for bladder infection sick leave follow. So whose fault.

  40. Good employee
    December 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Mr. Alexander, I consider myself to be a good employee. I do not abuse my sick days or sickleave i actually leave it for when i am sick. It is unfortunate that people abuse these things however there cannot be a Peter pay for Paul attitude. I like the cushion of having 12 days if I am sick I can stay home to recover. You say an employee can call and say they sick without a doctor so” they decide they are sick” So when I have menstrual cramps during that time of the month I need a doctor to tell me that I have pains in my abdomen? Or if i have a splitting headache i need a doctor to tell me that i have a headache? What are ur qualifications cause you sound dumb!

  41. cherry.. emoloyed..
    December 6, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    12 days my toe… am I to inform my body as to how many times it can be sick… chupz ..

  42. Person
    December 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    A useless airbox who is paid off by big cooperation. Y he don’t talk about raising minimum wage, increasing standard of living, Worker rights etc etc

  43. Barbara Marcelle
    December 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Dear Mr. Alexander,
    LET us the working class of this Country know when you are READY to TALK about the MINIMUM WAGE BILL, POOR WORKING CONDITION, LOW INCOME, OVER WORKED STAFF, etc,etc,etc. Until then please KEEP QUIET!!!

  44. Anonymous
    December 7, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Yu telling I have to work 9 hours for a hotel the extra hour is to pay for the hour break I took where yull state ing that what ever job yu must have an hour break.. you’ll stilling all our money an you’ll trying to talk about sick leave ..ti ah chow zout la ..