St Hill blasts call for reduced sick leave

Kingsley St Hill, former Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) President, has spoken out against calls for the annual number of ‘uncertified’ sick leave days to which workers are entitled to be cut in half.

Under the labour code workers can report sick for up to two days at a time for an annual total of twelve days, without presenting a medical certificate.

But the Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Employers’ Federation, Joseph Alexander, recently expressed the view that ‘uncertified’ sick leave days should be reduced to six

Making it clear that he is supportive of productivity, Kingsley St Hill recalled that during his tenure as President of the CSA there was a white paper on public sector reform which spoke to productivity.

“It does not surprise me that today the sons of former slaves would be doing a better job than the French Mulattoes in trying to keep back workers,” St Hill told the Times.

He declared that most of the ‘nouveau riche’ in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean who went to school and have university degrees now, have a remit to keep workers in check.

The former CSA President said those persons have to protect their money and their high standard of living.

“They don’t mind if the poor person continues getting cents – they never talk about people at the hotels getting two something per hour; three something per hour – they will not talk about that,” St Hill told the Times.

He said he was amazed that someone would suggest that ‘uncertified’ sick leave be reduced.

“Do you know that in places like Canada people actually carry forward their uncertified leave?” St Hill said.

He asserted that it was almost like a “right” now in Canada and the modern world.

“When people are motivated, some persons they arrive half an hour before work and leave late but when they do not want to go to work there is a reason and that is the duty of management – to find out why people are staying away,” the former CSA President stated.

He said:

“Why is it they do not want to emulate those of us who work every day – morning, noon and night; those of us who are never sick, never take sick leave; why is it some workers stay away?”

St Hill expressed the view that employers should be addressing that issue.




  1. Anon1
    December 8, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Exceptional piece Mr St Hill!

    I applaud you and only hope you and others speak louder!

    1. The Crow
      December 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Why others? Wouldn’t you be affected if the slash is made? So, get on the train man and stop depending on just “the few” to do the work!

  2. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Well said

  3. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Admitedly I will support you to stand firm on this one, But I have a question most persons abuse that privilage at the detiment of other co workers who have families and their personal lives too. Also there are things that was not address in the labour code you kept your mouth quiet due to political affiliation likle the minimum wage. Hope the union educate their members on the right track.

  4. Jan
    December 8, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Well said

  5. Jan
    December 8, 2016 at 10:47 am

    It hurts my heart tonhear such

  6. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    just to let you know that Canadians have only 6 sick days per year but we do have limit amount of hrs we can carry over depending on the employers.

  7. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 11:40 am

    The issue is not the number of uncertified days. Most people think it is an entitlement and some employees ensure they use up all 12 days. Cutting it down to 6 will only increase the number of certified sick leave. The problem will still exist. Like Mr St Hill said its up to management to find out why some employees are absent so often. It may very well be a motivation problem.

    1. Good
      December 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Exactly, I like having the cushion of the 12 days, so I know when I sick i can stay home to get better. It however does upset me when people feel they have to take it for the year just because it is put in place. It all boils down to how people are treated by the employers, granted there are just some unethical employees, however if management starts appreciating their workers I think we will see a difference.

  8. Anon
    December 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I support Mr Hill 100% on this. Employers need to check whether their ‘cost-cutting’ practices are contributing to employees being sick e.g. like not cleaning out AC units regularly.

  9. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Kudos to Mr. St Hill in stand for the people .. If this sick days section has to be revised then the labour code in its entirety should be .. It cater’s to heavily to the employer .. Time has come to establish a neutral plane ….

  10. Anonymous
    December 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    You couldn’t have spoken on this better Mr St Hill!! And I applaud the timeliness your comment!! The real work place isdues should be addressed instead. Only then will our local businesses rise to greater productivity and competitiveness; as well as the large corporations and government agencies in Saint Lucia.

  11. Snd
    December 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    What about those whose salaries are so small that they cant afford to go to a doctor. So what do they do wen they wake up feeling six drag their sick self to work to get even worst

  12. Ronald Hinkson
    December 9, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This really is about the unfettered neoliberalism. Which really is about making economic rationality the ethic for everything. So cut sick leave cut taxes cut regulations cut social programs. All in the name of profit. Then they talk of investing in more business. A close study of most of these businesses will reveal that they are quickly moving to artificial intelligence and run where they can get sweat shop wages. It is these same business that push the idea of the self sufficient self or each one being responsible for their individual human capiral.How the hell is that possible when all the wealth moves up to the 1%

  13. Anonymous
    December 12, 2016 at 5:22 am

    12 sick days equate to 1 a month. This to me is fair, it allows persons to take care of themselves. A sick person will always be unproductive anyway. Plus there are many of us who don’t use them.

  14. Anonymous
    December 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    It was about time someone said something some people want all 12 days like it’s a pill we need to take they over do it

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