The National Workers Union (NWU) has informed the Minister for Labour, Hon. Stephenson King that the union will not support the proposed amendment to extend the Severance Pay entitlement in the Labour Code from twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) weeks.
The NWU is of the opinion that when workers are temporarily laid off, the current twelve (12) weeks is enough time for an employer to make up his/her mind to take back the said workers or make them redundant and then pay the Severance Payments to the said workers.
An additional twelve (12) weeks will put these workers under tremendous economic and social pressure and could result in the said workers being unable to feed themselves and families during the twenty four week (24) period. Remember lay off is without pay.
Over the years the National Workers Union has worked with the St. Lucia Employers Federation and individual employers to make sure that workers represented by the NWU are legally paid all their entitlements during the lay off/redundancy periods.
The NWU strongly believes that the Minister should shelve the amendment that seeks to move the lay off period from twelve to twenty four weeks and begin to reorganize the beleaguered Department of Labour.