Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 23, 2016 (SKNIS): Workers in St. Kitts and Nevis, who are required to work by their employers on the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays are entitled to double pay.

During a recent address, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said: “I now draw your attention to the fact that in keeping with section 2 of the Public Holidays Act Cap 23.23, December 26th and 27th, 2016 will be consecutive public holidays. The relevant section of the Act notes that: “…if Christmas Day falls on a Sunday [as is the case this year], then the next following Monday (Boxing Day) and Tuesday shall be public holidays.”

The same will also apply for the New Year’s Day and Carnival holidays. A proclamation by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton listed in the Statutory Rules and Orders No. 30 of 2016, published on December 22, 2016 notes that Tuesday, January 03, 2017 is a public holiday in St. Kitts and Nevis to mark Last Lap.

As such, a press release from the Federal Department of Labour notes that: “The Department of Labour wishes to advise the general public that Sunday 25th, Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th December, 2016, Sunday 1st, Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd January, 2017, are declared public holidays.

As outlined in The Statutory Rules and Orders, No 35 of 2008, The Labour (Minimum Wage) (National Minimum Wage) Order 2008, the overtime rate to be paid to a worker for a public holiday, is double the rate in respect of the hours worked.

Therefore all persons who work on the above mentioned days should be paid double their rate for hours worked.

The Labour Department wishes to advise that any violation of this Act shall be Liable to Conviction in a Court of Law.”

All employers and employees are asked to be guided accordingly.