Government is urging local businesses to establish what it described as a ‘pandemic leave’ employment package to assist its workers while the territory continues to be affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Minister of Labour Vincent Wheatley made the call during a recent session in the House of Assembly where he said the pandemic leave should neither replace vacation or sick leave.
He said: “I would like employers to be reminded that it is a hope of this government that they adopt the standards established regarding leave during this time, by adopting pandemic leave.”
“Therefore, any leave as a result of the established mandatory curfew and parents without alternative care for their child or children who may need time off should be taken from pandemic leave, if in place during COVID-19, thus allowing for leave to not be charged to an employee’s vacation or sick leave,” Wheatley added.
Business Interruption Insurance should be utilised
The minister also advised employers who have Business Interruption Insurance to utilise it during this period.
He further commended businesses who have decided to pay employees a stipend and/or have retained their employees during the ongoing pandemic.
“I would further like to thank those employers who have instituted the capabilities within their workspaces to allow for employees to work remotely,” Wheatley added.
The Labour Minister said government will be doing everything possible to ensure the survival of all businesses in the British Virgin Islands.
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