Union reminds gov’t that vacation must be mutually agreed

Chester Hughes (source: file photo)
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A trade unionist has reminded the government of Antigua & Barbuda that vacation must be mutually agreed between itself and its employees, following yesterday’s directive to ministers of government to clamp down on senior staff who refuse to leave their posts.

The advice comes from Deputy General Secretary of the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union, Chester Hughes in response to a directive from Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Speaking in Parliament, Browne said: “We have public servants and heads of statutory corporations who do not even wish to take vacation.”

He added that some senior staff often take pay in lieu of vacation after accumulating large amounts of vacation days.

“I want that corrected and I am directing to all of the ministers to ensure that that policy discontinues,” Browne declared.

While Hughes did not disagree with the need for employees to take vacation, he cautioned the government against attempting to force employees off the job, but to reach consensus.

“It is the responsibility of the board of the statutory corporations to ensure that the various managers take the vacation. If they are not able to take their vacation at a certain point in time they should agree, based on the law, for a period of time when a vacation can be taken.”

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