The government has shelved the passage of a bill that would suspend gratuity and severance payments while the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda was scheduled to meet next Tuesday, June 2, to suspend certain laws during emergencies.
“We understand that the concern was to preserve businesses and at the same time, ensure that the employees were taken care of, especially during the period of the state of public emergency. At this time, I am of the view to shelve any intended legislation at this point,”
Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin told Pointe Xpress.
“Several persons have called me to say that they could run out of business because no money is generated coupled with a lack of financing in order to meet their bills and overhead etc,” he added.
“At the same time, employees have also indicated that they too are suffering from being out of work for an extended period. When we say ‘market forces’ we mean the prevailing conditions of the market of supply and demand,” he further explained.
The minister is holding another meeting with hoteliers today to update them on the situation.
He suggested that employers and union representatives meet to work out solutions.