The Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourist Association (ABHTA) met yesterday with the Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs and Labour, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, Parliamentary Counsel Denisia Thomas, Law Revision Commissioner Susan Jarvis and Senior Labour Officer Pascal Kentish, to air their concerns relating to Parliament’s recent amendments to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Code.
President of the ABHTA Alexandre Debrito, vice president Vernon Jeffers and the association’s secretary represented the hoteliers on this matter.
A recent press release from the Ministry of Legal Affairs revealed that the concerns expressed by Debrito were with respect to the “terms of employment for contract workers and fixed-term workers, and needed clarification. The issue of payment of severance . . . after the hotel would have changed ownership was also raised by the body.”
“Debrito mentioned that hotels, during normal operations, would hire permanent staff needed to carry out hotel operations but during peak season would bring on additional staff on a temporary basis,” the release further stated.
In addressing the statements made by the ABHTA president, Minister Benjamin noted that “temporary” has been defined in the law, and that hotels can hire persons on a temporary basis, but emphasized that the contract must be specific.
Benjamin commended the ABHTA for always showing constructive support. He encouraged others to use this example and inquire into matters that involve them.