STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE VINCENT O. WHEATLEY
MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, LABOUR & IMMIGRATION
Friday, 6 November, 2020
Extension of the Lay-Off Period
As Minister for Labour, I took before the House of Assembly the Labour Code (Amendment) Act, 2020, on the 11th June, 2020 which extended the lay-off period from three months in total to a period not to exceed 31st October, 2020. With the current pandemic in mind and the harsh realities being faced by both employees and employers, I have recommended and received the approval of Cabinet to extend the previously established lay-off period from 31st October, 2020 to 31st January, 2021.
Thus, taking the additional maximum a further extension of three (3) months.
Though I realise this was indeed a hard decision to make, I am mindful of the woes of workers who desire to remain under the same employ and BVI businesses who may not prefer or cannot afford to sever and rehire workers. With this in mind, I would like to again remind employers to be considerate to their employees by notifying them of any changes to their employment agreement, and gaining their agreement to the changes, prior to contacting the Department of Labour & Workforce Development.
Further, I would also like employees to speak with employers about matters related to their continued lay-off status, where applicable, prior to visiting the Department of Labour & Workforce Development.
As we continue to work diligently to safeguard work in this Territory, we continue to seek the commitment of our employees and employers to be good stewards as we fight with the reality of unemployment during these uncertain times.
May God continue to bless these beautiful Virgin Islands.