The public is being advised that the Emancipation Day public holiday will be observed on Saturday, August 1, 2020, as scheduled.
Director of Public Relations and Communication in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Vando Palmer, told JIS News that the legislation that governs public holidays has not made any provision for a change of the day on which Emancipation Day is to be observed if the holiday falls on a Saturday.
He said the Holidays (Public General) Act, stipulates that the first day of August (or in case the first day of August falls on a Sunday, then the following Monday), shall be known as Emancipation Day.
“In the case of this year, it will fall on a Saturday and not a Sunday and, therefore, it will be celebrated on the Saturday,” he noted.
Mr. Palmer said that when a public holiday falls on a day on the weekend, members of the public are sometimes confused as to when the holiday will be observed, hence the reason the Ministry is taking the time to advise the public about the Emancipation Day holiday.
Further, he is reminding employees who are scheduled to work on Saturday, August 1 and Thursday, August 6 that they are entitled to payment at double time rates as provided for under the Minimum Wage Orders or such other rates specified in their collective labour agreements or employment contracts (where applicable).
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said that virtual events will be held to mark Emancipation and Independence.
“We will celebrate our Emancipation with a special virtual ceremony on July 31 and we will have the Independence spectacular as a virtual edition of the Grand Gala on August 6,” she said, during her contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate on Tuesday (July 16).
“The National Independence Church Service will also be held on August 2. It will be a virtual service to be broadcast on air and online,” she added.
Ms. Grange is encouraging Jamaicans at home and abroad to celebrate the Spirit of Independence with vibrant and creative displays of the national colours.