KINGSTON — Premium rates are due to persons who work on December 26, 27, 2011 and January 2, 2012, but Sunday, December 25 and Sunday, January 1 will not be treated as public holidays for the payment of services rendered, but as a normal Sunday workday.
In keeping with the provisions of the Holiday (Public General) Act, which states that if Christmas Day (December 25) falls on a Sunday, then Monday, December 26, 2011 and Tuesday, December 27, 2011 will be observed as public holidays. Also, given that January 1,2012 falls on a Sunday, then January 2, 2012, will be observed as a public holiday.
Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Errol Miller, is advising that persons who perform duties on public holidays are to be paid at premium rates (double pay), or at rates where labour agreements supersede the rules of the Ministry.
Citing the Minimum Wage Act, which allows for all workers to be paid at premium rates for duties performed on public holidays, the Chief Technical Director told JIS News that workers would get their normal pay, but they would also receive, in some cases, an additional payment, if they work. "But, there are organisations where there are collective agreements and those may provide for other arrangements, such as triple time pay," he said.
On November 24, the Labour Ministry published a notice advising that December 26, 2011 will be a holiday and that Boxing Day will be celebrated on December 27. It also stated that New Year's Day will be celebrated on January 2, 2012.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter