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Private sector group wants a revisit of working hours in Dominica

Friday, November 24, 2017

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The president of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF), Achille Joseph, is expressing disappointment that two years after presenting the government with draft legislation regarding flexible working hours in the country, nothing has been done.

Joseph said that the draft bill would have replaced several outdated labour laws and practices, insisting that a review of the legislation is needed to build confidence required to attract both domestic and foreign investments.

“The DEF back in 2015 submitted to the state what we call a flexible working hours bill to take to parliament in which we can really take a re-look at how we do business in the country as far as the hours of work and holidays and time off…are concerned.

“It is two years right now. As a matter of fact we didn't just submit it as a recommendation on a piece of paper. We actually engaged legal professionals to put it in the form of a parliamentary ready,” Joseph said.

Joseph insists that the document “is a bill, it is just not recommendations and we submitted it to the state all in the effort to build the confidence in this country for domestic investments and foreign direct investments.

“We still have laws on the books that say you must not work beyond 10:00 o'clock (local time) in the night. We still have laws that tell what time shops should be closed in this country. Essentially what the bill seeks to achieve is to help to put this country on a 24/7, 365 day business where you can open and close based on the demand for your product and the customers driving you forward.

“This is a very critical matter for us and I want to sound again to the state and others involved, please take a look. The DEF is not going to rest when it comes to restructuring the environment in the country in which we do business,” he added.

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