KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) says that New Year’s Day will be observed on Monday, January 2, 2017.
Director of Legal Services at the Ministry, Camille Bennett-Campbell, said that according to the law, if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, then the following day, Monday, would be observed as a public holiday.
“The holidays that we celebrate in Jamaica are set out in the Holidays (Public General) Act. The schedule to the Act says that where New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, then we will celebrate New Year’s Day on the Monday. This means that January 2 is the official public holiday,” she explained.
Bennett-Campbell advised that minimum-wage earners are to be paid at double-time rates if their employers require them to work on the Monday.
If these workers are asked to work on Sunday and it is their agreed rest day, that is they would not normally work on a Sunday, then they would also be entitled to payments at the double-time rate.
However, if the Sunday is the employees’ agreed normal working day and they are called out to work, the minimum-wage earner would not be entitled to payments at the double-time rate.
Bennett-Campbell explained that work done during any period on a rest day or public holiday attracts the double-time rate, which is currently $310.00 per hour for minimum-wage earners.
Other workers who are not minimum-wage earners are to be guided by the terms of their employment contracts, collective agreements or what is otherwise agreed with their employers.