GIS – 17 May 2020: The amendments brought to the
Workers’ Rights Act and the Employment Relations Act under the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions)
Bill will be temporary and
will not be applicable after the crisis and once the country’s economy is back
on track, stressed the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training,
Mr Soodesh Callichurn.
He was elaborating on the measures that have been
taken to protect the rights of workers and simultaneously support enterprises,
last evening, in a televised programme by the Mauritius Broadcasting
The Minister pointed out that these changes have
been made under the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the local and global economy.
He reiterated that Government has always been engaged in protecting the rights
of workers and will continue to do so. Furthermore, he underlined that
Mauritius is among some of the countries that have been able to contain the
spread of the virus.
The Minister recalled that Government has implemented
several measures including the introduction of the National Minimum Wage
with a view to ensuring the welfare of workers. He elaborated that the COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill makes provision for more workers to Work
from Home and expands the scope for flexi-time. He added that these measures
will enable workers to better organise themselves and reconcile both their
family and work life.
Speaking about the amendments made to five provisions,
he stated that the aim is to protect worker’s rights, support enterprises
and help the country get back on track. They are: temporary suspension of Night
shift allowance; employees entitled paid-time off rather than paid
for extra work; an employer may take 15 annual leaves for an 18-month period,
from 1 June 2020 to 21 November 2021, excluding frontliners who will be granted
their usual annual leaves; delay in payment of contribution of Portable
Gratuity Fund; and companies to refund the assistance granted to them in case
of unfair termination of unemployment for economic reason and to pay penalty
equal to three months of remuneration per year of service.
Mr Callichurn called on workers to contact the Ministry
for further clarifications and to seek assistance in case of any queries.
Latest figures of COVID-19 situation in Mauritius
There are no active cases in the country
As at now, a total of 24 966 PCR tests and 61 921
Rapid Antigen Tests have been conducted
149 passengers are under quarantine
Government Information Service, Prime
Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius.
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