Law change enables bosses to retain workers

| 24/04/2020 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service
Anthony Eden presides as temporary speaker of the LA on Thursday

(CNS): The premier steered a small but important amendment to the Labour Law through the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, allowing Cabinet to grant extensions or exemptions to provisions in the law in the face of a disaster or calamity, including the type of health crisis presented by COVID-19. Using the new power, Cabinet has extended the period during which employers can suspend their workers’ jobs before having to pay the severance required in the law.

Presenting the new regulations as a way of mitigating the current circumstances, Premier Alden McLaughlin said they had sought to reduce the number of employees who face hard terminations by giving employers another 30 days to restore operations and recall staff before being forced to terminate them and pay them severance.

“It is our view that the extension of time before enforced terminations… will allow many businesses, in particular small to medium sized Caymanian businesses, to be able to wait out the negative impacts of this unprecedented pandemic and be in a position to recall workers as soon as they are able to resume operations.”

McLaughlin said that without the flexibility to change the requirements of the current law, there was a danger that many businesses would not be able to pay the numbers of severance packages that will be required and end up bankrupt. He said he believed that other members would have heard the pleas of many business women and men for help with this issue.

He also repeated his point about this change, which allows employers to retain their workers albeit without pay, that it would require them to pay their half share of their workers’ health insurance cover for another 30 days.

The premier warned that it may have to be reviewed as the crisis continues to evolve. However, he was hopeful that the ramped up testing would reveal that the results “would be good” and enable government to start slowly re-opening the economy and allow the non-essential businesses to re-open and keep on staff.

The law has also been amended to allow for documents relating to labour issues to be submitted via electronic means, as the pandemic forces this administration’s hand in speeding up the long-awaited e-government functions.

Opposition Leader Arden McLean urged the government not to allow this change to excuse employers who were in contravention of the Labour Law before the virus arrived in Cayman.

See the full sitting of the LA on 23 April on CIGTV below:

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Category: Jobs, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Aldin is hiding in his luxury crab hole….that’s why he don’t see what the real world is living.
    Gotta get rid of Aldin, Austin, Barbara, Usless & speechless Eugene, Who else???

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mountains inFlorida 7:10 pm. Come off dat stuff you inhaling !

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am not paying anything until Government lifts the restrictions. I think I have a great case should they try and come back at me, which they won’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      7.04pm . From what I hear Too many Status Holders running their scams ie, taking out numerous permits for a hefty fee and turning these people loose to fend for themselves. This is not good and Going forward i hope the powers that be bring out the enforcement to the fullest.

      Too much corruption in Immigration.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wish the landlords if they are getting help from the bank they may also passed it onto their tenants if they are not working. Please pay the help forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why Is everyone missing the point about landlords getting their mortgage waived for a few months at the end of that mortgage the landlords will have to repay the payments they missed and where will the tenants be then possibly not even on the island. So just understand the bank is only waving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pension soon released

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you missed the fact that the prime rate has dropped I think from 5.25% to 3.25% in recent months? Not a choice made by banks of course but a benefit to everyone with a mortgage all the same. How much help do you want? I find it a little funny that landlords were laughing as rents rose to absurd levels in recent years and are now crying for help as rents have started to come down to a more reasonable level

  5. Anonymous says:

    Those who were sending all their monies home, I just hope that this practice will stop. Now the landlords want the rent and you not working. How can the employers pick these tabs up when there is no businesses

    • Anonymous says:


      Western unions. Should remain closed…..

      Or limit money going out.

      Please government think hard before allowing western unions to open again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    CNS did you write this headline or CIG? If this was to retain workers it could have been made mutually agreed…as it is the purpose is obviously to allow employers to reduce likelihood they would have to pay severance to employees who cannot stay here without pay for 60 days and cannot return in 60 days.

    • Anonymous says:

      Employers are not required to pay wages during the shut down. This like every other addressed by the MLAs is nothing more than a PR stunt. None of their actions have actually addressed any real problems , nor solved any liquidity issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        wow ….. really random

      • Anonymous says:

        No one bothered to read the employees contracts. Most are absolutely entitled to be paid. That is the inconvenient truth most employers and government do not want employees to know.

      • Anonymous says:

        5:05pm. Yes they are solving problems – they are trying to solve some problems for us CAYMANIANS!!!!’ Thank you Government.

        You guys are the ones trying your stunts, as usual.

        • Anonymous says:

          And the problem for you “CAYMANIANS!!!!” that they are solving for you here seems to be the problem of paying your expatriate employees what they are legally entitled to. I guess that’s CAYMANKIND

  7. Anonymous says:

    I get the extra 30 day essential for work permit hlders as otherwise they would have to leave. But can you retain someone anyway (if they agree to renogociate) to hourly pay and no garantee of minimum hours. We are tyruing to maintain most staff but might have to 1/3 – 1/2 the hours once we start up for a few months or we get to a situation we fire all the work permit holders and don’t have enough skilled workes to carry on the business so then everyone else will end up without a job.

    • Anonymous says:

      What makes you think immigration will not cancel their work permits? They are not working.

    • Anonymous says:

      Make it consensual..are you stupid or just one of the employers who wish to avoid paying severance?

      • Anonymous says:

        i guess it’s a pay severance and good buy end of job or try and hold out and keep it. We are all in the same boat but company owners can’t take on 10 employees pay personally unless they are loaded, a small company has no major reserves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good effort, but pointless if the lockdown exceeds 60 days.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just wish people making comments would read and understand what is said before making stupid statements!!!! Smdh

      FYI – The Premier did say it may have to be reviewed if the lockdown exceeds the 30 days.

      • Anonymous says:

        The premier has been very stealthy. He has done little or nothing to help this country. But great at sound bites. Do you think we will have a vaccine in a month? 12 months? 3 years? No it is unlikely. It is unlikely that one will ever be synthesized. Viruses are not easy to beat. So, we must learn to live with them.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m appalled at how many stupid questions people ask and make. Really people research it on your own. You clearly have internet or you wouldn’t be on here instead of asking a dumb question that has been answered over and over again and making even dumber comments research the info yourself instead of asking in some online site that let’s anyone make any comment whether true it not. SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you honestly believe our premier will do anything, I mean anything, at all to help anyone in tourism that is not able to help him? Really, do you believe that? Well I have some mountain properties in Florida you might be interested in in.

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