Employers’ COVID-19 employee discrimination in St. Kitts and Nevis 2021

PRESS RELEASE (August 04, 2021) – The Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) is calling upon employers in St. Kitts and Nevis who have imposed mandatory COVID-19 vaccination measures on their employees to reconsider this course of action as we believe that it is not only wrong but infringes upon the constitutional rights of the people of this country.

This action taken by certain employers in St.Kitts and Nevis is contrary to the Protection of Employment Act Cap 18.27 which states that ‘if the measures recently imposed by employers did not form part of the terms and conditions of the employees’ original contract of employment, then the imposition of these measures constitute a breach of contract between the employers and their employees,’ adding that the ‘terms and conditions of employees’ contract of employment cannot lawfully be changed without employees’ consent,’ among other things.

The NRP understands that some employers have pressured employees who choose not to be vaccinated by seeking to unilaterally change the terms of employment contract by implementing measures such as unreasonably placing unvaccinated employees on vacation leave and suspension of unvaccinated employees without reasonable cause. Employers are also intimidating employees into taking the COVID-19 vaccine and warned of termination, with or without cause, if they fail to do so.

Employees are encouraged to become familiar with the terms set out in their employment contract and should seek legal advice if their employer seeks to make any changes to it. While we appreciate and understand the need for vaccination against COVID-19, the NRP does not support forced vaccination.

Top priority for the Nevis Island Administration should be to protect the welfare of the people of Nevis and to object to any action that would result in the unnecessary discreditation and abandonment of the rights of the people. Yet we are troubled that the government of the day offers no sympathy for the people. We note the striking lack of empathy on the part of the government for the workers who have been forced to make a choice between vaccination and continued employment.  The adoption of this draconian measure signals the need to widen and deepen efforts to improve worker-management relations.

The type of unfairness imposed by a callous and uncaring government, who may be enabling large businesses to trample on employees’ rights, must not go unnoticed or unchallenged. A fair approach must be demanded by you as citizens and residents of this country!

Yours in

PEACE PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY

JANICE DANIEL-HODGE

President

NEVIS REFORMATION PARTY

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