Jacobs: Businesses that paid vacation pay on April 30 don’t have to pay again

Jacobs: Businesses that paid vacation  pay on April 30 don’t have to pay again

PHILIPSBURG--Businesses that will open on the public holiday on Monday, December 28, do not have pay their workers “vacation pay” if they already did so on April 30, said Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs during the live virtual Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

  A reporter noted that some businesses that opened on April 30 – such as gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores – had paid their workers for that day as if it were a public holiday. He asked Jacobs what businesses in this situation are supposed to do for the upcoming public holiday on Monday.

  December 28 is to be observed as a public holiday in St. Maarten as a swap for the Carnival Holiday that had to be observed on April 30 when the country was in lockdown, announced Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Richard Panneflek on Sunday, December 20.

  “If business owners did pay it out as a holiday, the giving back of the holiday now is, of course, for those that did not receive it the first time. You are not going to get it twice. The idea of giving this day off now is for those who did not get it back in April. So, if a business already paid vacation pay for persons working on that day back in April 30, then of course they are not obligated to do so again.

  “It is then for the employee, if they feel that they did not receive it and they are not receiving it now, to do the necessary, in terms of the Labour Office and reporting.

  “But I implore all employers to ensure that if you did not pay April 30 as a vacation day in April as usual, that you do so and include it in this month’s salary of your employee, if they are working on December 28,” said Jacobs. “It is either/or. If you did it already, of course you don’t have to do it again.”

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