Ascension : Notices from the Administrator
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 09.08.2012 (Article Archived on 23.08.2012)
The Island Council has been considering a draft ordinance to update employment law on Ascension.
Notices from the Administrator
DRAFT WORKERS ORDINANCE – YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT
The Island Council has been considering a draft ordinance to update employment law on Ascension. At present we operate under the basis of law brought in place in 1926. This needs updating.
The Island Council has asked me to start a process of public consultation to ensure your views are considered by them as they finalise in the Spring. This consultation process will include seeking views from (a) workers and those who live on ascension (b) from employers and (c) a public meeting.
Copies of draft ordinance can be obtained from Nicola Dillon, Clerk to the Council (tel 700 ext 131 or email@example.com).
For ease of reference, the key provisions in the draft Ordinance are as follows:
· No contract can be longer than 30 months in length
· Non-renewal of contract is not a form of dismissal.
· All employees must have a written contract with the following provisions:
· Transport provisions from “their ordinary place of residence” including for dependents (for accompanied status contracts), and for annual leave for contracts more than 12 months in length and back at the end of the contract.
· Detail of accommodation, medical and dental care
· Rest – minimum of 24 hours every 7 days.
· Holidays, including public holidays.
· Details of pay, leave (including sick and maternity/paternity leave), and subsidised services (i.e transport, meals etc.)
· A clear and fair disciplinary and grievance procedure
· The length of the contract and duties to be performed
Note: Written contracts are not required for casual work – i.e less than 10 hours a week – nor for members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, serving US Air Force personnel, FCO and CSO staff.
· The costs associated with transport, accommodation and medical/dental treatment for the employee and dependents are met by the employer. Note: Dependents who obtain employment with other employers continue to have those costs met by the employers of the primary employee. In other words, if the partner of an AIG employee obtains employment with Babcock, AIG will continue to be responsible for transport, accommodation, medical and dental costs (but not for pay and other forms of remuneration).
· All contracts must be in a form approved by the Administrator.
· Failure to provide proper contracts can lead to a fine of £5000.00 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months.
Medical and Dental Treatment
· An employer must provide medical and dental treatment as may be reasonably necessary for the health and welfare to employees and dependents. Note: The phrase “as may be reasonably necessary” is meant to allow a sensible judgement to be made. For instance, elective plastic surgery would not be a reasonable expense for employers to cover.
· The Employer is not liable for medical and dental costs incurred when the employer or dependent is off-island. Note: In other words, when on holiday. But off-island medical costs ordered by the Senior Medical Officer would be covered by employers.
· The principle of unfair dismissal is introduced. The Court must be satisfied that:
o The employer failed to follow their disciplinary code
o Where the code was followed, but the employee was not given a clear statement of allegations and fair opportunity to respond.
o That ending the contract was not reasonable.
· Compensation is liable up to a maximum of 12 months’ salary.
· Termination of contract for redundancy, or failure to renew a contract of employment will NOT constitute dismissal.
· Employers must ensure that former employees and dependents depart Ascension Island within 28 days of the end of their contract.
The Island Council welcomes comments on these provisions, and any points you might also wish to see in the Ordinance. Please send to the Council by letter or e-mail to Nicola Dillon, Clerk to the Council, at the Administration Building or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: 10 September 2012.
Colin Wells6 August 2012