(DOMINICA NEWS ONLINE) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said his government is considering enacting legislation to ensure that not only employees of the government but all employees, will be covered when decisions are taken by the government in times of disaster.
The prime minister made the statement during a press briefing on Tropical Isaac on the evening of Thursday, September 13, 2018.
“The only reason why we will pursue this is…because the state should not only be interested in a person when that person is dead. So, if you die before having access to a medical practitioner who can say well you were sick and the reason why you were sick? If you die, you know, they would have to go through a postmortem and an examination to determine your cause of death and until such time, they would not hand over the body to the family, Skerrit explained. “So there’s an interest in when you die. We should also have an equal interest in keeping you alive.”
He said his government recognizes that the majority of private employers do respond to the government’s pronouncement [for workers to stay home], “but in between you always have people who do not do that and therefore, let all the laws in the country apply to everybody in the country at any given time.”
He said business entities such as hotels or call centres, such as Clear Habor, that have special arrangements and requirements, will be facilitated in the proposed legislation.
“Because, you know, the hotels..everybody can’t go home because we have guests in the hotels; we have to provide services but those hotels would have an emergency plan that would cater for their staff. Likewise, Clear Harbor has a plan which caters for its workers while a storm is ongoing,” Prime Minister Skerrit noted. “So, in cases like that, there could be such exemptions and there will be such exemptions.”
Prime Minister Skerrit also revealed during the press briefing that government will be going to parliament before the end of the year to make certain amendments to the Emergency Powers Act.
“I have before me a recommendation for amendments to our laws to address some short comings in it. So, that will be done. So, ……….yes, there will be certain amendments to the laws,” Skerrit stated.
He said this decision will be explained to the public at a later time.