Equal Pay For Women To Become Law
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 12, 2012 (CUOPM)
The Denzil Douglas Administration has sent legislation to the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly to ensure equal pay for male and female employees and makes it an offence if an employer or his or her agent does not comply.
The Equal Pay Bill 2012, introduced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour, Hon. Sam Condor last month, makes provision for the removal and prevention of discrimination based on the sex of the employee in paid employment, and to provide for related or incidental matters.
The Bill defines “equal pay” as a rate or scale of remuneration for work in which rate or scale there is no element of differentiation between male and female employees based on the sex of the employees, while “equal work” is defined as work performed for one employer by male and females in which (a) – the duties, responsibilities or services to be performed are similar or substantially similar in kind, quality and amount; (b) – the conditions under which such work is performed are similar or substantially similar; (c) – similar or substantially similar qualifications, degrees of skill, effort and responsibility are required; and (d) – the difference, if any, between the duties of male and female employees are not of practical importance in relation to terms and conditions of employment or do not occur frequently.
Clause 2 also seeks to make provision as regards the guidelines or principles that will be used to determine what constitute differentiation.
Clause 3 seeks to prohibit employers from discriminating between male and female employees employed in their establishments, while Clause 4 of the Bill seeks to make provision empowering a court of law to make an order for the payment of arrears of remuneration against an employer who is convicted of an offence pursuant to the provisions of section 3.
Clause 5 seeks to make provision for offences that may be committed by an agent of an employer.
Clause 6 seeks to make provision that would prevent employers from evading the execution of section 3 by entering into certain contractual arrangements with their employees for that purpose. Such contractual arrangements would be void.
Clauses 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 seek to make provision respecting burden of proof, keeping of records, designation of officers and their powers of entry and inspection, obstruction of a designated officer, the power to make regulations.
The Bill is now available for public scrutiny at www.cuopm.com and comments and suggestions from the general public and interest groups can be sent to the Legal Department in the Attorney General’s Office, Government Headquarters, Church Street, Basseterre or email firstname.lastname@example.org