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No more 8 to 4

Inniss introduces amendments to the Shops Bill

The Shops Bill 2015 hopes to bring Barbados into the 24/7 type society.

Minister of Industry, Donville Inniss, in moving the Second Reading of the Shops Bill 2015 in the House of Assembly, said with the introduction of this piece of legislation the State was seeking to bring Barbados fully into the 21st century.

Inniss said the reality was that the rest of the world was not waiting on Barbados therefore the island could no longer continue to operate in an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. atmosphere with an eight to four mentality.

The Minister of Industry pointed out that one of the major issues that Government was addressing in the Shops Bill 2015 was the number of hours which a shop is allowed to open to do business.

Inniss told Parliament that under the proposed Bill, a shop will be allowed to open in Barbados from Mondays to Sundays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and the only time a shop will be required to be closed by law will be between 10 p.m. on Sunday nights to 7 a.m on Mondays.

“So Government has now given shop owners and operators a more enabling environment by giving them flexibilty in terms of hours in which they can be open to serve the public,” Inniss said.

He further explained that the legislation now removes public holidays from being closed days, while maintaining Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Independence Day as closed days.

“Now I want to make it abundantly clear that the closed days with the exception of Independence Day are days celebrated among members of the Christian faith. But the Bill is seeking to protect the rights of other citizens who may not be of the Christian faith. It also pointed out that an employer cannot force an individual to work on a day that is deemed a religious holiday. That is instructive because Barbados has always been seen a very tolerant society. A society recognising that there are others in our midst who may not be of the predominant Christian faith and therefore we have to accommodate them,” Inniss explained.

He went on to say that the Shops Bill 2015 also addresses such issues as the provision of stools for workers, one hour lunch breaks, the provision of adequate space for a lunch room, adequate water supply for workers and the provision First Aid supplies with a person trained in this area. (NC)    

9 Responses to No more 8 to 4

  1. Susie Clarke
    Susie Clarke November 25, 2015 at 6:13 am

    This may cause some problems

    • Joseph Harding November 25, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Why should it cause problems?

  2. jrsmith November 25, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Its about time our government wake up , some start to get us moving. We are far behind , the so called developed world, our problems we are not thinking for ourselves. that’s why decades come and go and we are still waiting, still at the cross roads, still searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. the only place this issue would cause problems is in Barbados.

  3. ch November 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

    It will cause problems because it is not a simple matter of changing a law.
    The entire infrastructure has to be changed to facilitate this. Labor laws have to be amended to preserve job security. A worker cannot be forced to work on a religious holiday – on paper- but that same worker is “forced” by the fact that someone else is willing to do it.
    Proper security and transportation must be in place for workers. There are workplaces where unarmed security guards are just not adequate and we know that.
    And we need more than just an extended public transport service because many persons have to walk off main roads to get to their homes. The safety of the drivers- after hours- has to be addressed, as well.
    Crime is a serious issue in our society and people have to consider that threat before a dollar. Dead men don’t make or spend money.
    What about family life? The family- not the shop- is the foundation of society and it is already under stress. Schools operate during standard working hours and many homes are headed by single mothers who have no other support. What happens to their children when they are asked to work outside of school hours? Will the workplace provide child care facilities? Again, what about their sense of job security?
    Even now, employers have problems with mothers who have to deal with issues with their children that detract from their work. And we have to be fair to both sides.
    Do our courts seriously enforce child support from delinquent fathers to assist our single mothers. Money that could perhaps pay for child care services if mom has to work a late shift? Do fathers get paternity leave?
    These are matters that are dealt with in the “rest of the world” that we want to copy. So let’s copy all of it and not just the working hours.
    I have not yet heard the rationale for this legislation other than we have to get in line with the “rest of the world”.
    This largely serves a consumer-driven economy where there is an adequate supply of goods and services and a large enough consumer base to absorb them. I don’t think that applies to Barbados unless there is a current and statistically valid study that supports this approach.
    The real focus for economic revitalization should be productivity in terms of manufacturing and agriculture and nothing meaningful has been done for these sectors.

    • Donild Trimp November 25, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      CH, you have touched all the salient points relating to this issue. I could not have said it any better myself.

      This “Shops Bill 2015” is extremely problematic with respect to Barbados.

      I agree with your following statement “This largely serves a consumer-driven economy where there is an adequate supply of goods and services and a large enough consumer base to absorb them”.

      I think this is just a feel good copy cat bill void of logic and common sense.

  4. jrsmith November 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    @,CH, What a load of stupidessness, you would think , this wold cause the world to end in Barbados, this doesn’t mean people are going to be forced to work, it means more people would be employed, people have freedom to go about they business as time suits them. this would help kick starts the economy,

    Many people ,restrict themselves, of not being work active on Saturdays and Sundays, that’s they choice, but many others enjoys these said days, is ok for , nurses, doctors , police , bus drivers, and emergency services to work all hours. Keep the excuses coming, eventually we will see the point of being against this ( SHOP BILL ACT 2015) a lot of you people in Barbados , if you were given the chance, we would not even had electricity ,or flushing toilets.

    • Donild Trimp November 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      jrsmith, you are missing the point. The issue with the implementation of this bill is that there is no infrastructure in Barbados to support it. That is why the analysis put forward by CH is correct.

      This Bill is analogous to having a water toilet but no water to make it 100% functional. You can use it but ask yourself if that would be rational.

      The concept of the Bill is noteworthy but the mechanisms must be in place for it to make economic sense.

  5. Watchman November 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    For once I agree with jrsmith, rest of you looking for obstacles. CH mentioned so many things that have nothing to do with opening a store. The idea is not that the current set of workers in a given shop have to be stretched to cover all hours, may work for some, may not for others. May give tertiary level full time students a chance at part time work, some retired people too.

    Crime will triple to a 24/7 operation ? So which criminals does maintain 8-4 now ?
    Childcare, guess what if there is a demand someone will meet it, legally or otherwise.
    Family life, stupes.
    Tourists are consumers last I checked, sugar dead and manufacturing in Bim is a JOKE.
    2015 and employees at Windmill applying labels to containers by hand ?

    WOW !! I thought that was a museum picture then. No wonder dem cant mek no money. Keep embracing de obsolete.
    Natural resources, where ?

    Bim closer to a consumer economy than anything else, could as well adapt accordingly.

    Pointless holding on to old ways of doing things when we have different problems to solve.

  6. junior November 26, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I don’t think this should only be a ‘shop bill’ but this should also be extended to the government offices as well. This would reduce the amount of people waiting at 6am outside on the street just for an office to open to get a police certificate of character, this could also ease the amount of people standing outside the treasury building waiting to pay taxes and would certainly reduce the wait at the licensing authority in the pine.


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