CEF 20 2023 US Base Employees
During the past few months, and more recently during this week, I have been approached by a number of disgruntled and upset employees from the US Base, who have stated that they are seriously concerned about the new contractual arrangements with their new employer Yang and also the manner in which they are currently being treated by their prosopective employer.
From what I have gleaned from the various conversations that I have had, with a number of US Base employees, there would appear to be a lack of understanding of the provisions of the current employment legislation both by the prospective employer and the employees.
It would also appear that certain provisions of the law, e.g. Sick Leave, Gratuities, Medical Treatment etc, are being interpreted by the prospective employer in such a manner as to be totally unacceptable and certainly not conducive to the wellbeing of all prospective employees.
In view of the fact that, other than the Government's Crown Council, there is no qualified legal advice or assistance available on Ascension, for employees to turn to, and the fact that St.Helena's Public Solicitor is currently on overseas leave, I was wondering if the Government (AIG) would consider intervening in this matter, in whatever manner or form that would be deemed appropriate, in an attempt to try and pacify the employees at the US Base. Any assistance provided would, I am sure, be greatly appreciated.
AIG has taken steps to discuss the transition from WCFS to YEI with members of both organisations, as well as USAF personnel. All have been directed to the TUPE legislation that is in place, as well as the duties and that have been put in place by the Employment Ordinance, 2022 and its subsidiary legislation, including the statutory civil and criminal penalties that accompany breaching those duties.
It is in the interest of all parties, especially employees, that these provisions are complied with, and AIG is taking all available steps to ensure that existing contracts are honoured as required in legislation.
If you feel your contractual rights have been breached or that your employer has not acted in accordance with the Employment Ordinance 2022, and wish to have further advice on this matter, please contact Helen Scott of the St Helena Public Solicitor's Office at Helen.Scott@publicsolicitor.com.
Submitted: 14 September 2023
Response: 27 September 2023