~“MP Tamara Leondard’s amendment is finally in effect”~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament and leader of the United Peoples Party Rolando Brison has noted with pleasure the new labor law that goes into effect in October that extends maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks and introduces a new 7-day paternity leave. Brison agrees with labor law from both a social and legal perspective. “Socially, giving parents sufficient time to both prepare for the birth of their child and also be there for such a critical time of their development is a great thing for our society. Legally, this brings our local laws closer in line with the international standards as laid down in the International Labor Organization treaties.”
While it going into effect was spear-headed by United People’s Party Minister Omar Ottley, Brison also gives credit to former UP MP Tamara Leonard who started the path for an extension of the maternity leave and the introduction of Paternity leave in December of 2017. In introducing the amendment, Leonard stated at the time “Both partners are equally important in the development of a child. It is important that they also have the opportunity to be able to bond with the child. All of the burdens should not only come to the mother, but the partner should also get the opportunity to contribute,” stated Leonard at the time.
“It is always a good thing when there is continuity of amendments presented by former Members of Parliament that are good for our country. But I will admit it is especially proud that it came from a member of our party who championed these changes, which were finally carried out by Minister Ottley. We even do so across party lines, such as the amendment announced by Minister Ottley to finally provide a full resolution to the abuse of the short-term contract recently presented to Parliament. That initiative was one from the National alliance. When it’s good for St. Maarten, it matters much less which party it came from,” stated Brison.
Brison looks forward to continued improvements of our labor laws and the cooperation and input received from the business sector. “The UP Party is a pro-business party, and we recognize that business is nothing without labor. We will always aim to strike the right balance between the symbiosis of business and labor, as it is a founding principle of the party that St. Maarten’s economy has enough potential to create opportunities for everyone in St. Maarten to enjoy lucrative labor and/or business, whichever the citizen may aspire for. Social needs are covered by the success of business and labor, as without the business sector, the government has no means to provide for social initiatives. Our role is thus to maximize the opportunities for business and laborers in the Country, both of whom provide the government with all its means to provide for the most vulnerable in our society,” concluded Brison.