There was a special Executive Council meeting today to enable a number of legislative matters to be progressed ahead of the next Legislative Council meeting on Tuesday, 14 March 2017.

On the Open Agenda, Council considered three Bills which had recently been the subject of public consultation.

The Employment Rights (Amendment) Bill 2017 has two objectives – to remove the restrictions on opening hours for retailers and businesses imposed by the Sunday (Observance) Ordinance, effectively allowing shops, stores and businesses to regulate their own businesses on a Sunday, while protecting employees who chose not to work on a Sunday or Public Holiday, and secondly to amend the Liquor Ordinance to allow the sale of alcohol on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Council were content to approve the Bill for publication and presentation as Government business on 14 March 2017.

Council then gave approval for the General Amendment (Gender Equality) Bill 2017 to be published and presented as Government business on 14 March 2017.  This Bill relates to the extension of the [UN] Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to St Helena, with the intention of making the laws of St Helena compliant with the Convention. In essence, this means that the language used in the laws of St Helena should be gender neutral.

In respect of the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017, Council considered more work was needed on the various provisions as currently drafted and the matter was therefore referred back to the Social & Community Development Committee with the hope that matters could be resolved in time for the following Legislative Council meeting on 24 March 2017.

The meeting ended at 12.30pm.

ExCo

24 February 2017

 

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