Workers' rights to free hours on election day

ORANJESTAD - The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and the Department of Labor and Research informs regarding the free hours to which employees are entitled to fulfill their right to vote on election day, in accordance with the Elections Ordinance.

Article 39 Elections Ordinance
Voting starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m.

Article 40 Elections Ordinance:

  1. As stated in Article 39, all employers have the duty to give their employees at least 4 consecutive hours off to cast their vote, unless the employee has hours off for any other reason;
  2. The employer is required to notify employees at least 1 week in advance, of the time frame in which they will have time off to vote.

Interpretation
The essence of Article 40(1) of the Elections Ordinance is that the employer must give the employees in the organization the right to vote on Friday, June 25, 2021, and be given 4 consecutive hours during the voting period from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to cast their votes. Every voter is entitled to sufficient time to cast their ballot.

Exception
Employees who already have 4 hours off on voting day, such as those who work 4 hours a day or work shifts early in the morning or late at night (before or after voting hours), are not eligible for the 4 hours off.

Examples:

  • Those who work between 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. are entitled to, either from 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or from 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. to vote.
  • Part-time workers who work only from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. are not eligible for the 4 hours off.
  • Also, those who work shifts from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. are not eligible for the 4 free hours. Voters who work from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm or from 3:00 pm to 11:00 am are also not entitled.

In addition to the fact that employees with the right to vote are given 4 consecutive work hours off, the employer has the obligation to pay the employee for these hours as well according to Section 1614c paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Elections Ordinance.

The Department of Labor and Research urges both employees and employers to comply with these laws.

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