Labour Commissioner (CAP. 232 1
THE LABOUR COMMISSIONER ACT
Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title.
2 . Interpretation.
3 . Appointment of Labour Commissioner and Officers.
5 . Duties of Labour Commissioner.
6. Powers of Labour Commissioner, obstruction &c.
7. Form of Summons.
8. Duty and privilege of witnesses.
9 . Penalty for disobedience.
1 1. Application.
(1st January, 1951 .) 311950.
1. This Act may be cited as the Labour Commissioner Short tit1e.
2. In this Act- Interpretation.
"employer" includes attorney, agent, foreman,
manager, clerk, and any other person engaged in
hiring, employing or superintending the labour or
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2 CAP. 232) Labour Commissioner
service of any workman, and also a body of persons
corporate or incorporate;
'6 wages" means any money or other thing had or con-
tracted to be paid, delivered or given as a
recompense, reward or remuneration for any work
or labour done or to be done, whether within a
certain time or to a certain amount, or for a time;
or an amount uncertain;
"workman" means any person who has entered into
or works under a contract with an employer whether
the contract be by way of manual labour, clerical
work or otherwise, be expressed or implied, oral
or in writing, and whether it be a contract of ser-
vice or of apprenticeship or a contract personally
to execute any work or labour.
3. It shall be lawful for the Public Service Commis-
Commissioner sion to appoint a Labour Commissioner for Antigua and
and Officers. Barbuda and such officers and clerks to assist such Labour
Commissioner as they consider necessary.
Salaries. 4. The Labour Commissioner and such officers and
clerks as may be appointed shall receive such salaries as may
be assigned to them by Parliament.
Duties of Labour 5 . (1) The Labour Commissioner shall, subject to the
provisions of this Act, use his utmost endeavour to safeguard
and promote the general welfare of workmen of Antigua and
( 2 ) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing
provision he shall-
(a) regularly supervise and review the conditions
of the various forms of employment of workmen which
exist in Antigua and Barbuda;
(6) ensure the due performance of such laws as he
may from time to time be required to enforce;
(6) bring to the notice of the Minister with
reasonable speed every matter or thing, including the
alleged or suspected breach of any laws, which in his
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Labour Commissioner (CAP. 232 3
opinion is or is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare
of any description or class of workmen or which is caus-
ing or is likely to cause disagreement between any such
workmen and their employers;
(d) make recommendations to the Minister from
time to time as occasion demands for safeguarding and
promoting the general welfare of the workmen.
6. (1) The Labour Commissioner is empowered and E;: of
( a ) to visit and inspect any premises in which
workmen other than domestic servants are employed,
and to obtain and to require from any employer infor-
mation as to the number of such workmen employed
and the wages, hours and conditions of work of such
(b) to require by notice in writing from employers,
returns giving information as to the number of workmen
employed and the wages, hours and conditions of work
of such workmen;
(6) to obtain and to require by a notice in writing
from employers, reports giving information as to the
causes and circumstances relating to accidents to
workmen employeckby them, involving loss of life or
disability for more than twenty-four hours;
(d) to inspect in any premises in which workmen
other than domestic servants are employed, the state,
condition and general treatment of such workmen
therein or thereon and the state and condition of their
dwelling houses or barracks;
(e) to enquire into any complaint which an
employer may have to make against any workman or
which any workman may have to make against an
employer or which may be otherwise brought to his
notice and to use his good offices and influence to bring
about a fair and reasonable settlement of such complaint
without recourse being had to legal proceedings;
Cf) to summon any person including the parties to
a dispute, to attend an enquiry and to give evidence
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4 CAP. 232) Labour Commissioner
or to produce any paper, book, record or document in
the possession or under the control of such person.
(2) The occupier of any premises in which'workmen
are employed, his agents and servants, shall furnish the means
reasonably required by the Labour Commissioner as
necessary for any inspection or enquiry into or in relation
to any such premises.
(3) Any such person who refuses or wilfully neglects
to furnish such means shall be guilty of an offence against
this Act and liable on summary conviction to a fine not
exceeding one thousand dollars.
(4) Any person who assaults, hinders or obstructs the
Labour Commissioner acting in the execution of his duty
under this section shall be guilty of an offence against this
Act and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding
two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding three months with or without hard labour.
(5) Any employer who, without good and sufficient
cause, fails, on being required so to do, to furnish to the
Labour Commissioner any of the information or any returns
specified in subsection (1), shall be liable on a summary con-
viction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars.
(6) Any employer who knowingly furnishes or allows
to be furnished to the Labour Commissioner any informa-
tion or return which is false in any material particular, shall
be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding three
thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
(7) Any person who having been summoned to attend
an enquiry under the provisions of paragraph (f) of subsec-
tion (I), refuses, or without lawful excuse neglects, to attend
at any place or time at which his attendance is required,
shall be guilty of an offence and upon summary conviction
shall be liable to a fine not exceedinc five hundred dollars "
or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
Form of 7. (1) A summons issued under paragraph (f) of
summons. subsection (1) of section 6 shall be in the form prescribed
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Labour Commissioner (CAP. 232 5
in the Schedule and shall be signed by the Labour Schedule.
(2).A summons in accordance with subsection (1) may
be served by a constable.
8. All persons summoned to attend and give evidence Duty and
at an enquiry or to produce any paper, book, record or docu- ,;,,es,e,~
(a) be bound to obey the summons served upon
(6) be entitled, in respect of such evidence or the
disclosure of any communication or the production of
such paper, book, record or document, to the same right
or privilege as before a court of law;
(c) be entitled to be paid their expense including
travelling expenses at the rates prescribed by the
Supreme Court (Witnesses Allowances) Rules for
witnesses who are entitled to have their expenses paid
from public funds.
9. (1) Any person who- Penalty for
(a) without sufficient cause, fails or refuses to attend
at an enquiry in obedience to a summons issued under
paragraph Cf) of subsection (1) of section 6, or fails or
refuses to produce any paper, book, record or docu-
ment which he was required by such summons to
(6) being a witness, leaves an enquiry without the
permission of the Labour Commissioner; or
(c) being a witness, refuses without sufficient cause,
to answer any question put to him by or with the per-
mission of the Labour Commissioner; or
(6) wilfuly obstructs or interrupts the proceedings
of an enquiry,
shall be liable on summary conviction before a Magistrate
to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars or in
default of payment thereof to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding three months.
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6 CAP. 232) Labour Commissioner
(2) A person shall not be convicted for failing or refus-
ing to attend at an enquiry unless the summons requiring
him so to attend has been served on him at least seven days
before the day on which he is required to attend.
Regulations. 10. The Cabinet may make regulations prescribing
the form in which the information and the returns mentioned
in paragraph ( b ) of subsection ( 1 ) of section 6 shall be
Application. 1 . This Act shall not apply to persons in the naval,
military or air forces of the Crown or in the Police Force,
but otherwise shall apply to workmen.
Summons to Witness
To (name) of (address)
(occupation) You are hereby
summoned to appear before the Labour Commissioner at
(place) on the day of 19
at o'clock, regarding an enquiry
(state briefly the subject of enquiry)
and to give evidence respecting such enquiry.
(If the person summoned is to produce documents add) And you
are required to bring with you and produce (specifying the papers,
books, records or documents required).
Therefore fail not at your peril.
Given under my hand this day of 19