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Minister urges employers to follow labour laws

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Minister urges employers to follow labour laws

The Labour Minister went on to speak about the National Workplace Wellness Policy, urging the members of the BHTA to engage in discussions on the policy with their team members and integrate it within the work in the safety and health committees.Tim Ballard

“This would constitute best practice. One of the pillars of the National Workplace Wellness Policy is psychological and mental wellness, and that is very, very important, particularly at a time like this. Incorporating the National Workplace Wellness Policy in your discussions and in your actions will be as a best practice, a demonstration that you recognise that workers are more than providers of labour for your establishment,” he stated. (JRT)

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Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan.

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Minister urges employers to follow labour laws Thu, 06/10/2021 – 5:00am Local employers are being reminded of their responsibilities under the Severance Payments Act, and are being told that in the “unfortunate circumstance” such payments become due and are not paid, they will be held liable for those payments.

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So says Minister of Labour, Social Partnership Relations and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan. He made the comments while delivering the feature address during the virtual Annual General Meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), as he spoke of the need for a human-centred approach to recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

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Government will not leave workers to suffer, we will ensure that workers get what is theirs by law. The Government will also hold defaulting employers accountable, and we will go after them for what is owed, and I want to be very clear about that. I’ve been recently assigned responsibility for the National Insurance Department, and we will be going after those who owe the National Insurance money, including those who renege on their obligations under the Severance Payments Act,” he said.

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His comments came as he spoke of the efforts being made to improve various pieces of labour legislation in this country. Jordan told the online audience that labour legislation is meant to “bring equity and humanity to the relationship between employers and workers”, but he admitted that the laws are not perfect.

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“The work is continuing to take place in order to review and improve the legislation on our statute books. We are currently in the final stages of reviewing the Employment Rights Act and preparing rules for the Employment Rights Tribunal, and we’ve had representation over the years about areas that seem to be deficient, where the Employment Rights Act is concerned. As a ministry, we are responding to that and we have reviewed all the submissions made. We have our own positions based on those submissions, and will shortly be coming back to our Social Partners on what we are recommending for the way forward,” he stated.

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Turning his attention to the Safety and Health at Work Act, Jordan, noting that this piece of legislation has come into sharp focus in the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, took the opportunity to advise businesses to ensure that their health and safety committees are up and running.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

“I encourage you to ensure that your health and safety committees are functioning as required with section 103 of  Safety and Health at Work Act. It is an obligation on your part. In workplaces where 25 or more persons are employed, there must be a joint safety and health committee – management and workers, and if there are less than 25 employees, safety delegates must be appointed,” he said.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

The minister spoke to this as he indicated that safety delegates must be appointed by the employees and not the management.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

“You do not as management say who the safety delegates are going to be,” he contended.O.U.R.

The Labour Minister went on to speak about the National Workplace Wellness Policy, urging the members of the BHTA to engage in discussions on the policy with their team members and integrate it within the work in the safety and health committees.Tim Ballard

“This would constitute best practice. One of the pillars of the National Workplace Wellness Policy is psychological and mental wellness, and that is very, very important, particularly at a time like this. Incorporating the National Workplace Wellness Policy in your discussions and in your actions will be as a best practice, a demonstration that you recognise that workers are more than providers of labour for your establishment,” he stated. (JRT)

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