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Story Highlights

  • A new publication, exploring the wide range of employment and labour law issues affecting the Commonwealth Caribbean region, was launched on Tuesday (July 1), at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Mona.
  • It is co-authored by Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the UWI, Mona, Natalie Corthesy; and Director, Legal Services Division, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Carla-Anne Harris-Roper.
  • For his part, Senior Lecturer, Mona School of Business and Management, Dr. Noel Cowell, said the book will fill a huge void in academia.

A new publication, exploring the wide range of employment and labour law issues affecting the Commonwealth Caribbean region, was launched on Tuesday (July 1), at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Mona.

Entitled: ‘Commonwealth Caribbean Employment and Labour Law’, the book is intended to heighten awareness and understanding of the increasing importance of the evolving areas of employment and labour laws and the implications for the region.

It is co-authored by Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the UWI, Mona, Natalie Corthesy; and Director, Legal Services Division, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Carla-Anne Harris-Roper.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the publication is particularly appropriate as it comes at a time when Caribbean states are now looking at labour and employment laws from a more developmental perspective.

He noted that with the ability of Caribbean nationals to travel feely for employment purposes within CARICOM, there is now an increasing need for material on the legal standards and applicable practices of the labour market within the region.

“It is, therefore, important that our employment and labour laws now assume with some degree of urgency, a focus and philosophical ethos that recognises the collective responsibilities and objectives of the states within CARICOM,” he stated.

In providing an overview, Judge of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica and Belize, Hon. Justice C. Dennis Morrison, described the work as “breathtaking in scope” and “meticulous in execution”.

He noted that the content is a gathering “in a single compass” of the law governing employment and regulating labour in a number of countries throughout the region, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The authors take us on a tour from slavery, through abolition, to masters and servants legislation throughout the region in the mid 19th century, to the legalisation of trade union activity in the first third of the 20th century, to the labour upheavals of the 1930s, to the enactment of minimum wage and related legislation in the second third of 20th century; and through to the independence movement in the 1960s and beyond,” he outlined.

For his part, Senior Lecturer, Mona School of Business and Management, Dr. Noel Cowell, said the book will fill a huge void in academia. He said it will also be useful to tertiary students, human relations, industrial relations and legal practitioners, as well as members of the judiciary and other professionals.

“There is no question that this is a piece of work that had been needed for a very long time. It will be greatly read and will be utilised in several courses,” he stated.