JIS News

Regional Vice President for the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Ronnie Goldberg is urging Jamaican business owners to pay their taxes, not as a matter of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but because it is their legal obligation.
“Businesses and other companies need to obey the law; they need to go beyond the law and what is legally required to manage all of their activities whether social, environmental or economic in a responsible way. That is why paying taxes is not a matter of corporate responsibility, it is a matter of legal obligation,” she stated.
Addressing a gathering of business executives at the launch of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation State of the Industry Report on Corporate Social Responsibility and Private Sector Corporate Awards, on July 22, Ms. Goldberg said that businesses whether large or small, and governments, have a responsibility to obey the laws of the jurisdiction in which they operate.
“The most basic of responsibilities of all members of society, especially business and governments irrespective of size, nationality, ownerships, and structure, with the number of countries in which they operate is, they must obey the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are doing business,” she outlined.
In addition, Ms. Goldberg outlined that most democratic nations have these laws and regulations but fail to enforce them because of a lack of will or capacity, which leads to a problem for business development.
She however urged the government to create an environment in which businesses can thrive and where investments can be made in order for the country’s economy to be developed.
“Weak and non-existing government capacity to deliver necessary services and to enforce its regulations and laws is a problem for companies in that it gives rise to an unstable economic environment, which makes it difficult to invest and to grow. This is because businesses need a stable economic framework, a level playing field, and a predictable decision making process,” Ms. Goldberg explained.
“Without this environment, it gives rise to demands on the business sector that companies may not be able to fulfill that which they need to do, which leads us to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility,” she stated.
According to the Regional Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility refers to initiatives by companies, voluntarily integrating social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders.
The Private Sector’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award promotes work/life balance, gives attention to social environmental concerns in addition to economic goals, and encourages companies to balance flexibility and responsibility. Nineteen companies were awarded at the launch for their participation in the first CSR survey in Jamaica.