Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the Government remains steadfast and committed to enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.
This is to protect workers and other persons from harm to their safety, health and welfare through the elimination or minimisation of hazards, serious injury, or risks arising out of or in connection with activities at workplaces.
Delivering the Throne Speech at the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, on Thursday (February 18), the Governor-General said the main objective of the Act is to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of work.
He also cited other initiatives being focused on by the Government that fall under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
“The amendments to the National Insurance Act – National Insurance (General Benefit) Regulations and the National Insurance (Sugar Workers Transitional) Regulations remain legislative priorities. It is anticipated that these amendments will give effect to increases in several benefits under the Scheme,” the Governor-General said.
He said Jamaica remains committed to achieving decent wages for all workers, with particular attention paid to the most vulnerable; accordingly, work is still ongoing on the Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act.
“The Government has been working assiduously to ensure that the Disabilities Act is brought into effect to promote, protect and ensure full and equal enjoyment of privileges, interests and benefits by persons with disabilities. Subsidiary legislation is needed to support the Disabilities Act.
Consequently, Disabilities Regulations have been prepared and it is the intent of the Ministry to table these in the 2021/2022 fiscal year,” the Governor-General noted.
He said a special subcommittee of the Labour Advisory Council (LAC) has been established to assess the impact of the pandemic and provide recommendations for labour market resilience.