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  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to advancing the welfare of the country’s household workers.
  • She noted that Jamaica’s ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention C 189, concerning decent work for domestic workers, is in keeping with that commitment Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, signed the instrument of ratification during the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2016.
  • “The Government’s focus on the agenda of decent work for household workers is critical. It is central to the improvement of working conditions of household workers,” Minister Grange said.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to advancing the welfare of the country’s household workers.

She noted that Jamaica’s ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention C 189, concerning decent work for domestic workers, is in keeping with that commitment
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, signed the instrument of ratification during the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2016.

“The Government’s focus on the agenda of decent work for household workers is critical. It is central to the improvement of working conditions of household workers,” Minister Grange said.

She was speaking at the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year awards presentation ceremony on Tuesday (Dec. 17) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

In addition, she noted that female household workers now have eight weeks’ maternity leave allowance, which not only ensures that they have job security after delivery, but provides them with similar benefits as other female workers in the society.

The Minister said that household workers will also receive effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence under the Sexual Harassment (Prevention of) Act, 2019.

“This Bill seeks to protect women and men, including household workers, from unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and crude sexual behaviour within the workplace,” she noted.

“Another element of protection is through the ratification of Convention No. 190 and recommendation No. 206, which speak to eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work,” she added.

Ms. Grange said that the Ministry will continue to work collaboratively with the Minister of Labour and Social Security to advocate for safe workspaces for household workers.

This, she said, is in keeping with “our obligations to provide work environments, which are free from any form of gender-based violence and discrimination and where your rights are recognised, upheld and protected,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Tremane Cunningham and Ingrid Grant Smith were crowned the 2019 GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Male and Female Household Workers of the Year, respectively, walking away with $500,000 each, trophies, as well as prizes from First Global Bank and Hi-Lo Food Stores.

They also received grants of $200,000 towards the education of a child of their choice.

Esmond Daley and Muray Brown, who were the male and female runners-up, respectively, received $250,000 each, as well as prizes from First Global Bank and Hi-Lo Food Stores.

Group Chief Executive Officer at GraceKennedy, Senator Don Wehby, congratulated the winners and other participants.

“They will leave here today with the reinforcement that their work is dignified and respected and that they are making a difference in the lives of those for whom they work,” he noted.

The GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Award was inaugurated in 2014 to recognise and reward Jamaica’s household workers.

It is named in honour of the late Dr. Heather Little-White in recognition of her years of service at GraceKennedy, the training household workers, and dedication to the improvement of their lives.

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