JIS News

The Government is developing a National Action Plan to transition household workers and fisherfolk to the formal economy.

The initiative is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, through support from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Recently, a two-day consultative workshop was held at the Ministry’s North Street offices in Kingston, aimed at garnering the input of various stakeholders towards the development of the action plan.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, in her remarks at the event, noted that the value of work performed in the informal economy is well established.

She said that in moving to formalise work arrangements in the fisheries and domestic work sectors, “careful investigations must be done to establish the factors that drive informality”.

“We recognise that the two sectors are unique and that any strategy designed will need to reflect the differences and intricacies that characterise them. Such strategies must take into account our fiscal and cultural realities and be grounded in genuine consultation and social dialogue,” she noted.

The workshop, part of a series titled ‘Transitioning from Informality to Formality’, follows on a development cooperation pilot project carried out in collaboration with the ILO, during 2015-2016, aimed at facilitating transition to formality in Granville and Garland/Horseguard Districts, St. James.

“We saw these workers develop as they learnt to better organise themselves, forming cooperatives, which served to further their interests,” Mrs. Robinson said in noting the success of the pilot project.

“They learnt how to register their businesses, allowing them access to credit and to take advantage of other opportunities not available to them before formalisation,” she added.