In 1996, a Labour Market Reform Committee, chaired by Professor George Eaton, recommended the implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as one of the strategies for reform of the Jamaican labour market. It was recognized that flexibility in the labour market is crucial to the country’s ability to compete and survive in the global economy.
A consultative approach was taken by the Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in determining whether or not to implement Flexible Work Arrangements (Flexi-Work).
In July 2000, a Flexi-Work Committee comprised of representatives of the tripartite: the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security was appointed. It also included rep-resentatives of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, the Jamaica Council of Churches, the University and Allied Workers’ Union and Government Ministries.
The work of this Committee culminated in the formulation of a Green Paper on Flexible Work Arrangements, which was tabled in Parliament and circulated throughout the island to facilitate discussion. The Green Paper outlined the advantages and the varying types of Flexi-Work and identified proposed strategies for its implementation.
In an effort to ensure that all stakeholders were given the opportunity to be heard, Parliament decided to refer the matter to a Joint Select Committee (JSC) which invited further discussion from stakeholder groups and interested citizens. The Committee considered submissions from several interested parties including church groups, employers and NGOs and reviewed the opinions of organizations such as the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association and the Association of Women’s Organization of Jamaica.
Having heard all the parties, the Joint Select Committee made several recommendations which were approved by both Houses of Parliament and thereafter a Ministry Paper on Flexi-Work was tabled in Parliament in September 2013.
The Employment (Flexible Work Arrangements) (Miscellaneous) Provisions Bill 2014 was tabled and debated by both Houses of Parliament between September and November 2014 when it was passed. The Governor-General’s assent has been affixed and the Act came into effect on November 25, 2014. This process resulted in the establishment of a legal framework for the implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements…READ MORE