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Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the policy on Flexible Work Arrangements has been in gestation for far too long, and that this will be addressed this year.

He assured that amendments to legislation to facilitate the introduction of flexible work arrangements will be passed by the end of this calendar year.

“It is time for us to have those pieces of legislation adjusted, so that legally those arrangements can be put in place,” the Minister emphasised.

Minister Kellier, who was addressing journalists at a Jamaica House press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 6, said he will be pursuing the introduction of the arrangement “with much vigour.”

He informed that a Ministry Paper will be tabled shortly, and that drafting instructions have been issued to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to facilitate the requisite legislative amendments.

“This is the furthest we have reached over the years with the discussions and it is now at the stage where both Houses of Parliament have already approved the policy with respect to the implementation of the system. We are moving to enact any other legislation, which we need…to make this a reality,” the Minister said.

The discussions surrounding the flexible work arrangements have been ongoing for some 18 years, he said, pointing out that this is due in part to concerns raised by various organisations.

“There were some organisations that put up a strong resistance, but I think the majority of people in the country will recognise the benefits of introducing the flexi-work week,” he said.

Mr. Kellier noted that among the benefits of the programme are an increase in productivity; increased employment; and greater availability of services to customers due to varied opening hours.

The term Flexible Work Arrangements or the flexi-work week refers to a variable work schedule, and incorporates flexi-time, which allows the worker and employer the opportunity to arrange the traditional 40-hour work week as it best suits their needs.

Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker