JIS News

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  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, says the Ministry will be embarking on an islandwide awareness campaign to sensitise the public about the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill.
  • Addressing the opening session of Para Caribe Consulting Medical Doctors Limited’s Occupational Health, Safety and Workplace Wellness Symposium at the Half Moon Hotel in St. James on October 24, the State Minister noted that the campaign will be rolled out in the very near future, as “ignorance of this new legislation, when it becomes law, will not be excused”.
  • Mr. Mayne further underscored that the Ministry is taking every opportunity to highlight important provisions of the legislation, because the Bill has far-reaching implications.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, says the Ministry will be embarking on an islandwide awareness campaign to sensitise the public about the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill.

Addressing the opening session of Para Caribe Consulting Medical Doctors Limited’s Occupational Health, Safety and Workplace Wellness Symposium at the Half Moon Hotel in St. James on October 24, the State Minister noted that the campaign will be rolled out in the very near future, as “ignorance of this new legislation, when it becomes law, will not be excused”.

Mr. Mayne further underscored that the Ministry is taking every opportunity to highlight important provisions of the legislation, because the Bill has far-reaching implications.

He pointed out that one of the main objectives of the Bill is to protect workers from harm, as under the new legislation, employers will be prohibited from charging workers for safety gears required to perform their duties.

“Under this new law, the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is precluded from imposing a levy or a charge on a worker for anything done, or provided in relation to safety and health,” Mr. Mayne said.

“What you find happening is that companies will give the protective gears, but every month a little money comes out of workers’ salaries to pay back for them. We are saying that under this new regime, it cannot happen,” he emphasised.

He further indicated that it is the duty of the employer to provide safety and health gears for workers, and they should not be made to pay for same.

Additionally, Mr. Mayne highlighted that the Bill will apply to all branches of economic activity, “and that includes all areas or sectors of employment within which workers are employed or engaged for hire or reward and extends to the public service”.

The OSH Bill is intended to repeal the Factories Act (1943), which is limited in scope and excludes vital sectors and groups, such as finance, shops and offices, agriculture and the public sector.

The Bill, which is now before a Joint Select Committee, is expected to be passed in Parliament by December 2019.

The symposium, which was held from October 24 to 25, was aimed at highlighting the importance of health, safety and wellness in the workplace.