JIS News

Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, says the Government is pursuing tripartite stakeholder discussions on the current legislative and policy framework and response, in relation to job security.

This, he said, as part of ongoing measures to minimise the social and economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Jamaicans.

“The task of retaining employment as well as job creation and restructuring, and the need for companies and industries to get back on track, is paramount,” the Minister said.

He was speaking at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) digital summit, on Thursday (July 2).

Mr. Henry said that as the Administration takes steps towards gradually easing into maintaining a balance between health and wellness, and economic recovery and stability, “labour legislative work will be our focus”.

The Minister emphasised that policy responses for stimulating the economy’s recovery must take all social variables into consideration, “if we are to collectively overcome this pandemic in the shortest possible time”.

“We continue to encourage employers and workers to exercise flexibility, including working from home, staff rotation, reduction in working hours, use of digital platforms and remote client services to address income and job security,” he noted.

The Minister pointed out that a number of workplace health and safety measures, as articulated under the National Disaster Risk Management Act, have been instituted to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Great emphasis was placed on the importance of [physical] distancing, public sanitisation, and work-from-home arrangements. This has been a success, as many employers and workers have been following the protocols implemented,” he added.

Against the background of the dislocation caused by COVID-19, Mr. Henry emphasised the need for local and global multi-stakeholder development of a “new paradigm” for disaster response, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), “of which so many are to be found in the Caribbean”.

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