JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A White Paper on Flexible Work Arrangements has been prepared, as Government intensifies its thrust to boost the country’s productivity levels.
  • Flexible work arrangements or flexi-week, refer to a variable work schedule.
  • The Minister contended that workers and employers stand to benefit greatly from the introduction of these arrangements.

A White Paper on Flexible Work Arrangements has been prepared, as Government intensifies its thrust to boost the country’s productivity levels.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, who made the disclosure at a Labour Market Forum at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on December 10, said the document, which will be made available for public consideration, constitutes the Government’s policy on the matter.

Flexible work arrangements or flexi-week, refer to a variable work schedule, which allows the worker and employer the opportunity to arrange the traditional 40-hour work week as it best suits their needs.

The Minister contended that workers and employers stand to benefit greatly from the introduction of these arrangements.

“With the proposed introduction of a flexible work week, we will see changes and the emergence of significant opportunities for increased productivity and cost effectiveness within companies,” he stated.

Dr. Phillips further noted that workers would be better able to co-ordinate their work hours with other obligations that they may have.

“Employers can look forward to reduced costs since any 40 hours in the week would now count as regular time for employment and every effort is being made to ensure that these flexible work arrangements become a reality in Jamaica in the very near future,” he said.

Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, in his remarks, said the Government is aware of the “vital necessity to balance work and living”, hence the move to begin this process through flexible work arrangements.

He encouraged organisations to adopt effective work/life strategies that will enhance their employees’ ability to manage work and family responsibilities and enable them to perform more productively, as well as to better contribute to business performance.

“I dare say that in the face of increasing global competitions and a tight labour market, better work/life balance will improve companies’ ability to attract and retain valuable employees,” Mr. Kellier stated.

Staged by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) over two days

(Dec. 9 to 10), under the theme: ‘Reshaping the Jamaican Labour Market to Foster Economic Growth and Development’, the forum was intended to provide a platform to discuss ways of developing a comprehensive labour market reform agenda.

Representatives from the private and public sectors participated in the event, including Government Ministers, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Technical Directors, Permanent Secretaries, Presidents and Principals of secondary and tertiary institutions.

The forum was held through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).