Labour Ministry Seeking To Move Ahead With Legislation

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Acting Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett,??delivering his presentation at the seminar.????

The much-debated Employment Rights Bill could soon be before Parliament.

Acting Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett, made this disclosure today, following a Labour Department seminar entitled "Labour Legislation and Industrial Relations Best Practice", at the Warrens Office Complex.

He said the Bill had been widely circulated to the social partnership and relevant stakeholders and the parties "were satisfied that the act is as complete as it could be at this particular time."

The Acting Chief Labour Officer explained that the Bill seeks to put in place what is "proper practice" among many employers, such as the particulars of employment.

He added that some of the new features of the legislation would include the introduction of a tribunal, a focus on the reinstatement of workers, and what is deemed fair or unfair dismissal.

Mr. Burnett pointed out that the legislation would move Barbados’ labour laws in line with changes in the global labour sector.

"For years Barbados practiced a voluntary industrial relations system but there would have been challenges over time.?? The world is now a global village and therefore what would have worked before must now be put in writing. The question is what amendments or changes we have to put in place or make to labour laws so investors coming to Barbados would be clear what the laws are," he pointed out.

The Acting Chief Labour Officer is also hoping that the Safety and Health at Work Act would be implemented soon but until such time, his department has been proactive by putting a training programme in place to meet the requirements of the new legislation.

Mr. Burnett added that the Labour Department would continue to analyse local legislation in an effort to keep it relevant to a modern industrial relations climate.

To this end, he noted that the department had considered amendments to the Shops Act and was looking at the Holiday with Pay Act.

askeete@barbados.gov.bb

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