Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo

Legislation which is expected to better regulate relations between employers and employees is expected to be laid in Parliament by month-end.

According to Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, the long awaited Employment Rights Bill is in the final stages of preparation and will soon be debated in the Lower House.

In a recent interview with the Barbados Government information Service, she pointed out that the Bill would address the concept of "Decent Work", which does not only speak to the rights of the employee, but to employers’ entitlement as well.???? "…The Employment Rights Bill is to help to guarantee decent work. ??There are a lot of people who work under conditions that are not satisfactory…people do not want to leave sure for unsure [so] they stick with conditions that are unsatisfactory and with low levels of security," Dr. Byer Suckoo stated.

The Labour Minister further noted that her Ministry was seeking to bring more security into the job market.?? However, she acknowledged that the legislation could not stipulate whether or not an employer could make an employee redundant. "It can, however, address the way in which this is done," she asserted.

Dr. Byer Suckoo was also quick to point out, nonetheless, that employees needed to reciprocate by being productive and "giving an honest day’s work for pay".?? She continued: "As a Ministry we are looking at the quality of work as well as the quantity…?? Decent work is not only the condition that the employers create in the workplace…it is also a function of what employees give as well."

One issue she urged workers to refrain from was the perennial practice of taking sick leave without notifying employers. This, she reasoned, was not fair to the businesses affected.????

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