Barbados has vowed to work tirelessly on legislation that will address discrimination of all forms in the workplace.
The commitment came last Friday at the Accra Beach Hotel, Rockley, Christ Church, at the start of a Presentation of Findings on the International Labour Organization/Public Services International Gender-Neutral Job Evaluation Project: Implementing ILO Convention 100 on Equal Remuneration.
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, speaking to a gathering of union representatives and public officers among others, said his Ministry was working assiduously to complete anti-discrimination legislation that would seek to protect “both men and women from discrimination in relation to job creation, recruitment and employment, as well as remuneration”.
He acknowledged that the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Council had indicated there should be draft legislation in hand before the end of this month, and said his Ministry was actively exploring an increase in the minimum wage that would apply to all categories of workers.
Of the findings, the Labour Minister stated: “I strongly believe that the research being presented today would definitely inform all of these, and better position my Ministry to deliver the interventions that would make a positive impact on the labour market for both women and men.”
While commending all involved in the research initiative, he highlighted the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) “for its unwavering commitment to the protection of workers’ rights and the advancement of all persons”, and lauded the ILO, in its centenary year, for “continuing the fight to ensure that there is both social dialogue and equality in the work place and in all areas impacted by the work place”.
Mr. Jordan further assured the group that his Ministry was committed to using the information presented for the formulation of government policies.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of CTUSAB, Dennis de Peiza, noting the project’s focus on job evaluation in the health care sector of Barbados, said: “For us in the labour movement, we consider this a valuable exercise, as it was directed at assisting trade union and employers to acquire a better understanding of the methods used to objectively measure the value of jobs and identifying gender pay gaps….
“Taking into consideration that there are some existing disparities in the health care sector, CTUSAB anticipates that the findings of the project would lend to a better understanding of the value to be associated with the work within the health care sector bearing in mind the requirements and the demands of the job…. We cannot overlook the contribution of the sector to economic growth. It is also anticipated that the findings of the project will help labour to identify ways of addressing economic injustices, where they exist within the sector.”