Chief Labour Officer, Edla Lowe today expressed concern that some employers perceive the Labour Department as adversaries in the industrial relations process.

She said there was a misconception among some managers that her department favoured employees but she pointed out that this was not the case.

The Chief Labour Officer explained that her department’s role was not to persecute but to protect the rights of both employers and employees, ensuring that both parties do not impinge on the industrial relations process or the relevant legislation.

Ms. Lowe made the comments while addressing some 40 small business managers at the Labour Department’s Labour Management Relations Seminar at the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael this morning.

“We are not the enemy. We are not here to put the blame on employers or employees but we try to bring a system of fairness and equity to the industrial relations environment. The Labour Department is about helping employers and employees understand each others’ rights, being compliant and building harmonious relations,” she stressed.

Ms. Lowe pointed out that many employers worked closely with the department, particularly through the National Employment Bureau’s recruitment programmes. She encouraged more managers to call or visit the office for advice or assistance.

These points were echoed by Labour Officer, Khama Salankey during her presentation on “Industrial Relations Best Practices.”

She said enforcement was the final option for the Labour Department when all other avenues had failed. “Enforcement is the last resort… the department will call, meet with persons, and give them time to work the situation out. We are about building good, cordial relations between employers and employees,” Ms Salankey added.

Author: Andra’ Skeete

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