The Labour Department’s role is to give technical information and advice to employers and employees, on the most effective means of complying with labour laws and standards.
Acting Chief Labour Officer, Victor Felix, issued this reminder on Monday, while speaking at the launch of the Department’s Labour Management Relations Seminars, at the National Union of Public Workers’ (NUPW) headquarters.
The seminar, which was the first of three sessions scheduled for February and March 2017, sought to guide participants on the appropriate approach to dealing with workplace issues.
Mr. Felix told those gathered: “We want you to be guided by the law…and we want you to be guided by best practices. We promote best practices in employment relations and industrial relations…
“We are not interested in fights. We are not interested in promoting discord. We are interested in seeing how we can resolve issues in the workplace given that where persons come together the workplace, issues will arise,” he stated.
He also addressed the penalty section of various laws relating to employment relations, and pointed out that the Labour Department did not “engage lightly” in prosecution. However, he cautioned that where it was necessary, prosecutions have been and will continue to be undertaken.
The Acting Chief added that the most effective way of mitigating prosecutions and enforcing best practices in the workforce was to “bring home to as many persons as possible the provisions of the various laws”.
“We are here to share what we know with you, to get your feedback…and to get persons to understand that the Labour Department is not intended to be some agency that frowns upon a worker who seeks to have clarification on some matter…
“We also would want employers to know that the labour department is here for workers and employers,” Mr. Felix emphasised.
The Labour Management Relations seminars will end tomorrow, Wednesday, March 1, and members of the public are invited to attend the final session from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the NUPW’s Headquarters, Dalkeith Road, St. Michael.