Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (right), being welcomed to the TVET Council by Senior Technical Officer, Wendy McClean, today. (Image: A. Miller/BGIS)??

The implementation and improvement to pertinent pieces of labour legislation is at the top of the agenda of new Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.

She made this known today during a familiarisation tour of the National Employment Bureau (NEB) and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council, which fall under her portfolio.

According to Minister Byer Suckoo, among the legislation she would be focusing on are the Shops Act, the Holidays with Pay Act and the Employment Rights Bill.

"Employment Rights, I think, is long overdue and employers and employees need to have legislation that will help to define how they operate. There are a lot of matters that are still defined by moral suasion and they are some things that really need to be tidied up…That process did go through consultation … It has gone through a thorough consultative process… so we are expecting that we can get that legislation presented shortly," she revealed.

The Minister added that sexual harassment legislation, which had been on the back burner for some time, would be discussed again as well as the policy on anti- discrimination.

Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed out that her Ministry was also working towards the implementation of the Retraining Fund, which was referred to by the Prime Minister in his last budgetary presentation.

She explained that the fund would be used to help those who were unemployed to garner new skills, to retool them for the changing job market.

"Persons, when they go to the National Insurance Office to collect their unemployment benefits,…the NIS will recommend them for training at the NEB. They will be identified by the National Insurance Scheme, the monies will then be sent to the

National Employment Bureau and they will be trained at the NEB. The NEB will also provide counseling services and screening…to help persons identify their areas of strength and where they would wish to work," Dr. Byer Suckoo explained.

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