Entrepreneurs and potential business people have been advised to pay attention to this country???s labour legislation.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, said it was essential that entrepreneurs receive guidance from the Labour Department.

She made the comments today while addressing a two-day Caribbean Start Up Summit at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Dr. Byer Suckoo told the participants: ???In the last few years we had the Employment Rights Act passed, the Safety and Health At Work Act proclaimed, and we right now have on the Order Paper of Parliament a new Holidays with Pay Act, which I expect will be passed in the next few weeks???

???So don???t just go by [the words of] some older person who you know has been involved in business for a long time??? Please call the Labour Department because there have been a lot of changes in labour law in just the last two or three years. Get guidance from the Labour Department ??????

The Minister further disclosed that changes were coming very soon with respect to discrimination in the workplace and harassment, especially sexual harassment in the workplace.

Dr. Byer Suckoo also urged the entrepreneurs to register their businesses with the various government agencies, including the Barbados Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme.

???If you have any employees, pay National Insurance for them and yourself??? You are young now and you think that retirement is so far away that you do not have to think about it??? Non-contributory pensions are being phased out and by the time you are ready for pension, you would have had to contribute to the National Insurance Scheme in order to get a contributory pension.

???Also, being up-to-date with your taxes and National Insurance can allow you to get those necessary clearance certificates so that you can bid for government contracts??? You can???t get it [a government contract] if you don???t have the clearance certificate, which means you have to register with the Revenue Authority???,??? she stressed.

Dr. Byer Suckoo stated that Government was committed to encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in Barbados, as was evident in the millions of dollars invested in the human resource development strategy.

Acknowledging that education had helped the country thus far, she suggested that an environment must be provided for entrepreneurs to innovate and meet the demands of new global markets where Barbados must compete.

???We can???t just do the same things that we have done over the last 50 years; we have to do some new things and we can do them. We will not be daunted by those who say we are not capable of innovation???,??? she declared.

She expressed the view that entrepreneurs must also create job opportunities for others, adding that Government could not provide employment for all its citizens.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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