Establishing a labour code is a priority for government

(SKNIS): Workers in St. Kitts and Nevis can expect to benefit from changes in legislation governing work that have been identified as a priority for labour authorities.

This was the main outcome of a Staff Development Day for officials from the Departments of Labour in St. Kitts and in Nevis. The event was held last Friday (August 25) at the conference room of the Nevis Disaster Management Department under the theme “Improving Efficiency in Service Delivery.”

Permanent Secretary in the Department of Labour (St. Kitts), Ron Dublin-Collins, said the officers discussed a number of matters related to improving service to the public including professionalism in the work place, decreasing the response time to complaints, and other protocols and procedures governing their actions.

“We have begun the process where we are looking at legislative reforms,” he stated, noting that the formation of a labour code is a priority. “By November of this year, we have had the commitment of the of the tripartite unit – that is the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the [labour] union and government – that we will have that in place … and then we can begin the consultative process with the general public and we will definitely engage in a meaningful and productive way on this particular matter.”

The permanent secretary said the labour code must meet the changing needs of the working environment in the federation and adequately address concerns of employers and employees.

“The benefits to the public are the strengthening of the work area; enhancing the relational situations between the various stakeholders [in the labour industry]; and providing a forum where individuals can contribute to the process,” he stated. “Once it is completed, we should see areas where we can police it, and once there is compliance, we should see a more harmonious relationship.”

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