Revised draft Labour Code to be completed by mid-May, says Commissioner Amory

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 30TH 2013 (CUOPM) – A draft Labour Code will soon be available.

In keeping with its legislative agenda and commitment to review and update the Federation’s industrial relations infrastructure through the development of a comprehensive labour code, the revised draft copy will be submitted to the Minister of Labour, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett.

“This is the first priority area of the Federation’s Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), under the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda Frame Work,” said Labour Commissioner Mr. Spencer Amory.

He told the Communication’s Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister (CUOPM) that other priority areas include the strengthening labour market information systems; promoting inclusive workplace policies on HIV/AIDS and increasing dialogue among government, employers and workers on national and regional social and economic issues.

Mr. Amory disclosed that an ILO Labour law consultant, Mr. Clive Pegus, recently visited the Federation on his third technical mission to discuss with senior government officials, tripartite constituents and other key stakeholders on the provisions of the Draft Labour Code which was produced earlier this month.

The ILO International Labour Standards Department in Geneva, Switzerland had submitted a Memorandum of Technical Comments on the Draft Labour Code.

While here, Mr. Pegus held consultations with the Federal Minister with responsibility for Labour, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett; the Labour Law Revision Commissioner, Mr. S. I. Mukasa; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Elvis Newton; Labour Commissioner, Mr L Spencer Amory and staff of the Department of Labour; Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory as well as the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry and Chief Labour Officer.

Discussions were also held with representatives of the Nevis Teachers Union, the Nevis Division of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St. Kitts Teachers Union, the St. Kitts- Nevis Trades and Labour Union, the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Bar Association and the Contractors Association.

Mr. Pegus also held discussions with the National Tripartite Committee on International Labour Standards and other key private and public sector stakeholders on Friday, 26th April 2013.

The Memorandum of Technical Comments on the Draft Labour Code had been circulated to all the stakeholders for review and submission of comments and views.

Mr. Pegus has been mandated by the ILO, to complete a revised Draft by the 12th May 2013.

In keeping with the Government commitment to social dialogue and the tripartite process, the revised draft when receive will be shared with all the social partners, and made available online for public scrutiny and for comments from the general public at large.

It is envisioned that a National Consultation on the revised draft will be held prior to presentation of the draft Labour Code in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.

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