KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government is taking steps to amend the Minimum Wage Act to provide greater protection for workers.
The existing law, passed in 1938, provides for the payment of wages above or equal to, but not below a statutory level for certain types of work.
It also establishes a Minimum Wage Advisory Commission and the appointment of officers to inspect records to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act.
State Minister for Labour and Social Security, Zavia Mayne, said that the amendments to be undertaken reflect concerns expressed by workers, and are in keeping with international labour conventions.
Mayne, who was addressing the ministry’s ‘Labour Department and You Road Show’ held recently at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, said the changes will ensure greater protection for employees.
He argued that when workers feel protected, they are motivated, which can lead to greater levels of efficiency and productivity.
He noted that the amendments are not meant to cause inconvenience to employers, and assured that the ministry will “seek to provide you with as much assistance and guidance with the laws as they will be in a short time”.
Meanwhile, Mayne commended the trade union representatives who attended the two-day roadshow.
“I applaud you for your active social dialogue in resolving employment matters and helping us to maintain a harmonious industrial climate,” he said.
The highly interactive events, which are being held across the island, seek to raise awareness about how the public can access the services of the Labour Department.
The events target jobseekers, workers and employees, as well as union representatives, for discussion on a range of issues, including industrial relations, occupational safety and health, efforts to eliminate child labour, the roles and functions of registered employment agencies as well as the local and overseas employment programmes.