Friday, July 27, 2012 – With just days, before the passage of the Labour Code in Saint Lucia, Deputy Labour Commissioner, Ray Narcisse and a team of officials participated in an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service (GIS).
The team placed a great deal of focus on occupational safety and health, natural justice and termination of employees, as it relates to the aspects of the code.
The Labour code, which has been in the process of implementation for over 10 years, is expected to make the old legislation more modernized. As of August 1st , this code will be effective and aims to make the laws of Saint Lucia reflect more social justice.
The Department of Labour is hoping that employers will recognize the need to work with the department and consider adjusting their human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Labour code. Also, employees are advised to keep in mind that the Labour code is not a license to relax on ethics and productivity.
The Deputy Labour Commissioner, emphasized that the public should be aware that, this is not a code that will freeze employees of their responsibilities. However, it will recognize the right of both, the employees and employers as well as their responsibilities “We hope that everybody sees that document as a framework to guide us to increasing productivity, to ensure proper work ethic, to enhance us as Saint Lucian workers.”
In discussion, Narcisse made note of the significant changes of the labour code, in that regard, the trade union recognitions and a grieve person gaining direct access to a tribe union. As it relates to the composition of the tribe union, it was clarified that the labour code outlines two members representative of the employers, two members for the trade unions, two members for the general public, and the chairman appointed by the Minister.
With making reference to slavery, the President of the Trade Union Federation, Cyprian Montrope, articulated how satisfied the federation is about the implementation of the labour code, as it gives the people a voice and ability to collaborate and let the employer know that he/she is treated unfairly.
“We believe the agreement to get the code up and running from the 1st of August is one of the very best moves in a long time. We will work with it, we will work with the employers in ensuring that everybody benefits fully from the implementation of the code and we will see what happens there after.
Present at the discussion was the President of the Civil Service Association, who conveyed that the association believe this is a era where the trade unions should find more interface with employers. Also, the Employers Federation plans to continue training for the employers, in an effort to let them know that there is nothing hidden in the labour code, but just the old legislation brought back with a new face.
The Labour Department is hoping to use a variety of educational campaigns and medium to inform the mass audience about the various aspects of the Labour code, in an effort to stimulate greater appreciation for such an undertaking.