Jamaica: Govt. Looking at Legislation to Better Protect Household Workers
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Govt. Looking at Legislation to Better Protect Household Workers | Jamaica Information Service
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the Government is looking at legislation to better protect household workers who continue to provide valuable and essential services to many families across Jamaica.
She assured that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, with support from her office and the relevant stakeholders, “will work towards the policy framework and will discuss the possibility of domestic worker legislation.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking at the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Award ceremony, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on May 29.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson
Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (left), and GraceKennedy Group Chief Executive Officer,
Don Wehby (right), with Rosetta Steer, the 2015 GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year.
Ms. Steer, who received cash, gift vouchers, and other prizes, was awarded during a ceremony
at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on May 29.
The Prime Minister said Jamaica supports Convention 189 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which was adopted in 2011 for the protection of domestic workers globally.
“(We are) taking the necessary steps to officially ratify it (the Convention) as further demonstration of our support for the Decent Work Agenda of the ILO,” she added.
The Prime Minister pointed out that putting the required policy framework in place will allow for Jamaica’s ratification of the Convention.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the move towards establishing domestic worker legislation is crucial, given the many issues household workers in Jamaica face, such as long working hours without adequate compensation, low wages, and poor working conditions. Some are also vulnerable to verbal, physical, and sexual harassment.
She noted that domestic workers “occupy a vital position of trust” and should be respected and treated fairly. She pointed specifically to the issue of minimum wage, stressing that “persons who can afford to pay more should pay more for the important service that household workers provide.”
Story Type: News