Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 23, 2018 (SKNIS): Eighteen labour inspection officers from the Departments of Labour in St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat are participating in a three-day workshop designed to strengthen their capacity to successfully carry out their duties.
The main role of a labour inspection officer is to check compliance with labour legislation; to acquire and provide information and counselling to workers, and representatives of employers and employees on labour legislation issues; and conciliation, mediation and resolution of conflicts that may arise in the world of work.
The May 23 to 25 Labour Inspection Training Workshop is facilitated by Rainer Pritzer, Senior Specialist in Labour Administration and Social Dialogue with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Decent Work Team in the Office for the Caribbean. Topics to be covered include labour inspection issues with emphasis on working conditions including wages, maternity and family, employment discrimination, violence at work, and inspection of working conditions. Sessions on employment relationship, the inspection visit, and gender and equality issues will also be held, as well as occupational safety and health, and ethical behaviour.
“Labour inspection is one key way of ensuring compliance of employers with the Labour Laws,” Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Hon. Vance Amory said at a brief opening ceremony on Wednesday (May 23). “Labour inspection is particularly important in types of work which include the most vulnerable workers, who may not proactively raise the alarm where their rights or employers’ obligations are breached.”
Employees at construction sites, domestics and migrant workers were listed as being among the group of vulnerable employees.
“It is our position as a government through the Ministry of Labour that workplaces must be inspected as often and as thoroughly as is necessary to ensure the effective application of relevant legal provisions. … Our aim is to preserve a harmonious environment in the labour marketplace and you have that role to play,” Senior Minister Amory stated, as he encouraged the officers to pay keen attention to the knowledge and best practices that will be shared over the next three days.
Mr. Pritzer said that he was happy that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to engage the services of the ILO, which points to a firm commitment to enhance the labour climate in the twin-island federation. He also applauded the government for ensuing that stakeholders were included at various stages in every major project, programme and policy development that is taking place.