Danny Roberts: legislative reform need to protect contract workers

by January 3rd, 2020


Head of the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute at the University of the West Indies, has called for legislative reforms that will protect workers from abuse, under fixed term contracts.


Danny Roberts noted that Jamaica would do well to follow steps taken by other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and the European Union.


In his new year’s message, Mr. Roberts expressed concern that, with the emergence of temporary or fixed term contract work, many workers have now fallen outside the statutory provisions established to protect them from unfair and unequal treatment.


While acknowledging that in many cases, fixed term contracts provide flexibility that’s beneficial to both employer and employee, the issue is not its use, but the abuse of these flexible working arrangements.


This abuse, he noted, has a negative impact on the quantity and quality of jobs and undermine the sustainability of the social protection systems.



He said while the drive towards global competitiveness demands an organisation that is fit-for-purpose, the underlying industrial relations praxis, must focus on organizational efficiency, and equity in management / worker relationship, as well as communication and consultation, as the linchpin for productivity and profitability.