Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Employers urged to consult ministry before terminating employees

Published:Saturday | February 29, 2020 | 12:06 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson has cautioned employers to consult with her ministry before engaging in what could turn out to be a costly and unlawful dismissal of their employees.

“It is, therefore, imperative that employers ensure that, where workers are to be dismissed, they ensure that the grounds for dismissal are justifiable and the manner in which dismissals are carried out follows due process, and the sums payable to workers are correct,” said Robinson, while speaking at Thursday’s official opening of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal western division, in Montego Bay, St James.

The office will serve employees aligned to trade unions in the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland.

scope of authority

Robinson said that, while the scope of authority of the tribunal gives the jurisdiction to determine and settle matters relating to representational rights claims, suspension, dismissals, and collective bargaining, a greater portion of the cases referred to the Industrial Disputes Tribual has to do with the alleged failure of employers to abide by the regulations when terminating the services of their employees.

“We recognise however, that approximately 90 per cent of the cases that I have sent to the tribunal in the last two years are related to allegations of breach of due process in dismissals,’” explained Robinson.

Robinson further noted that, in dealing with the difficult tasks of carrying out disciplinary action against insubordinate and unruly employees, employers should not resort to termination without consulting the labour laws.

info readily available

“If you are unsure and need clarification about the labour legislation, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security stands ready to provide the requisite labour law guidance,” said Robinson. “Before you do so, you are obligated, under the labour legislation, to follow certain guidelines and procedures. This will make the difference between winning and losing a case.”

While lauding the country’s workforce, Robinson called on employees to respect the rules and regulations at their places of employment.

“I ask that you respect these rules and, if you feel that you are being unfairly treated, contact your employee representative or the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for assistance,” urged Robinson. “I would like to salute and acknowledge your hard work and dedication to delivering the highest quality service in the various industries that you are employed.”

“I am here to ensure that injustice or discrimination does not thrive in your workplace, and also remind you of your ethical and moral responsibility to follow the rules and regulations established in your workplaces, in keeping with legal parameters,” added Robinson.