Tue | Jun 2, 2020

GSS sector under medical scrutiny

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:06 AMMark Titus/Gleaner Writer
Henry
Henry

Western Bureau:

PUBLIC HEALTH officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness are conducting assessments of all local outsourcing firms to ensure adherence to the restrictions implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global services sector (GSS), formerly known as the BPO sector, has been a key driver of Jamaica’s economy in recent years, employing nearly 40,000 workers across six parishes. However, the dreaded respiratory disease, COVID-19, has disrupted commerce globally, forcing firms to be more meticulous in managing their workspace.

“In the wake of several lay-offs taking place for Jamaicans in various industries, the association has provided clear and actionable guidance to our members to mitigate the risk of infections,” Gloria Henry, president of Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), stated in a press release last week.

ESSENTIAL SECTOR`

“GSS/BPO is an essential sector, supporting healthcare, telecommunications, banking and finance, insurance, logistics, retail, to name a few industries that are supported globally and in Jamaica,” said Henry. “Our wheels are now turning to provide critical support for Jamaica’s COVID-19 hotline,” Henry added. “All of this work is critical to maintaining what is left of a functioning economy.”

According to the GSAJ, most of the major GSS firms have already been assessed, and the remaining entities will complete the mandatory assessment in a few days.

“The assessment was thorough and professionally done,” a GSS operator told The Gleaner. “Along with other details, they sought to ensure that each agent is operating six feet apart. We are required to have an empty cubicle between each agent.”

“All material and apparatus for sanitation must be in place, and no more than 10 persons must be assembled in the common area at any given time,” the company boss said.

The GSAJ, formerly the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, is the non-governmental, national representative body for the global services sector in Jamaica. The association supports global service providers.