Jamaica, Canada holding talks to prevent fallout in farm work programme
A Jamaican delegation led by Labour Minister, Derrick Kellier, is now in Canada holding talks to reduce any potential fallout arising from the impending changes to the Canadian farm work programme.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, says the government is seeking to ensure that Jamaicans continue to benefit from the programme.
According to Senator Falconer, there are concerns about the practice of deducting 25 percent of the earnings of Jamaicans on the farm work programme.
She pointed out that the amount is deducted by the employer and remitted to Jamaica’s liaison service in Canada.
Falconer explained that 19 and a half percent of the amount is sent the labour ministry for the personal account of the workers; half a percent goes towards covering medical expenses; and the remainder is retained by the liaison service.
Senator Facolner also said Canada has advised that the practice is illegal in some of the provinces where the programme operates.
She said it was therefore agreed that the deductions would be discontinued for the 2016 season of the programme.
Senator Falconer said discussions are being held with officials, employers and Jamaican workers on the way forward.