Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 05, 2018 (SKNIS): Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Honourable Vance Amory, has outlined three priorities for the Ministry of Labour in 2018 that will help to enhance the working environment in St. Kitts and Nevis.

During an interview, the minister said the ingredients were simple and he identified training for the department’s staff as the first component. This is to ensure that the government employees are knowledgeable about the national labour laws, regional policies, and international labour guidelines and best practices.

The internal workshops are particularly useful given that some of the labour officers are new to the job. In addition to learning about the guiding policies, they also cover lessons in social skills that will help to enhance their positive interactions with employers and employees when they go on work site inspections, or engage with persons that go to the Department of Labour for assistance or information. Effective communication, proper work etiquette, and active listening are key attributes to the job.

The second priority identified by the senior minister was increasing the cooperative relationship between the members of the tripartite committee. The committee was installed in November 2017 and is made up of representatives from the public sector, the private sector, and employee unions. The body reviews labour-related matters. Senior Minister Amory said it was important for members to have the same goals.

“That is to make the working environment one which is conducive for the ongoing economic activity and growth in the country,” he stated.

Maintaining harmony within the landscape of industrial relations was identified as the third priority. An important component of this is to ensure that employees are fairly compensated for their output. However, employers must also get value for money in terms of worker productivity.

The Minister of Labour assured that staff from the department will be more active in visiting various businesses and work sites to ensure that the standards are in keeping with the laws of the land and to mediate, if necessary, any issues between employers and employees.


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