Jamaica News: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Collette Roberts-Risden, is encouraging employers to utilise the Employment (Flexible Work Arrangements) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act as the country continues to observe social distancing protocols to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The flexi-work arrangement speaks to persons working 40 hours and their 40-hour work week being flexible. Most employers are used to their workers putting in 40 hours, nine to five, Mondays to Fridays. What we are saying is during this period, look at how work can be staggered with the flexi-work arrangement, recognising the need for social distancing,” Mrs. Roberts-Risden told JIS News.
The flexi-work arrangement is intended to increase employment opportunities, enhance productivity and afford workers the opportunity to better structure their lives through a flexible employee-employer work agreement.
The Senate on October 31, 2014, passed the Employment (Flexible Work Arrangements) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, paving the way for the introduction of flexible working time.
Under the legislation, there is no set eight or 10-hour work days, but instead these are to be capped at a maximum of 12 hours.
The work week should consist of 40 hours and all seven days of the week should be considered as possible normal working days.
Additionally, the Permanent Secretary said the Ministry has been in discussion with employers on possible measures that can be implemented to retain employees and sustain productivity.
“The Ministry has been monitoring the situation with employers. We have been meeting with various employer groups and the unions to work with them to try and find alternatives and look at how they can perform work differently that still allows for their business to continue without requiring that employee to be physically present at the office. We have been working with employers during this crisis,” she said.
Since March 18, all non-essential employees across government and the private sector have been required to work from home as part of several government-mandated restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Source: JIS News