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(L-R) Little Cayman – District Officer Mr. Larry Foster, and DLP Representatives.

Published 5th October 2012, 1:48pm

To keep a productive workforce, employers and employees need to be aware of the Labour and Pensions Laws. The Department of Labour and Pensions (DLP) believes that each individual in these islands should be aware of the Labour (including occupational safety Regulations) and Pensions laws of the islands.

In early summer, the DLP took a cohort of individuals over to the Sister Islands to increase staff’s outreach efforts in regard to safety and compliance with the Labour and Pensions Laws. The trip was an opportunity for senior officers in the head office in Grand Cayman to become familiar and form communication with the Labour & Pensions satellite office (located in the Creek area).

The trip took place over three days, beginning in Little Cayman, and then two days on Cayman Brac. While in the Sister Islands, the Department’s delegation performed several familiarization visits and preliminary inspections on worksites, shops, tourist accommodations, and businesses. There was also a preliminary overview of all national workforce needs, as well as a check of safety compliance at all of the work sites.

With each site visit, the Department noted that throughout the Sister Islands there was a growing opportunity for more outreach programmes in terms of labour and pensions education, including programmes on compliance with the labour and pensions laws as well as safety awareness. The excursion also opened opportunities for the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) to work with the DLP in coordinating apprenticeship and work ready schemes for young people and other human capital to help fuel the Sister Islands’ economies.

This official visit was done by senior members of staff including Senior Labour Officer Mr Gene Hydes, Senior Pensions Officer Mr Bernard Ebanks, Manager of the NWDA Mr Yoshneck Mutomba, and Director of Labour and Pensions Mr Mario Ebanks. The visit was coordinated and hosted by Senior Labour Officer in the Sister Islands, Mrs. Sandra Solomon.

The Department of Labour and Pensions will continue to conduct follow up visits to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to manage training and development as well as to complete strategies for labour and pensions, and work readiness. The Sister Islands Labour & Pensions Office can be reached at 948-0626, and if the sole Officer in not in office the telephone calls are either forwarded to her cellular phone or to the Grand Cayman head office (where Sister Islands callers can also access the Confidential Hotline/Tipline).

Commenting on the visit, Director Mr. Ebanks said, “There are unique circumstances and challenges in the Sister Islands in respect to Labour, Occupational Safety, and Pensions compliance, as well as workforce readiness and best practices in workplace relations. This visit will help inform the Department as it provides the Ministry of Employment with policy options for consideration, with a view to effecting timely and holistic solutions to these challenges”

(GIS)