The Ministry of Labour should ensure that all businesses operate on a level industrial relations playing field
Most citizens must be excited at the much promoted prospects of a boom in the country’s economy, energised largely by overseas investors deriving from different economic cultures and industrial relations environments.
While there are procedures executed by, say, GO-INVEST and the GRA for facilitating the establishment of the respective ‘overseas development initiatives,’ there does not appear to be any forum at which these foreign entrepreneurs can be formally inducted into the industrial relations environment of Guyana. It is possible therefore that they embrace the notion that they are exempt from certain relevant statutory obligations, particularly after having been granted related incentives and concessions.
The consequent absence of compliance would result not only in depriving local employees of various legal and social rights, but equally important would leave compliant local businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
In this regard the various private sector bodies can render their memberships a profitable service by insisting that the Ministry of Labour and related government agencies ensure that all businesses operate on a level playing field, through some practical monitoring mechanism to be consensually agreed.
Below is a listing of some of the legislation which impacts on local
1. Labour Act Cap. 98:01
2. Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act No. 19 of 1997 Cap. 99:08
3. Wages Council Act Cap. 89:04
4. Leave With Pay Act No. 6 of 1995 Cap. 99:02
5. Shops (Consolidation) Act Cap. 91:04
6. Prevention of Discrimination Act No. 26 of 1997 Cap. 99:09
7. Occupational Safety and Health Act No. 32 of 1997
8. Labour (Conditions of Employment of Certain Workers) Act No. 18 of 1978
9. Trade Union Recognition Act No. 33 of 1997 Cap. 98:07
10. Employment of Young Persons and Children Act No. 9 Cap. 99:01
11. Licensed Premises Act Cap 82:22
12. Factories (Hours and Holidays) Act Cap 95:02
13. Bakeries (Hours of work) Act Cap. 99:06
14. Household Service Workers (Hours of work) Act Cap. 99:07
15. Essential Services Act Cap. 54:01
16. Steam Boilers Regulation Act Cap. 95:04
17. Factories (Hours of Holiday) Act Cap. 95:02
18. National Insurance and Social Security Act of 1969 Cap. 36:01
E B John