What has been the impact of the 40 hour week, particularly GuySuCo?

Dear Editor,

I happened upon a useful reminder recently – a clipping from SN of June 12, 2013: a letter to the editor, headlined ‘Labour minister should delay the state of implementation of minimum wage and 40-hour week to facilitate consultations.’

Presumably, however, a calendar year has passed since the actual implementation of the relevant Order, to which various stakeholders had reacted in their respective interests.

For certain the adjustment would have had a not so insignificant impact on aspects of the largest of employers – the Guyana Sugar Corporation. It would be interesting therefore to learn, not only of any cost implications, but perhaps more importantly of what rearrangements the corporation would have made for the disposition of human resources in order to mitigate the overall negative impact of a 40 hour week restricted to Monday to Friday only.

GuySuCo is but one example of several organisations in various business sectors like ‘Security,’ which would have been adversely affected by the Order. In the meantime it is difficult to discern any substantive organisational adjustments amongst the customer service providers in downtown Georgetown, or along Regent Street, particularly on Saturdays.

Perhaps the Ministry of Labour should be invited to report on its success on the first anniversary of the latest version of a 40 hour week – intended as it was to increase the wages, salaries and allowances of related categories of employees.

Hopefully it is not too much for the ministry to do on behalf of these vulnerable workers, including those in the hospitality industry.

Yours faithfully,
E B John

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