Chamber eyes new labour law

| 10/02/2011

(CNS): Almost a decade after it last reviewed proposed amendments to the Labour and Pension Laws, the Chamber of Commerce says it is re-establishing an Employment Legislation Review Committee to look at the latest proposed revision and lobby government. The most recent review of proposed employment legislation took place in 2002-2003 and was led by Past Chamber President Angelyn Hernandez, who, the Chamber says, will be heading up the review team once again. The goal is to look at the latest draft law and ensure it meets the interests of the business body’s members.

“The Chamber’s role is to ensure that our members’ current interests and opinions are represented accurately in regards to any proposed legislation by government,” Chamber President, James O’Neill said. “We are therefore pleased to announce the re-establishment of this committee. In addition to re-examining the findings of the Chamber’s 2002/2003 Employment Relations Report, a survey will be distributed to the Chamber membership to make certain that its content still reflects the view of our members today.”

A final report will be submitted to the Chamber Council by April 13, 2011.

The last review included a comprehensive membership survey and a careful analysis of the impact of the past proposals on both Cayman’s workers and employers. The final report was approved by the Chamber Council, released to the membership and submitted to the government.

The Chamber was successful in expressing the membership’s strong opposition to many of the proposals, which were considered inflationary, unfair to workers and onerous for employers.
Based on the Chamber’s report, the minister withdrew or amended some of the proposals.
The committee will now review the latest proposals and determine whether the Chamber’s previous position remains or requires modification.

Alongside Hernandez on the committee will be deputy chair and be Chamber Councilor Colin Reid and representatives from the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resources Professionals, Cayman Contractors Association, Cayman Islands Bankers Association, Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Cayman Finance, Fosters Food Fair, CUC Ltd., Island Companies, and Appleby will be invited to participate on the committee.

The terms of reference are: to review any proposed legislation to amend the Labour Lawand Regulations and the National Pensions Law and Regulations; to re-examine the findings of the Chamber’s 2002/2003 Employment RelationsReport; to develop, release and compile the findings of a membership survey on the proposed amendments; to meet with Government officials to discuss the proposals; to communicate the findings of any research and studies to the Council; to develop a final report for presentation to the Council; to present the findings of the approved report to the Minister of Education, Training and Employment.

The Chamber of Commerce said that it supports and promotes fair and equitable workplace practices and policies that attempt to maintain social harmony, provide decent employment, and ensure profitability for all businesses. The Chamber Council has established committees and task forces since the organisation’s founding in 1965 to review proposed employment legislation and has submitted its findings so that the views of the membership are clearly communicated to legislators.

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