DER teaches labour law for cash

| 20/07/2010

(CNS): Businesses looking for ways to cut costs by cutting staff can now pay the Department of Employment Relations (DER) to learn the correct way to do so. Realising that interpreting the labour law can be challenging, DER said in a release, department officials have designed a four-hour course to help employers better understand the law, but are charging employers up to $1000 to sign up. The course covers issues such as pre-employment, compliance, termination, employer responsibility, and labour tribunal matters. Content can be personalised, based on each organisation’s need.

Registration is $1,000 for groups of up to ten individuals, while pricing is negotiable for smaller groups. The registration fee includes all course materials and a completion certificate.

“We know that there are often interpretation issues with specific areas of the law,” DER Acting Director Robert Whittaker (above) explained. “The current economic crisis is forcing many companies to review their bottom lines and cut costs. This often includes staff termination and redundancies. Our intention is, therefore, to help companies understand any areas of the law with which they are unsure.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    For some reason i am failing to comprehend all the negative dialogue about an organization who falls under the Ministry of Education, Training & Employment (The DER), whose mandate is to train & develop the labour force. If this Ministry so decides, in the process of all of this, to earn minimal revenue for the country and believe me for training and development, which is so expensive, this is extremely cheap or should i say "cost effective for the consumers"?

    What i think should be happening here is that kudos should be given to the whole Ministry and its’ team for preparing, organizing and facilitating such a brilliant conference.

    I am not a citizen of the cayman Islands, but certainly understand world economics, the market place in which we conduct our business, government policies, procedures, strategies and the problems faced by these ministry’s and departments by pressure groups whilst having to work with minimum resources. This being so, i would suggest that such strategies in training and development be continued not only as a reactive and short term measure, but rather as a proactive and long term one. 

    This is a win,win situation as employees and employers become more trained and familiarized with the local Labour Laws. As a result of the training and development employers become more aware that their most important asset is their employees and that in dealing with dispute resolution each case should be dealt with on it’s own merit and with  extreme care. The employee develops an awareness of the shared responsibilities between the employee and employer. This transfers to a better working environment between these two whilst at the very same time a much knowlegeable workforce, a peaceful society and a DER that no longer have to concentrate on dispute resolutions, but can then concentrate on other national strategies to effect change where ever needed.

    Again, kudos to all concerned and keep up the good work. Remember, they’re all types of people out there. Sometimes, if you listen to these individuals it would almost seem impossible to do the right thing because each and everyone of us were created different and each of us will see and deal with things differently – this is due to a varying amount of elements; education, culture, friendship, ulterior motive etc, etc – hence influencing to the negative. I say continue the good work.

  2. TennisAce says:

     I think everyone has left off the most important aspect of all this.  The conflict of issue that arises from (1) a statutory body which has been tasked with resolving labour disputes between employer/employee is now offering advice on the Law to employers in relation to terminating employees. (2) when did the persons at the DER become lawyers able to give advice on aspects of the law, interpretation of contracts etc.  

    What if as a result of the advice givento an employer, Employee A is terminated, takes his grouse to the Labour Tribunal.  Does the employer say that the worker was terminated based on advice given by the Labour office and how does the Tribunal act on this particular piece of advice. Do they uphold the termination of the employee as being in agreement with the law or does theTribunal rule against the employer, in essence disagreeing with the advice that the DER gave. 

    There is so much room for error in this decision that I cannot believe that they came to this decision after considered thought. 

  3. Hallowe'en Jack says:

    I do not think that the DER has statutory capacity to enter into this type of commercial arrangements and since it would be ultra vires all fees charged would be void and recoverable back by the businesses.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Settling labour disputes is a hard job… have you ever been in contact with a disgruntled ex employee and even more disgruntled ex employer, it’s not an easy task and I believe the Labour Law is a valuable tool but the majority of the Island’s employers have no idea how to use it so they skip it altogether hence the number of uncalled for layoffs & terminations… charge the employer and maybe they will do better when it comes to human resource management. It cant be easy being a labour inspector because thier job isnt to be nice or make friends it’s to enforce the law and that will always leave somebody unhappy. U cant please everybody but hopefully if employers make good use of this resource it will ease the amount of people losing thier jobs unnecessarly in these islands.

    Way to go DER.


    Now when it comes onto the job recruitment team thats a whole other drama… talk about useless… I hink that dept has been mismanaged and hopefully they can find a new Director to guide them

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe, just maybe, the issue here is that the DER needs a new Director of Labour.

    And please could they get someone that is actually qualified. XXXXX

  6. Anonymous says:

    To the poster of: Tue, 07/20/2010 – 09:36.

    Dont you think its Immgration’s job to teach employers "how to phase out work permit holders" Since when does DER issue work permits how has it now bwcome DER’s job to show employers hwo to eliminate that need. It’s about supply and demand if the supply of available jobs is low then the demand is high and if the folks registered with DER are for lack of a better word unemplopyable how do you reckon DER can help alleviate the need for work permits. I’m not saying good, decent hard working Caymanians arent registered as job seekers with the Department but that takes you back to supply and demand, the supply of this quality worker registered is obviously low so the demand for them has increased, I say this because i as an HR Manager register all of out renewals witht he DER and the quality of persons referred is in the pits. The DER is a "Free" employment agency, they seek jobs for registered job seekers for FREE therefore the caliber of folks they have to offer is not great despite the hard work of the placement staff. Now onto the Labour staff, dont you think it’s a hard job to police all the offending employers? Seriously now if Employers were actually versed in the Labour Law then there wouldnt be a need for the DER to train them, this must be coming about based on the number of complaints they recieve which would indicate that employers and thier HR Managers have no clue what they are doing when it comes to hiring and firing and as such would need training. The Govt is in a bind and i agree with this revenue measure because at the end of the day employers should be following the law and if they arent then they need to look into the HR people they hire who are there to ensure that the employer is compliant when dealing with terminations and lay offs, if they dont know then they need to be trained and as with any training it’s an investment so I dont blame DER for charging, perhaps that will eliminate some of the screw ups that employers make when it comes to staff.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just another Department on this Government’s crash truck..

    Come see who the one fool is giving thumbs down 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely astonishing! Whose birdbrain idea was this?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think your negative comments regarding the DER and placing Caymanians needs to be placed squarely where it belongs and that is with the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT AND THIER BOARDS. Work permits are not granted by the DER but by the Immigration Boards that have been set up to deal with this. You may wish to FOI how many work permits these Boards have GRANTED even though the DER has not issued waivers for these postions as there have and are qualified Caymanians to fill these positions. The success rate of the DER in placing Caymanians in the private sector is unfortunately governed by IMMIGRATION and that is where the BLAME should be laid. The DER cannot force the private sector to hire Caymanians and this certainly wont happen if the Boards keep approving work permits. Lay the blame where it should be laid.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is just too funny! I’m sorry, I know this upsets some people but I cannot help but see the humor! The DER is helping businesses downsize and here is someone saying blame Immigration!!! These are two Government Departments for the love of @#@#@#@#. And the DER is going to charge for the service!!! ROTFL!! While Immigration charges for the work permits!!!! ROTHFL!!! I’m sorry, this is just too funny!!! This is like a TV practical joke!!!!HAHAHAHA

      Seriously, good luck to anyone needing a job, unemployment is painful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately it’s not April 1st so this is not a joke. Heads should roll for this… and then let’s see if DER can help the rolled head find a new job.

        • Anonymous says:

          I like that idea! All the unemployed people should start a petition to have the DER shut down!

  10. Anonymous says:

    DER is full of ish! People are going to them to find work and behind their back they are teaching employers ways to let them go?? I guess it’s all a way to make a quick buck huh? I bet they wouldn’t say that they would explain the law to employers for free, after all its their job.. what the hell do they think they come to work for?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Forgive me for the nature of this comment I am about to make. Ususally I try to avoid ranting and keeping my adjectives subtle out of my respect for fellow readers. However, I do hope CNS permits me the space to really air what I want to say.

    Seriously now, What da *heck*??

    The Department of Employment Relations, not your best job placement agency, is now giving lessons to employers on how to terminate their employees.

    Really, what da *heck*???

    They are not only going to teach them, DER shall now profit from these lessons, and use the money for…what exactly? Reduce Government’s deficit? What becomes of the displaced employees? Will they try to find Government employment? Or will they drain Social Services? Resort to crime? Compare the cost of these alternatives to the $1,000 recieved for the course.

    My God! You would think with all these displaced employees that DER would be giving lessons on how to phase out work permit holders so that unemployed Caymanians can step in a bit more seemlessly. But no.

    The employment relations agency is declaring a war on employment.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So the government is implicitly encouraging companies to cut staff by showing them the techniques for safely doing it !

    Lets hope that the DER does a better job of teaching them compliance than placing unemployed Caymanians. It is a crying shame that qualified Caymanians are being discriminated against in the workplace because of age and other factors when the country has persons on work permits doing jobs that Caymanians are capable of doing.