64 organisations participated in Labour Ministry’s labour laws seminar

The Ministry of Labour hosted another seminar focusing primarily on the conditions of workers and occupational safety and health (OSH) requirements, with the participation of 64 organisations covering 10,500 employees.

The seminar was hosted at the Regency Suites Hotel, Hadfield Street, Georgetown, on Wednesday and specifically targeted the private sector organisations in the oil and gas industry.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton during remarks at the seminar

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton highlighted the significance of these seminars, ensuring that employers and employees can understand matters related to labour regulations.

He stated that scrutiny by the ministry’s officers is executed equally across the spectrum to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and protected.

We expect that every employee must honour their obligations to their employees. And also, employees must honour their obligations to their employers. Because many times, the focus is on the employer and what they are not doing,” he stressed.

Addressing the issue of training and development, Minister Hamilton underscored that workers should ensure that their employers are paying attention to their upward mobility.

Labour ministry’s seminar on labour laws

Similarly, he stated that employers also need to ensure that their staff members are not only qualified but also fully aware of the company’s processes.

The minister also encouraged workers to always ask their employers for a copy of their signed contracts. This, he said, will provide them with information about their responsibilities, salary, and vacation leave, among other concerns.

Speaking directly to the oil and gas companies, he emphasised, “We know that you expect to make money on your investments. But what we will not allow is for any employer to take advantage of Guyanese people. We will not allow any employer to create new conditions.”

The labour ministry has plans to roll out a public relations and communication programme extending health and safety beyond work environments.

Minister Hamilton also reaffirmed that health and safety are national issues and should be prioritised not only at worksites but also in persons’ homes and other public places.

Chief Labour Officer, Dhaneshwar Deonarine

Meanwhile, Chief Labour Officer Dhaneshwar Deonarine highlighted that the first seminar, which was hosted last month, saw the participation of 252 participants, while 171 establishments registered for the conference.

The ministry remains optimistic that organisations will comply with labour laws and OSH requirements. “We intend that once we share information, we share the practices on industrial relations and also to clarify any questions that you may have,” Deonarine said.