MOU signed to offer improved workplace wellness
— UWI to offer courses on campus and online
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 18, 2019
Workplace wellness and the mental health of employees are the focus of studies to be offered by the University of the West Indies (UWI) to all existing students of all UWI campuses and online to persons across the Region as well.
UWI and the Inter-American Centre for Social Security Studies (CIESS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect on July 17, at the 30th meeting of the Heads of Social Security Organisations hosted by National Insurance Scheme at the Guyana Marriot International Hotel.
The initiative was formulated during a meeting of the Inter-American Conference on Social Security last year.
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at UWI and Chief Executive Officer of the Cave Hill School of Business and Management Incorporated, Dr. Justin Robinson noted the importance of the programme. “When employees are stressed, it feeds into their productivity and adds pressure to the social security scheme.” He highlighted that often employees leave the workforce at a very young age due to illness which in turn puts a strain on social security systems. One of the goals of the course is to develop a plan that will address this challenge.
He also noted that they will focus on the sensitisation of employers, so they can create a healthy working environment. “So, it is targeting both sides because it is a symbiotic relationship, so it is not going to work if we target just one end. This is a relationship between workers and employers.”
According to Robinson, a centre for “workplace wellness and a sustainable workforce” is being built at the UWI, Cave Hill campus. The facility will focus largely on the sensitisation of the public. “Press releases, press briefing, conferences, various ways of making this an issue for the public… So, there will be a determined strategy through this centre to build this awareness,” Dr. Robinson underscored.
Director of the Inter American Centre for Social Security Studies, Reginald Thomas said the overall aim of the partnership is to foster a healthy workforce. “We will be addressing all these challenges so that we can have a healthy labour force, affecting productivity, enhancing social security and improving the wellness and well-being of all workers,” he noted.