Bahamas a ‘trailblazer’ for workplace relations – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: March 5, 2021 at 5:09 am

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas is trailblazing, and "setting the pace for the Caribbean" in workplace relations, by moving to the next stage in the International Labour Organisations (ILO) decent work initiative.

Robert Farquharson, chairman of the National Tripartite Council, which deals with all labour and workplace-related matters, told a Zoom meeting: The decent work country programme (DWCP) is a tool used by the ILO to regulate the relationship between the Government of The Bahamas and the ILO.

"The first decent work country programme was established here in The Bahamas in April 2009, and it set the stage for the relationship between the Government of The Bahamas and the ILO, and how the ILO helps the working people of The Bahamas.

The DWCP is what the ILO uses as the main vehicle for delivering support to countries. It promotes decent work as a key component of national development strategies, while helping to facilitate dialogue between trade unions and the Government.

Mr Farquharson added: The Bahamas has again become trailblazers in this, and we are at a point to set the pace for the rest of the Caribbean region.

The National Tripartite Council last year teamed with the Ministry of Labour for an analysis that took a comprehensive look at the world of work in The Bahamas". Mr Farquharson added: We identified a number of priorities. The four principles of decent work are creation of employment and jobs, social dialogue, social protection, and fundamental rights of work.

Peter Goudie, the National Tripartite Council's deputy chairman, said: The purpose of the country diagnostic is to provide an objective assessment of the current situation pertaining to decent work in The Bahamas.

One of the key focuses of the diagnostic was to look at the wider national development context in The Bahamas This is especially important as the DCWP aims to fit within and contribute to the national development objectives.

We first looked at jobs in the labour market, which is a key area of focus. We looked at jobs and skills. We especially looked at unemployment and, even more importantly, youth unemployment.

Mr Goudie said the analysis also looked at skills mismatches and shortages, and the ease of getting jobs. He added: These affect job creation, productivity, enterprise development, diversity of the economy, and support of sustainable economic growth.

"We also focused especially on small and medium-sized enterprises. We then looked at rights at work in social dialogue, and we have a very strong legal framework.There's a strong commitment to social dialogue, especially with the NTC, because we have roots from both the workers, the employers and government. However, there's always opportunity for further strengthening.

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Bahamas a 'trailblazer' for workplace relations - Bahamas Tribune

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