Gov’t moves to ratify ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

Gov’t moves to ratify ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

Saturday, July 02, 2016

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the Government will be moving quickly to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention on Domestic Workers.

Giving the keynote address at the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Award luncheon at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on Thursday, Holness said he recognises the value of Jamaica signing on to the convention.

"I am going to go back to my office and send a note to Minister (of Labour and Social Security) Shahine Robinson for her to bring that convention to us so that we can very quickly do the appropriate thing," he said.

The Convention on Domestic Workers, formally the Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, was adopted during the 100th session of the ILO held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2011 and entered into force in September 2013.

It is aimed at guaranteeing fundamental labour rights to an estimated 53 million domestic workers worldwide.

Ratifying the convention could mean better working conditions for Jamaican household workers and ensure adequate compensation. There is an estimated 100,000 household workers in Jamaica.

"It doesn’t matter your station or your position, what is important is your commitment, your honesty and your integrity... In modern-day Jamaica, we must recognise the work of household workers as a profession," Holness said.

The prime minister, in the meantime, lauded GraceKennedy for implementing the Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Award, noting that it is a good demonstration of corporate social responsibility by the company.

He commended the winners and nominees. "Your employers recommended you to this championship because of your service to them and I want you to maintain that and to pass on the value of service to your friends and your colleagues," the prime minister said.

Millicent Clunis and Michael Lawson took the top awards, each receiving $300,000 from GraceKennedy; $25,000 gift vouchers from Hi-Lo Food Stores; $30,000 savings accounts from First Global Bank Limited; and trophies.

The runners-up were Elizabeth Watson Warren and Denham Coke, who were presented with $200,000, $20,000 savings accounts from First Global Bank, and trophies.

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