Government has moved a step closer to ratifying the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, which was adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2011.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said her Ministry was in the process of finalising a project for domestic workers which would inform the ratification of the Convention.

Speaking at the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) Mid-Term Delegates Conference at the Horatio Cooke Auditorium, she explained that the project included a baseline study to determine the conditions under which domestic work exists in Barbados and a needs assessment to ascertain any challenges which domestic workers encounter and ways in which these may be resolved.

The Labour Minister pointed out that the ratification of the Convention would have implications for existing legislation as Government sought to ensure there are better standards and conditions for all domestic workers.

“We do realise that the Employment Rights Act covers all workers and we will examine the recommendations from the study and determine whether the recently enacted legislation is sufficiently adequate to cover domestic workers, if it needs amending or if a review of the Domestic Employees Act will be required.

She disclosed that the Ministry of Labour was also working to create new legislation to replace the Recruiting of Workers Act, the Immigration Act and the Employment Exchanges Act.

Dr. Byer Suckoo added that drafting instructions to formulate new legislation on employment agencies is also receiving the attention of the Chief Labour Officer.

“We also expect that the finalisation of legislation dealing with sexual harassment and anti-discrimination in the workplace will redound to the benefit of domestic workers since the baseline study has also raised these issues as some of the challenges they face,” the Labour Minister said.

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