Occupational Safety and Health Bill passage expected by year end

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill (2017) is expected to be passed in Parliament by December 2019.

“The Bill is now before a joint select committee… and we intend to pass it in this [2019/20] fiscal year,” he advised.

Holness made the announcement at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s awards banquet at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, to mark the centenary of the International Labour Organization’s formation and the promulgation of the Trade Union Act in Jamaica.

The OSH Bill is intended to repeal the Factories Act (1943), which is limited in scope and excludes vital sectors and groups such as finances, shops and offices, agriculture, and the public sector.

The proposed legislation’s introduction is expected to usher in a new paradigm in workplace safety and health across Jamaica.

Holness said the Bill will set and improve standards for safety and security in the workplace for employees and employers.

The prime minister also assured that the Government remains committed to reviewing Jamaica’s labour legislation.

“We’re going to be directing attention to the scope of our laws and regulations, to clarify responsibilities among the social partners and ensure effective protection of workers,” he said.

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