Photo: (left to right) Labour Commissioner Shernel James, Consultant Sir Clare Roberts, Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Labour Ron Dublin-Collins, CIC Executive Director Brenda John, and SKNTLU President Joseph O'Flaherty
Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 07, 2018 (SKNIS): The establishment of a labour code in St. Kitts and Nevis, which involves consolidating 15 pieces of legislation, has been applauded by the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC).

Representatives of the CIC helped to shape the draft labour document through their membership on the National Tripartite Committee. The other committee members represent the Government, as well as the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNTLU).

At the 2nd Annual National Conference on Labour held on Thursday (December 06, 2018), Executive Director of the CIC, Brenda John, noted the value of modern labour law reforms.

“A consolidation of the labour laws into a single labour code will have the added benefit of allowing existing employers and potential investors the ability to assess the full cost of doing business and it also empowers workers with full knowledge of their rights,” Mrs. John stated.

“To date, tripartite dialogue has successfully resulted in consensus amendment of employment legislation in St. Kitts and Nevis. If we continue to build on this practice, our nation can continue to demonstrate leadership in the Caribbean and therefore preserve its relatively harmonious industrial relations climate,” she added.

Joseph O’Flaherty, President of the SKNTLU said that over the years his organization has pursued the establishment of a labour code and expressed pleasure with the current collaborative effort to accomplish this goal.

“This labour code exercise will make it easier to conduct business in our federation with respect to the world of work. We welcome fresh eyes, minds, voices and opinions of all stakeholders willing to participate in this daunting, but important endeavour,” he said, adding that the SKNTLU was looking forward to further improvements in the labour environment.

The proposed labour code is expected to go to Cabinet in the first quarter of 2019.