News Categories: Media Release

22 Mar
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Ramps-Up Measures to Curtail Employment Scams and Illegal Operators of Unlicensed Employment Agencies

labour ministry with coat of arms

Communication Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Ramps-Up Measures to Curtail Employment Scams and Illegal Operators of Unlicensed Employment Agencies

 

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has ramped up its efforts to curtail employment scams and clamp down on illegal operators involved in recruiting persons to work overseas. Since the start of the year, investigations conducted by the Ministry’s Employment Agencies Unit, have identified 12 illegal recruitment activities.

Cease and Desist Orders were issued to the illegal operators. In at least 4 cases, the operators have been ordered to refund fees to their applicants, while two cases have been referred to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Fraud Squad for prosecution.

The Ministry is again reminding operators that, under the Employment Agencies Act, any entity intending to engage in the recruitment of workers in Jamaica, for local or overseas jobs is required to obtain a licence from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Each licence is valid for 12 months.

In the wake of a recent upsurge in employment scams, the Ministry has announced that it has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to employment scamming. Individuals or organizations operating without valid licences are urged to immediately cease and desist, and are encouraged to visit the Ministry’s offices to regularize their operations. Recruiters from overseas are encouraged to work with licensed employment agencies. Persons found operating in breach of the law may be fined

One Million dollars ($1,000,000.00) and/or face up to twelve (12) months imprisonment.

In the meantime, the Ministry is renewing its appeal to members of the public to ensure that they are working with licensed operators and to check the authenticity of job offers before paying over monies to recruiters. To confirm the authenticity of any offer for overseas employment or to confirm the list of Employment Agencies which are licensed to operate in Jamaica, contact the Ministry’s Employment Agencies Unit via WhatsApp at 876-553-5457 or visit the Ministry’s Website at www.mlss.gov.jm.

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Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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10 Mar
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour Ministry Calls Emergency Conciliatory Meeting between Ministry of Education & JTA for the resubmission of Normality in Schools across the Island

labour ministry with coat of arms

Communication Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, March 9, 2023

 

Labour Ministry Calls Emergency Conciliatory Meeting between Ministry of Education & JTA for the resubmission of Normality in Schools across the Island

 

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has called an emergency conciliatory meeting for Friday, March 10, 2023, commencing at 8:30 am between the Ministry of Education and Youth and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association. The meeting will be held at the North Street Head Office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

This is in response to a request made this afternoon by the Education Ministry for the intervention of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, based on the apparent industrial action reportedly being taken by teachers in government administered educational institutions island wide.

The teachers, who are represented by the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, have rejected the Government’s latest wage offer.

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Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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09 Mar
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Pays Tribute to the Late Charles Jones, former Chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal

labour ministry with coat of arms

Communication Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Pays Tribute to the Late Charles Jones, former Chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal

 

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Charles Jones, former Chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal. Mr. Jones served the Tribunal in both the capacities of Deputy Chairman and Chairman, for a combined period of nearly twelve years, from November 1, 2009, to August 31, 2021, and presided over the settlement of several landmark cases.

Professionally, he was a committed Jamaican – one who dedicated words and actions to the growth, development and prosperity of this beloved country; one who was passionate about the empowerment of Jamaicans. His unwavering commitment to resolving Labour Disputes with impartiality, integrity, and fairness made him a respected and valued member of the Jamaican Labour Relations Landscape.

He played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Western Division of the IDT and served as the first Chairman of the interim panel for that division.

His pursuit of fairness and justice has left an indelible mark on the Industrial Disputes Tribunal. His professionalism, dedication and jovial personality will be remembered and treasured by the team at the IDT and the wider Ministry.

The Ministry of Labour & Social Security and the Industrial Disputes Tribunal extend heartfelt condolences to the widow, family and friends of the late Mr. Charles Jones.

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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27 Feb
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Advises Caution in Responding to Job Fairs Advertised on Social Media

labour ministry with coat of arms

Communication Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, February 23, 2023

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Advises Caution in Responding to Job Fairs Advertised on Social Media

 

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is aware that Flyers have been circulating on Social Media, advertising Job Fairs for overseas opportunities. We are also aware of numerous persons have responded to these advertisements, and paid fees, only to realize that the individuals are operating illegally.

Members of the public are being urged to visit the Ministry’s Website at www.mlss.gov.jm to confirm the list of Employment Agencies which are licensed to operate in Jamaica, before engaging with employment offers. Persons may also contact the Ministry’s Employment Agencies Unit at 876-676-5806 or via email at employmentagenciesunit.ja@mlss.gov.jm for information.

The Ministry has established a hotline at 876-553-5457 to facilitate reports via WhatsApp. Persons who believe that they have been fleeced are encouraged to immediately contact the Ministry, and to report the matter to the JCF’s Fraud Squad.

Any individual or entity intending to engage in the recruitment of workers in Jamaica, for placement in jobs, locally or overseas is required, under the Employment Agencies Act, to obtain a Licence from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which is renewable annually.

Any person found to be operating in breach may be subject to a fine of One Million dollars ($1,000,000.00) and or up to twelve (12) months imprisonment, on conviction.

Individuals or entities operating without valid licences are urged to cease and desist and are strongly advised to immediately pursue steps to regularize their operations, as the Ministry has a zero-tolerance approach to employment scamming and illegal operators.

The head of the US delegation, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, Julie Stufft, confirmed that the Overseas Employment Programme and the Jamaican workers were highly valued by the US government, and the participating employers, noting that “Jamaica has a product which everyone wants”. Ms. Stufft assured the Jamaican team that her office would engage the relevant US government departments to explore recommendations for the expansions being sought by Jamaica.

The meeting was held at the Ministry’s North Street office in Kingston.

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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21 Feb
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Jamaican Government Redoubles Efforts to Increase Overseas Employment Opportunities for Jamaicans

labour ministry with coat of arms

Communication Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, February 3, 2023

 

Jamaican Government Redoubles Efforts to Increase Overseas Employment Opportunities for Jamaicans

 

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is redoubling its efforts to increase the share of visas granted to Jamaicans for participation in the Seasonal Agricultural and Hospitality programmes in the United States.

On Wednesday, February 1, Hon. Karl Samuda and a team led by Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, hosted a meeting with representatives from the Embassy of the United States, to discuss the current visa arrangements under which Jamaicans are able to participate under both components of the programme.

Approximately 5000 Jamaican agricultural workers travel to the US each year to engage in a variety of farming activities including planting and harvesting of fruit and vegetable crops. While placement on the agricultural (H2A) component of the programme is exclusively managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, placement on the Hospitality (H2B) component is facilitated both by the Government of Jamaica and private Employment Agencies, licensed to operate by the Ministry. This component has experienced steady growth over the years, with the exception of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced drastic reductions in the hospitality industry. In 2022, approximately 12,000 Jamaicans obtained employment through the H-2B programme.

In recognizing the value of the programme to both the US and Jamaican economies, Minister Samuda said “We want to ensure that Jamaica’s presence in the US benefits both Jamaica and the United States”. He noted that “many Jamaicans have been able to provide opportunities for their children, because of the programme, and many US farmers owe their success to the contribution of the Jamaican worker”. The Minister assured the team that the government was taking definitive steps to ensure that participating workers are properly oriented, noting that “they are our ambassadors, and so we must ensure that they know what is expected of them, what they are to expect, and how to conduct themselves”. Minister Samuda praised the US Government for its support of the programme, noting that the relationship reflects a “good partnership, based on friendship and mutual respect”. He however emphasized that Jamaica stands ready to supply significantly more workers.

The head of the US delegation, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, Julie Stufft, confirmed that the Overseas Employment Programme and the Jamaican workers were highly valued by the US government, and the participating employers, noting that “Jamaica has a product which everyone wants”. Ms. Stufft assured the Jamaican team that her office would engage the relevant US government departments to explore recommendations for the expansions being sought by Jamaica.

The meeting was held at the Ministry’s North Street office in Kingston.

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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01 Dec
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Christmas Day to be celebrated on Monday, December 26, 2022

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, December 1, 2022

 

Christmas Day to be celebrated on Monday, December 26, 2022

 

 

The Holiday (Public General) Act, provides that whenever Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then the Monday (December 26) and the Tuesday (December 27) are to be observed as Public General Holidays.

Consequently, the public is being advised that as Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, Monday, December 26, 2022, and Tuesday, December 27, 2022, will be observed as Public General Holidays.

Similarly, as New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, Monday, January 2, 2022, will be observed as a Public General Holiday.

 

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Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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11 Oct
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

World Bank Delegation Pays Courtesy Call on Minister of Labour and Social Security

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Monday, September 26, 2022

 

World Bank Delegation Pays Courtesy Call on Minister of Labour and Social Security

 

 

The Government of Jamaica (through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service) and the World Bank are in discussion to design a new Social Protection Project. A delegation led by Mr. Luis Benveniste, Regional Director of Human Resource Development for the World Bank’s Latin American and the Caribbean Region, paid a Courtesy Call on Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, to discuss operationalization of the proposed project. The project will be executed through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

The project aims to strengthen Jamaica’s Social Protection Programmes and Systems in order to improve resilience of and increase opportunities for the Jamaican population. Among its objectives are

· expansion of current social insurance provisions to include Unemployment Insurance

· development of a Social Protection Information System (SPIS)

· capacity building of systems and human resources for effective disaster risk management response and

· strengthening of Labour Market Services

The project will be implemented through a number of strategic partnerships with government Ministries and agencies, including the Planning Institute of Jamaica, and the HEART NSTA Trust.

Minister Samuda expressed enthusiastic anticipation of the Project, which he says, “must establish systems to reduce waiting time from application to delivery of benefits. The digitization and streamlining of systems between agencies, to facilitate cross-referencing across government programmes in order to reduce duplication of benefits, as well as errors of exclusion and inclusion, is a priority”. “Training and certification of the Jamaican workforce in keeping with international standards, to make the workforce more marketable, is key”, said the Minister.

The World Bank is expected to field a Pre-Appraisal Mission to agree on further details of the project in early October, with a view to completing remaining steps ahead of approval by December. The $US25Million project is expected to begin implementation in June 2023.

 

Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Labour & Social Security (L) shares a light moment with Mr. Luis Benveniste, Regional Director of Human Resource Development for the World Bank’s Latin American and the Caribbean Region (C) along with Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, (3rd L), Director of Social Security, Ms. Suzette Morris (2nd L), and other members of the World Bank delegation.

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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11 Oct
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Chinese Gov’t Congratulates Jamaica on Economic Growth and Decreasing Unemployment: Both Pledge to Strengthen Bilateral Relations

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

 

Chinese Gov’t Congratulates Jamaica on Economic Growth and Decreasing Unemployment: Both Pledge to Strengthen Bilateral Relations

 

 

The Government of Jamaica has been lauded by the Government of China for the current level of growth in the economy, and the steady reduction in the rate of unemployment. As at April 2022, Jamaica’s unemployment rate stood at a 6%, in contrast to a high of 12.6% in July 2020.

During a Courtesy Call on Minister Samuda on September 7, His Excellency Chen Daojiang, Ambassador Extraordinary of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, congratulated the Labour Minister on the country’s high level of employment, noting that “nearly every Jamaican has a job”.

In response, Minister Samuda stated that Jamaica’s success is due in large part to the cooperation and support provided by the Government of China, especially in construction and infrastructure development, which he noted, has been “greatly enhanced by cooperation with the Chinese Government”. The Minister further expressed his satisfaction with the level of expertise which Chinese construction and infrastructure companies have brought to Jamaica, and the attendant transfer of knowledge to the Jamaican workforce. The Ambassador noted that up to 96% of the workforce engaged in some infrastructure projects are Jamaican nationals.

Minister Samuda said that he expects the continued “partnership to bear great fruit in the future”. In a reference to China’s underwater highways which he had personally experienced, the Minister commended the Ambassador on what he called the “infrastructural exploits of China” noting that the “technology was unprecedented in the world”.

The Ambassador expressed his pleasure at the state of China/Jamaica bi-lateral relations, and pledged his support to the elevation of the existing relationship toward the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries. He noted that the recently constructed Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) building and the North/South Highway are “new landmarks of the China/Jamaica friendship”, noting that Chinese nationals were being encouraged to integrate with the Jamaican workers, thereby strengthening their mutual social development. Ambassador Chen Daojiang observed that there are currently more than 60,000 Chinese nationals residing in Jamaica, collectively contributing more than $2billion annually to the country’s social/economic development.

For his part, Minister Samuda confirmed the existence of a large Chinese community in Jamaica over many decades, and remarked that the current work arrangements are likely to increase the proportion of Chinese descendants in Jamaica. He assured the Ambassador of the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring the expeditious processing of Work Permits “for Chinese nationals whose expertise is needed on development projects in Jamaica”.

Chinese nationals are the largest group of international workers in Jamaica, accounting for 40% of Work Permits approved annually.

Ambassador Chen Daojiang noted that 2022 marks fifty years of Bilateral Relations between the peoples of Jamaica and China, and advised the Minister that his government is planning a series of activities to observe the milestone.

 

(l-r) Permanent Secretary, Colette Roberts Risden, Minister of Labour & Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, Chinese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Chen Daojiang and Mr. Hu Yumin, Deputy Chief of Mission and Political Counsellor of the Embassy, share in a light photographic moment after a Courtesy Call at the Ministry’s Office in Kingston on Wednesday.

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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05 Sep
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Canadian Gov’t Supports Labour Minister’s Task Force Initiative to Investigate Working Conditions of Jamaicans on Canadian Farms

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday , September 1, 2022

 

Canadian Gov’t Supports Labour Minister’s Task Force Initiative to Investigate Working Conditions of Jamaicans on Canadian Farms

 

 

Labour and Social Security Minister, Honourable Karl Samuda, has received the support of the Canadian Government for the commissioning of a Fact-Finding team, to investigate the working conditions of Jamaican Farmworkers in Canada.

During a Courtesy Call on Minister Samuda this afternoon (September 1), Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, noted that the Canadian Government shares Jamaica’s concern for the safety and security of the Jamaican workers, and commended the Minister’s decision.

The High Commissioner further noted that the Jamaican workers in Canada have maintained a solid reputation as good workers, and gave her Government’s commitment to support tactical solutions identified by the task force to improve conditions wherever necessary.

In the meantime, Minister Samuda indicated that it is essential for both governments to work closely together to strengthen the bilateral partnership to protect the interests of both the Jamaican Farmworkers and their employers in Canada, as well as the value and integrity of the programme. He added that, although the Farm Work programme had improved significantly over the decades, there is room for continuous improvement. The Minister assured the High Commissioner that the Ministry’s Liaison Service has been tasked with redoubling its efforts at ensuring that workers have easy access to existing mechanisms to facilitate confidentiality in reporting issues of poor working conditions and other concerns.

The Ministry is inviting Farm Workers, advocate groups and members of the public to report known incidences of mistreatment, poor working conditions and other concerns to the Liaison Service via its Toll-free line at 1-888-898-3951, or via email at jamliser@bellnet.ca. Reports may also be made confidentially to the Canadian authorities’ Integrity Services Branch online.

(l-r) Divisional Director for Industrial Relations, Gillian Corrodus, Permanent Secretary, Colette Roberts Risden, Minister of Labour & Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, Head of Migration, Sean Morency and Head of Bilateral Relations, Stephanie O’Leary, engage in discussions regarding the Minister’s recent visit to Canada, where he led a team on a tour of nine farms on which Jamaicans are employed.

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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05 Sep
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Minister of Labour Appoints Fact Finding Team for Canada

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, September 1, 2022

 

Minister of Labour Appoints Fact Finding Team for Canada

  

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda has appointed a special fact-finding team to investigate the working conditions of Jamaican workers under the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers (Farm Work) Programme.

The six-member tripartite team is expected to travel to Canada to observe operations and speak with workers on the farms, and provide a report to the Minister.

Further details will follow.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
Like and follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mlssjamaica/?ref=bookmarks; Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamaicaMlss and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mlssjamaica Visit our website: www.mlss.gov.jm for more

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