News Categories: Media Release

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

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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

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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
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04 Sep
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

$2 Billion Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Back to School Grants to PATH Beneficiaries

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

 

$2 Billion Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Back to School Grants to PATH Beneficiaries

  

 

The Government of Jamaica is providing $2.03 Billion in Back to School Grants to beneficiary students under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and the Poor Relief Programme. Over 150,000 beneficiary students in primary and secondary schools are each set to receive $10,000.00 in added benefits, provided by the Special Economic Relief Programme (SERP), which was recently announced by Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke. This is in addition to the annual PATH Back to School Grant of $3,500.00 per beneficiary student, which was introduced in September 2018.

The Back to School Grants are being delivered to eligible families by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, along with the regular bi-monthly PATH payout, which began on Monday, August 22, 2022.

In addition to the Back to School Grants, the Ministry has budgeted a further $40 Million for Post-Secondary Grants, as incentives to former beneficiary students who continue to pursue studies at levels up to Associate Degrees, and a further $424 Million in Tertiary Bursaries, for those pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees in tertiary institutions accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).

Each Tertiary Bursary is valued at $100,000.00 per year, and is available for up to four (4) years of study, conditioned on satisfactory performance.

 

 

 

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

Labour Minister Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Jamaican Farm Worker in Canada

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 

Labour Minister Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Jamaican Farm Worker in Canada

  

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is expressing deep sadness at the passing of Mr Garvin Yapp, a 57 year old worker who participated in the Ministry’s Farm Work Programme in Canada.

Yapp, who hails from Tangle River District in St James, is a 35 year veteran of the programme, and was held in such high esteem that his employer would vacation at Yapp’s home on his visits to Jamaica.

Circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated, however, preliminary reports are that on August 14, he was involved in a work-related accident and was pronounced dead on site.

A team from the Ministry’s Family Services Unit has visited with Mr Yapp’s family and has been offering psycho-social and other support.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, who, along with the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Colette Roberts Risden, is currently touring farms in Canada, spoke with Mr Yapp’s widow by telephone earlier this afternoon. The Minister expressed his condolences and assured her of the Ministry’s continued support.

 

 

 

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

Increased Job Opportunities Coming for Jamaican Hospitality Workers

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, August 12, 2022

 

Increased Job Opportunities Coming for Jamaican Hospitality Workers

  

 

Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, hosted a meeting with a team of recruiters to discuss prospects for increased overseas employment opportunities for Jamaican Hospitality Workers, on Tuesday, August 9.

The team, led by Mrs. Veronica Birkenstock, President of Practical Employee Solutions (PES), engaged the Permanent Secretary in discussions on expanding the number of workers on PES Properties. PES has been participating with the Jamaica Central Labour Organization (JCLO) programme for over 25 years.

According to Birkenstock, up to July 28, 2022 there were approximately 374 Jamaicans from the Government operated programme on PES Properties, noting that there are opportunities for increased engagements.  Director of Recruiting of Omni Hilton, SC, Mr.  Martin Lake, stressed his organization’s keen interest in returning workers, noting that “the returning worker is gold”, due to their prior experience and ability to “hit the ground running” in contrast to new workers who had a steeper learning curve.

Director of Associate Services, Mrs. Dorothy Beek, expressed a desire to start interviewing workers in Jamaica again, “preferably as soon as September 2022”.

For her part, Mrs Roberts Risden reiterated the fact that Jamaica places great value on the US/Jamaica partnership, and assured the team of the Ministry’s capacity to recruit and engage eligible workers for the September recruitment drive, and indicated that plans are in place to dispatch groups of workers via Montego Bay in addition to the current dispatches from Kingston.

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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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Cayman Delegation

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, August 12, 2022

 

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Cayman Delegation

  

 

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, today hosted a delegation from the Cayman Islands at his North Street office.  The delegation was led by Hon. Christopher Saunders, deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Labour. The Deputy Premier was accompanied by Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport, Mr. Vinton Chinsee, Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Wesley Howell, Chief Officer, UK Passport.

Minister Samuda expressed pleasure in welcoming the delegation, noting that the Caribbean is a melting pot of races and cultures which share a common core of heritage and lifestyles.  For his part, Minister Saunders congratulated Jamaica on the quality of talent which the island continues to export, noting that the Jamaicans accounted for the second largest population in Cayman, second only in numbers to Caymanians.

Minister Samuda, who was accompanied by Chief Technical Director, Mrs. Dionne Jennings, engaged the delegation in discussions on the systems used to grant Work Permits in Jamaica, noting that as much as 57% of Cayman’s labour force is imported. Minister Samuda disclosed that approximately 5,000 persons are currently in Jamaica on Work Permits, representing 0.4% of the employed labour force. The Minister emphasized the fact that a Jamaican Work Permit is not a Permanent Visa, and explained that one condition of granting Work Permits is that the employer must ensure that Jamaicans benefit from training by the immigrant team, as a means of building capacity in the Jamaican workforce, thereby reducing the need to continue to import skilled labour in those fields.

Further discussions are to be held with the Cayman team, which has also expressed an interest in replicating Jamaica’s HEART Trust NSTA, as a means of building Cayman’s pool of local persons certified in Vocational Skills.

 

 

 

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

Labour Ministry Averts Industrial Action at JPS

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

 

Labour Ministry Averts Industrial Action at JPS

  

 

The Ministry of Labour & Social Security this afternoon received reports that workers employed to the Jamaica Public Service company were restive following a breakdown in wage talks between the company and workers represented by the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.

Following conciliation talks, the parties reached an agreement and normalcy has returned to the company.

The Hon. Karl Samuda has commended the parties on the maturity in handling the discussions that facilitated the settlement of the protracted negotiations.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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