Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the implementation of flexi-work arrangements is vital to increasing productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, in the public and private sectors.
The Minister, who was opening the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, said flexi-work arrangements will facilitate a more attractive investment climate, allowing companies to take advantage of off-peak rates (Saturdays and Sundays), on overheads such as utilities.
He said employers will also be able to make more efficient use of their capital resources.
“In manufacturing, for example, it will result in more productive work days per year and the use of machinery for longer hours each day,” Dr. Phillips said.
In addition, he pointed out that flexible work arrangements will allow for wider and better customer service, due to varied opening hours and more business days.
“Most importantly, it will provide workers the opportunity to better manage their time between work hours, school hours and other parental opportunities,” the Finance Minister cited.
The flexi-work arrangement allows for a variable work schedule, where the worker and employer arrange the traditional 40-hour work week as best suits their needs.
Dr. Phillips noted that labour reform is essential if Jamaica is to retain its qualified workers. He asserted that the recently tabled Flexible Work Arrangements legislation (The Employment (Flexible Work Arrangements) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2014, is a first step in this regard.
He explained that the legislation is crucial to fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and attracting investments.
By Andrea Braham