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MINUTES OF THE HONOURABLE JAMAICA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES At a meeting of the Members of the House of Representatives held pursuant to adjournment at Gordon House in the City and Parish of Kingston on Tuesday, the 26 TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2010. The House met at 2:14 p.m. o’clock. Prayers were offered by the Honourable Michael Stern. Call of the Roll. PRESENT WERE: The Honourable Delroy Hawmin Chuck, Speaker Mrs. Marisa Colleen Dalrymple Philibert, MP, Deputy Speaker The Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, MP, Minister of Education & Leader of the House The Honourable Orette Bruce Golding, MP, Prime Minister & Minister of Defence The Honourable Dr. Kenneth Leigh O’Neill Baugh, MP, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade The Honourable Audley Fitz Albert Shaw, MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service The Honourable Karl George Samuda, O.D., MP, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Investment The Honourable Pearnel Patroe Charles, C.D., MP, Minister of Labour and Social Security The Honourable Rudyard Conrad Spencer, O.D., MP, Minister of Health The Honourable Lester Michael Henry, C.D., MP, Minister of Transport and Works
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Page 1: MINUTES - Parliament of Jamaica of Representatives.pdfFarriers, the Off Track Associations, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the Jamaica Racehorse Owners Association.

MINUTES

OF THE

HONOURABLE JAMAICA HOUSE

OF REPRESENTATIVES

At a meeting of the Members of the House of Representatives held pursuant to adjournment at Gordon House in the City and Parish of Kingston on Tuesday, the

26TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2010.

The House met at 2:14 p.m. o’clock. Prayers were offered by the Honourable Michael Stern. Call of the Roll.

PRESENT WERE:

The Honourable Delroy Hawmin Chuck, Speaker

Mrs. Marisa Colleen Dalrymple Philibert, MP, Deputy Speaker The Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, MP, Minister of Education & Leader of the House The Honourable Orette Bruce Golding, MP, Prime Minister & Minister of Defence The Honourable Dr. Kenneth Leigh O’Neill Baugh, MP, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade The Honourable Audley Fitz Albert Shaw, MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service The Honourable Karl George Samuda, O.D., MP, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Investment The Honourable Pearnel Patroe Charles, C.D., MP, Minister of Labour and Social Security The Honourable Rudyard Conrad Spencer, O.D., MP, Minister of Health The Honourable Lester Michael Henry, C.D., MP, Minister of Transport and Works

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The Honourable Edmund Curtis Bartlett, MP, Minister of Tourism The Honourable Neville Andrew Gallimore, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security & Deputy Leader Dr. the Honourable Christopher Charles Tufton, MP, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries The Honourable Daryl Wesley Phillip Vaz, MP, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Communication The Honourable Clifford Everald Errol Warmington, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Water and Housing The Honourable Shahine Elizabeth Robinson, MP, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister The Honourable Robert St. Aubyn Montague, MP, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister The Honourable Michael Anthony Stern, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment The Honourable Laurence George Broderick, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining Mr. Noel George Delano Arscott, MP, Clarendon, South Western Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett, MP, St. Andrew, Eastern Mr. Luther Bartley Monteith Buchanan, MP, Westmoreland, Eastern Mr. Roger Harold Clifford Clarke, MP, Westmoreland, Central Dr. Omar Lloyd Davies, MP, St. Andrew, Southern Mr. Colin Alfred Alexander Fagan, MP, St. Catherine, South Eastern Dr. Morais Valentine Guy, MP, St. Mary, Central Ms. Lisa Rene Shanti Hanna, MP, St. Ann, South Eastern Mr. Ian Dave Hayles, MP, Hanover, Western Mrs. Maxine Antoinette Henry-Wilson, MP, St. Andrew, South Eastern

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Mr. Joseph Uriah Hibbert, MP, St. Andrew, East Rural Mr. George Anthony Hylton, MP, St. Andrew, Western

Mr. Derrick Flavius Kellier, C.D., MP, St. James, Southern Mr. Desmond Gregory Mair, MP, St. Catherine, North Eastern Mr. Clive Arthur Mullings, MP, St. James, West Central Mrs. Natalie Gaye Neita-Headley, MP, St. Catherine, East Central Mr. Phillip Feanny Paulwell, MP, Kingston Eastern & Port Royal Mr. Dean Alexander Peart, C.D., MP, Manchester, North Western Mr. Michael Anthony Peart, MP, Manchester, Southern Mr. Tarn Andrew Peralto, MP, St. Mary, South Eastern Dr. Peter David Phillips, MP, St. Andrew, East Central Mr. Robert Dixon Pickersgill, MP, St. Catherine, North Western The Most Honourable Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller, O.N., MP, St. Andrew, South Western Mr. Derrick Charles Smith, MP, St. Andrew, North Western Reverend Ronald George Thwaites, MP, Kingston, Central Mr. Franklyn Robert Witter, MP, St. Elizabeth, South Eastern The Minister of Education and Leader of the House, the Honourable Andrew Holness, expressed condolences on the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Burke, former Archbishop of the Diocese of Kingston, who died on Sunday, January 24, 2010. The Leader of Opposition Business, Mr. Derrick Kellier and the Reverend Ronald Thwaites also extended condolences.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Clerk laid on the Table of the House a copy of the following:

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Report of the Joint Select Committee on its deliberations

on the Report on Green Paper No. 4/01 regarding “Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements”

(Presented by the Houses of Parliament)

Special Report of the Special Select Committee of the House of Representatives to consider and report on the

Bills shortly entitled “The Casino Gaming Act, 2009” and the “Betting Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act, 2009”

(Presented by the Houses of Parliament)

The Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Regulations, 2008 under

The Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Presented by the Ministry of Finance & the Public Service)

(The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honourable Olivia Grange entered and took her seat).

BILLS BROUGHT FROM THE SENATE The Clerk presented the following message from the President of the Senate: TO THE HONOURABLE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES I have the honour to advise the Honourable House of Representatives that on the 22nd day of January, 2010 a Bill entitled “AN ACT to make provision for the dematerialization of certain government securities; and for connected matters” was passed in the Senate with 27 amendments, for which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable House. Amendments: Clause 2 - 1. Insert next after the definition of “commencement date” the

following-

“dematerialized” in relation to a security means that the prima facie evidence of legal title to the security is established by an electronic book entry;

“dematerialization” means the issuance and recording of securities in electronic format ;”.

2. In the definition of “immobilization”-

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(a) delete the words “any circumstances where” and substitute therefor the words “the process by which”

(b) delete the words “have been” and substitute therefor the word “are”

(c) delete the word “owner does” and substitute therefor the word “holders do”

(d) insert next after the words “of the security” the words “and “immobilized” shall be construed accordingly”.

3. Delete the definitions for “immobilization date” and “immobilized security.”

4. Delete from the definition of “licensed central securities agency” the word “agency” and substitute therefor the word “depository”

Clause 7 - 1. In subsection (1) -

(a) delete the words “ownership of” and substitute therefor the words “legal title to”

(b) Insert immediately after the words “Government Security” the words “entered therein”.

2. In subsection (2) delete the word “authorized” and substitute therefor the word “certified”

Clause 8 - 1. Delete from subsection (1) the words “date of commencement” and

substitute therefor the words “commencement date”

2. Delete subsections (2) and (3) and substitute therefor the following:

“ (2) The legal title to any Government security issued after the commencement date shall be acquired, evidenced and transferred electronically and without a written instrument.

“ (3) On or after the commencement date, payment of interest on a dematerialized Government security shall be effected by electronic means and in accordance with the provisions of this Act and regulations made hereunder”.

Editorial amendments - 1. Delete the sub-heading to Clause 9 – “Immobilization

of Government Securities”

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2. Delete the word “Immobilization” in the marginal notes and substitute therefor the words “Conversion procedure”.

Clause 9 - 1. Delete subsection (2) and substitute therefor the following-

“ (2) The Government securities shall be delivered to the Registrar who shall credit the principal value of the securities to the securities account of the respective holders, whereupon, such securities shall be converted into dematerialized Government securities.”.

2. In subsection (4) -

(a) delete the words “time limit” and substitute therefor the words “time period”; and

(b) insert immediately after the words “commencing on the” the word “first”

3. Delete subsection (5) and substitute therefor the following:

“ (5) After the expiration of the time period, Government securities that are not dematerialized may only be transferred after they have been converted into dematerialized Government securities.”

Clause 10 - Delete paragraph (b) and renumber paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) as

paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) respectively. Clause 11 - Insert immediately after the words “by order,” the words “subject to

negative resolution”. Clause 12 - Insert immediately after the words “by order,” the words “subject to

negative resolution”. Clause 13 - Insert in the proposed section 41A next after subsection (2), the following

as subsection (3) –

“ (3) Any depository of securities or other instruments operated by the Bank without legislative authority before the commencement date of the Government Securities Dematerialization Act is hereby declared to have been validly and lawfully operated and the Bank and all officers and agents thereof are hereby indemnified from any legal action arising due to the operation of such depository.”.

Oswald G. Harding, OJ, CD, QC President of the Senate

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The Minister of Finance and the Public Service, the Honourable Audley Shaw, moved that the Senate amendments be approved. Seconded by: Mr. Franklyn Witter. Agreed to.

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, the Honourable Daryl Vaz laid on the Table of the House a copy of the Special Report of the Special Select Committee of the House of Representatives to Consider and Report on the Bills Shortly entitled “The Casino Gaming Act, 2009” and “The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act, 2009” Members of the Honourable House are reminded that on the 17th day of November 2009 the House of Representatives on a motion moved by the Honorable Minister of Finance and the Public Service appointed a Special Select Committee comprised of the following members

Hon. Daryl Vaz, Chairman

Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Hon. Rudyard Spencer

Hon. Everald Warmington

Hon. Laurence Broderick

Mr. Desmond Mair

Dr Omar Davies

Dr Kenneth Wykeham McNeill

Mr. Phillip Paulwell

Ms. Lisa Hanna

to consider and report, on or before the 26th day of January 2010, on the Bills shortly entitled The Casino Gaming Act, 2009 and the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act, 2009. On the 2nd day of December 2009 the House passed another resolution adding Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett and Mr. George Anthony Hylton to the Committee. 2. The Committee commenced sitting on the 10th December 2009 and has held seven meetings to date. Notices were placed in the print media inviting submissions from the public on the Bills. The Committee received written submissions and heard oral presentations from the persons/organizations listed below, on the Bills indicated

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Casino Gaming Act Myers Fletcher and Gordon –representing Tavistock group Mr. John Thompson – Attorney at Law Mr. Keith Russell- Amaterra Jamaica Ltd Betting Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act Mr. Richard Lake - Fortune Gaming Ltd Caymanas Track Ltd. Jamaica Racing Commission A joint submission from the United Racehorse Trainers Association, the Grooms Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Jockeys Guild, the Association of Jamaican Farriers, the Off Track Associations, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the Jamaica Racehorse Owners Association. 3. The submissions from the stakeholders in the racing industry all put forward the view that if the Act were amended to allow an entity to compete with Caymanas Track Ltd on simulcast (overseas racing) it would lead to the demise of Caymanas Track Ltd. which had the responsibility for local racing. This was predicated on the fact that the operations of Caymanas Track Ltd showed a loss on local racing which was mitigated by simulcasts. On the other hand Mr. Lake had put forward the view that his proposal would grow the industry and contribute significantly to the Government’s tax revenue. 4. To date the Committee has completed the hearing of submissions and the clause by clause analysis of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act. 5. The Committee is hereby seeking an extension of two weeks in order to complete its work. The Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Honourable Pearnel Charles, laid on the Table of the House a copy of the Report of the Joint Select Committee on its deliberations on the Report on Green Paper #4 of 2001, regarding Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements: Members of this Honourable House are reminded that on December 11, 2001 the Minister of Labour and Social Security having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved the following motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising the following members:

Hon. Donald Buchanan - Chairman

Hon. Collington Campbell

Hon. Michael Peart

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Rev. Ronald Thwaites

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster

Miss Alethia Barker

Mr. Clifton Stone

Mr. Karl Samuda To sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper No. 4 of 2001 regarding the Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements On December 13, 2001, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders passed a similar resolution: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Aloun Ndombet-Assamba

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe

Senator Rudyard Spencer

Senator Brian Wallace Members of this Honourable House are reminded that on February 25, 2003 the Minister of Labour and Social Security having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved the following motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising the following members:

Hon. Horace Dalley - Chairman

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster

Mr. Victor Cummings

Mr. Lenworth Blake

Mr. Pearnel Charles

Mr. Rudyard Spencer

To sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper No. 4 of 2001 on Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements

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On February 28, 2003, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders passed a similar resolution: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe

Senator Keste Miller

Senator Dwight Nelson

Senator Arthur Williams Members of this Honourable House are reminded that on April 3, 2003 the Minister of Labour and Social Security having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved the following motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising the following members:

Hon. Horace Dalley - Chairman

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster

Mr. Victor Cummings

Mr. Lenworth Blake

Mr. Pearnel Charles

Mr. Rudyard Spencer To sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper No. 4 of 2001 on Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements On April 11, 2003, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders passed a similar resolution: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe

Senator Keste Miller

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Senator Dwight Nelson

Senator Arthur Williams Members of this Honourable House are reminded that on March 31, 2004 the Deputy Leader of the House having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved the following motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Hon. Horace Dalley - Chairman

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster

Mr. Victor Cummings

Mr. Lenworth Blake

Mr. Pearnel Charles

Mr. Rudyard Spencer To sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper No. 4 of 2001 on Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements On April 16, 2004, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders passed a similar resolution: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe

Senator Keste Miller

Senator Dwight Nelson

Senator Arthur Williams Members of this Honourable House are reminded that on May 17, 2005, the Deputy Leader of the House having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved the following motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising the following members:

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Hon. Horace Dalley - Chairman

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster

Mr. Victor Cummings

Mr. Lenworth Blake

Mr. Pearnel Charles

Mr. Rudyard Spencer To sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper No. 4 of 2001 on Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements On May 6, 2005, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders passed a similar resolution: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following members:

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe

Senator Keste Miller

Senator Dwight Nelson

Senator Arthur Williams Members of the Honourable House are reminded that, on January 13, 2009 the Minister of Mining and Telecommunications and the Leader of the House, Hon. Derrick Smith, moved the following motion. BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following Members:

Hon. Pearnel Charles - Chairman

Hon. Rudyard Spencer

Hon. Neville “Andrew” Gallimore

Mr. Derrick Kellier

Mr. Fitz Jackson To sit jointly with a similar Committee to be appointed by the Senate to consider and report on Green Paper #4 of 2001, regarding proposals for the introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements.

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On January 23, 2009 the Senate on a motion moved by the Attorney General, Minister of Justice and Leader of Government Business, Senator the Honourable Dorothy Lightbourne, moved: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable Senate appoint a Special Select Committee comprising of the following Members:

Senator the Honourable Dwight Nelson, CD

Senator Warren Newby

Senator Hyacinth Bennett

Senator Navel Clarke

Senator Norman Grant

The Green Paper #4 of 2001 on the Proposal for Flexible Work Arrangements which is the subject of the committee’s deliberations was first referred to a Joint Select Committee in 2001. Your Committee began its deliberations on the Green Paper on January 30, 2002 and held three (3) meetings during the 2001/02 Parliamentary Session. One (1) meeting was held in both the 2002/03 and 2005/06 Parliamentary Session. During the 2008/09 Parliamentary Session your Committee held two (2) meetings, while 3 meetings were held in 2009/10 Parliamentary Session the last of which took place on January 21, 2010. (Appendices I - III) Recognizing the importance of the subject matter and the impact that the outcome of the deliberations would have on the entire nation, your Committee decided to use a consultative approach in the deliberations. The Committee received written submissions from the following groups and one individual that subsequently made oral presentations to your committee:

West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists - Mrs. Princess Lawes

Jamaica Employers Federation - Mr. Herbert Lewis

Jamaica Chamber of Commerce - Mrs Jean Blackstock

Concerned Church Leaders Group - Rev. Earl Thames, Convener

Bureau of Women’s Affairs

Mr. Martin Henry – Citizen and Gleaner Columnist

Your Committee also heard an oral presentation from the Working Group looking at the Impact of the Implementation of the Flexible Working Arrangements on Religious Worship and Family Life (Ministry of Labour and Social Security). In the 2005/06 Parliamentary Session one meeting was held in which the Concerned Church Leaders’ Group, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Jamaica Evangelist Church participated.

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Your current Committee continued the deliberations on flexible work arrangements in the 2008/09 session and the 2009/10 session. The groups that participated in the deliberations in the previous Parliamentary Sessions were asked to indicate whether their position on the subject matter had changed and the response given was that the ideas postulated at the commencement of the deliberations remained the same. In the current Parliamentary Session, the Bureau of Women’s Affairs made a submission to your Committee in which they put forward a gender perspective on flexible work arrangements. Your Committee also received technical assistance from representatives from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Concept of Flexible Work Arrangements The deliberations of your Committee are guided by the concept that Flexible work arrangements are made between employers and workers to meet the demands for a more efficient productive process in the global economy. Employers are afforded the opportunity to maximize their investments in resources, while employees gain both economically and socially while productivity increases. These arrangements allow for the negotiations of working hours in accordance with certain minimum standards that are acceptable by all the social partners i.e. the trade unions and the workers, the employers and investors and the Government. The standards to guide the flexible work arrangements include the maximum number of hours per day, overtime payments after 40 hours of work, and designated rest days. A significant degree of flexibility must be allowed to employers and each organization must be allowed to decide on the degree of flexibility necessary to improve productivity. This means that employers and workers may choose their rest arrangements in terms of flexible work time. The concept of flexible work arrangements involves a variable work schedule which permits variations in the traditional work arrangements which normally require an 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday. This variation may include options such as a five day work week of eight hours, a four day work week of ten hours, a three day work week of 10 hours and two additional days during which the workers could work for five hours each day. The broad range of flexible work arrangements include job sharing, compressed work weeks, part time work with benefits and tele-commuting i.e. being able to work outside of the work site e.g. from home. Flexible work arrangements are currently in existence in many work sectors in Jamaica in the form of shift, night and weekend work. This type of work arrangement can be evidenced in the essential services and the tourism, manufacturing, mining and the private security industries. Some of the benefits to be derived from the implementation of flexible work arrangements include:

Increased employment, as more persons could exploit part time work

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Job sharing

Increased tax revenue through increased employment

More time for family and personal interests

Increased productivity

Reduction in labour costs as weekends would be treated as normal work days, payable at normal work time. Currently, Saturdays and Sundays are considered premium days.

Greater availability of service to customers, due to varying opening hours and

closing hours for business. 1.2 Origins of the Discussions on Flexible Work Arrangements The official debate on flexible work arrangements began as far back as the mid 1990’s when a Labour Reform Committee was appointed in February 1995, to develop strategies in the face of challenging changes in the international labour market. Arising from these discussions, as outlined in the Eaton Report of 1996, was a recommendation to introduce flexible working hours. That recommendation was considered in 1997 by the Labour Advisory Council and social partners were invited to present their positions on the matter between 1998 and 2000. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, in the 2000/01 fiscal year appointed a Flexible Work Arrangements Committee to seek to implement the system. That committee comprised representatives of the Labour Tripartite Committee, the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Technology. Subsequently, a Green Paper was prepared, tabled in Parliament and referred to a Joint Select Committee.

In an effort to afford the fullest opportunity for all the different points of view to be brought to the table, the Committee decided to put a Public Notice in the Daily Gleaner to invite interested organizations and individuals to make presentations on the subject matter. The first Public Notice was placed in the Daily Gleaner of February 6, 2002 and February 10, 2002. In June, 2005, the Joint Select Committee met and in July, 2005, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security placed another Public Notice in the Daily Gleaner inviting submissions from interested parties. There was no response to that Public Notice and the Committee did not meet again until February, 2009.

2. FINDINGS 2.1 Working Group on Flexible Work Arrangements At the first meeting of the Joint Select Committee, the proposal to establish a working group to specifically examine the implications of flexible working time for religious group and family life was approved. The working group comprised representatives from the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Industry,

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Commerce and Technology; Attorney General’s Department; Jamaica Exporters Association; Jamaica Chamber of Commerce; Jamaica Employers Federation; Private Sector Organization of Jamaica; Jamaica Agricultural Society; Jamaica Manufactures Association; Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association; Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions; Press Association of Jamaica; Association of Woman’s Organizations and the Concerned Church Leaders Group. The working group was mandated to discuss and distill the critical areas of concern that related to religious worship and family life. The Joint Select Committee felt that it was in its interest to proceed in such a manner so that at the end of its deliberations, one of the most important communities in Jamaica, the religious community, would be convinced that flexible work arrangements is not the danger that some persons considered it to be with respect to freedom of religious worship and for family life. The Joint Select Committee was of the opinion that it was imperative for the country to be totally united on the issue if maximum benefits and opportunities are to be extracted. The working group met, had discussions and presented a Preliminary Report to the Joint Select Committee on February 27, 2002. The Preliminary Report emphasized the following concerns of the different groups: 2.1.1 Concerned Church Leaders Group According to the report on the deliberations of the Working Group the Concerned Church Leaders Group felt that there would be some negative implications resulting from the Flexible Work Arrangements. The following concerns were raised: - Corporate day of worship and the spiritual well being of the nation would be

negatively affected. - Extension of work week to seven days would seriously undermine Christian

traditions and its benefits to the nation. In light of the concerns expressed by the Concerned Church Leaders Group, they proposed that the institutionalization of a flexible work week should be done over a period of five (5) days, Monday to Friday, excluding Saturday and Sunday. 2.1.2 West Indies Union of Seventh Day Adventists The West Indies Union of Seventh Day Adventists expressed concerns that the implementation of flexible work arrangements would exacerbate the problems being experienced by the Seventh Day Adventist worshippers. It was felt that some persons are denied employment after they indicate their religious beliefs. They were also of the opinion that the work week over seven (7) days, would affect family life and the quality of care that would be provided for children by parents on weekends. The Union proposed that serious attempts should be made to provide protection under regulation or law for the right to worship without being victimized.

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2.1.3 Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) According to the report of the Working Group, the JCTU noted that employers sometimes faced difficulties in carrying out legitimate duties while making concessions for employees to observe their day of worship. They felt that the church had to find ways to be effective outside of the strict parameters of the traditional church worship because if the society degenerates economically it will also have a spiritual effect. They were also of the opinion that the concerns of the church had no causal link with the introduction of flexible work arrangements. It was the belief of the JCTU that given the imperatives of the new world order, ways should be sought to implement flexible work arrangements in accordance with the collective bargaining process. They felt that Saturday and Sunday were not the only two days of worship in Jamaica as Wednesday and Friday were also days of worship for other religious groups. Therefore, there was a need for the employers, Trade Unions and the Concerned Church Leaders Group to negotiate a workable model to the benefit of all parties. The JCTU made a proposal to have discussions with the Concerned Church Leaders Group to find ways of resolving differences that might arise with respect to religious rights. 2.1.4 Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) According to the report of the Working Group, the JEF felt that the workplace environment was characterized by constant changes as the country was faced with the effects of trade liberalization and globalization. They felt that freedom of worship was entrenched in the Constitution and no new law was being introduced to displace it, therefore the church should not feel threatened that their right to worship would be compromised. They also felt that flexible work arrangements already existed in most sectors of the Jamaican economy and there was a need to proceed with full implementation by amending the necessary pieces of legislation. JEF also proposed to meet with the church groups to discuss differences that might arise as a result of flexible work arrangements. 2.1.5 Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) The PSOJ focused on some of the benefits to be derived from the new flexible working arrangements. They felt that full time, part time and casual work could improve with flexible work arrangements. They expressed the view that organizations should commence dialogue with their employees on the proposals contained in the Green Paper on how to achieve mutual agreement on the issue. They felt that the right to worship should be recognized by all employers and that that right should be protected. 2.1.6 Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) According to the JHTA, the Tourism sector has benefited from being able to flexibly operate its workforce. In their opinion, consideration should be given to the greater good

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for the greatest number of persons as it relates to employment, economic viability and sustainable development. 2.1.7 Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) According to the report of the Working Group there was the need for the formalization of flexible work arrangements so that the manufacturing sector can compete in the liberalized marketplace.

2.1.8 Recommendations of the Working Group As a result of the deliberations the working group made the following recommendations:

Implement the public education programme regarding the proposals for flexible work arrangements and assess its effectiveness after a three-month period;

Continue to promote the consultation process with the Concerned Church

Leaders Group and Social Partners;

Place emphasis in the public education programme on the employee’s right to worship;

Include the right to worship in the Labour Code and ensure that the regulatory

(legal) framework be extended to protect the right to a day of worship;

Amend existing Regulations and Laws in order to implement Flexible Work Arrangements and set a time limit for implementation; and

Allow the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to investigate reported cases of workers being dismissed or denied employment on religious grounds.

2.2 Presentations made to the Joint Select Committee 2.2.1 Mr. Martin Henry, Citizen & Gleaner Columnist In his presentation to your Committee, Mr. Henry stated that his hope was that the arrangements for flexible work arrangements would be ultra sensitive to the Constitutional rights and freedoms of all Jamaican citizens rather than of combined groups of citizens whether trade unions, federations or any other stake-holding groups. He noted that with the idea of flexible work arrangements there is no plan to introduce new legislations but rather existing legislations will be modified to create a legal framework for managing, regulating and arbitrating disagreements in the flexible work arrangements which the country would embark on. He stated that the legislative framework should be explicitly clear as to what provisions are made and the rights and responsibilities that employers and employees would have under the arrangements. He asked that very clear administrative and arbitrative mechanisms be put in place to ensure that the rights and freedoms are protected. Arising from the “tripartite” arrangement which the Green Paper advocated, Mr. Henry had two (2) major concerns:-

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i. The level of representation, as the tripartite discussions represented only a limited constituency of interests i.e. the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, which represents only a small percentage of the total number of employers; the Trade Unions which represents no more than 10 to 12 percent of all workers and the Government of Jamaica. He noted that the entry of the Church in the debate indicates that there is a large and significant constituency which did not feel that it was represented in the tripartite arrangement around which the proposals of the flexible work arrangements have been structured.

ii. The activist role of Government in the flexible work arrangements, which raises

the question of the neutral and arbitrative role that the State apparatus i.e. the Government, ought to play, taking into consideration opposing views and voices on the issue. He advocated that the role of the Government should be to balance the interests of all concerned and if the Green Paper states, “The Government is fully committed to the introduction of flexible work arrangements given some of the positive benefits this could have on the economy. The likely benefits of increased employment and the economic growth are some of the gains”, the question would be raised about the fair treatment for opposing positions.

Mr. Henry felt that a broader range of views should be actively canvassed, rather than the views to be passively awaited by the Government through the Joint Select Committee of Parliament or any other mechanism. Other partners should include non-unionized workers who may not necessarily share or endorse the position of unions on the issue, other sectoral groupings of employers and employees, academic experts, professional associations, contract workers, etc. Mr. Henry expressed the view that “the collective bargaining process” in the introduction of flexible work arrangements in the Green Paper was given too much paramountcy as the Trade Union movement which does not represent most workers, and challenges the constitutional principle of individual rights and freedoms was accorded too much unwarranted power. He opined that the Government should remain clearly and decisively the arbitrator of contract law of employment as the appointed State defender of the individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms. Mr. Henry pointed out that the law and the apparatus of the State should be central to the protection of the rights of all parties engaged in flexible work arrangements individually and collectively. He cited as a weakness of the Green Paper the absence of an explicit acceptance of this responsibility and a careful and comprehensive statement of how this obligation of the Government would be discharged by statute and administrative procedure. He said that the Joint Select Committee should lavish serious attention to this fundamental issue of concern. In Mr. Henry’s viewpoint, another shortcoming of the Green Paper was its failure to specify which aspects of the seven (7) identified laws [Town and Communities Act; Shops and Offices Act & Regulations; Apprenticeship Act; National Minimum Wage

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Order, (1975); Minimum Wage (Garment Making Trade) Order; Women (Employment of) Act (1961); Holidays with Pay Order (1973)], would be targeted for amendments to accommodate the flexible work arrangements. He said that within those legislations were embedded a raft of workers’ rights which were secured over many years. He emphasized the fact that it was incumbent upon the Government to clearly demonstrate that the elements of protection of workers’ interests which the laws have within them would not experience net loss under the flexible work arrangements. Mr. Henry accepted the fact that there were significant benefits to be derived by the country, company and the individual from flexible work arrangements. However, he was of the view that what was absolutely necessary was the protection by the State of the bargaining power of weaker parties, within the boundaries of individual constitutional rights and freedoms. He posited that the role of the State as regulator, manager of contract law, and arbitrator must be set out with the greatest clarity in comprehensive detail for the formal, legal introduction of flexible work arrangements. He urged the Joint Select Committee and Parliament to clarify for the Jamaican public the means by which it proposed to manage, regulate and arbitrate the flexible work arrangements. Mr. Henry referred to reports in the media which he said would strongly suggest that there was a growing pressure in the present unregulated loose working arrangements for flexible work arrangements. He said that it was incumbent on the Government and the laws of the land to iron out the difficulties as far as it was humanly possible and to create a framework within which all parties could enjoy their constitutional rights and freedoms. Mr. Henry suggested that the public education programme of the flexible work arrangement should be well funded, wide and dialogical and non-propagandist in its execution. He said that he would urge the Joint Select Committee and Parliament not to come to any conclusion before the process of public education takes place. The Committee members in reacting to Mr. Henry’s presentation expressed the view that although the Green Paper states, “flexible time bands are the hours of the workday schedule, within which employees may choose their time of arrival and departure”, that meant that the employee would definitely have a role to play in the process. The members felt that there was no abrogation of the rights of the employee. The Committee opined that there was no cause for concern with respect to the use of the “tripartite” arrangement as the nature of the process being undertaken addressed the broadest range of consultation which would imply that democracy in the truest sense was at work. It was felt that Mr. Martin fears could be allayed as the Joint Select Committee would be exploring the possibilities for consensus in the society. With respect to the issue of public education on flexible work arrangements, it was revealed that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security had already distributed over 200 copies of the Green Paper to private citizens and organizations. An expanded public education programme which would include parish meetings was being planned.

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According to the Committee Mr. Martin’s concern about the invigilation of the protection of workers’ rights and freedoms would be taken care of by the Monitoring and Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. That unit would monitor, assist and ensure compliance with agreements concluded under Flexible Work Arrangements within the various sectors. The Committee pointed out that the concerns about the laws which would need to be amended would be addressed as legislation had to be drafted by the Chief Parliamentary Council and the necessary discussions held at the Labour Advisory Committee to ensure that the requirements that were agreed on by the Joint Select Committee were met. The Committee felt that the concerns about the individual and constitutional rights of workers could be addressed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act which intends to expand and enhance the rights of Jamaican citizens and the recourse to Constitutional rights would be further enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act. With regards to Mr. Henry’s concern about the “activist role” of the Government the Committee felt that the Government had to play an active role and precedence showed that if it had not been for the Government’s intervention many Acts that have been developed would have been non-existent. 2.2.2 Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) According to the JEF the introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements was critical to the country’s development. In their opinion, Government should set policies and facilitate the development of the country in order to satisfy the needs and well being of the individual and the country could only grow if investments and investors are facilitated. The Federation was of the view that Constitutional rights must be observed and they would not support any effort to deny citizens of those rights. Parliament’s responsibility is to consider the submissions which would be made and ensure that both employees and employers are protected where safeguards are necessary. In the presentation, it was emphasized that flexi-time was an alternative to traditionally fixed work schedules and the system would grant the employee a certain freedom to choose his or her times of arrival and departure in an agreement with his or her employer. According to the JEF, the degree of flexibility was dependent on the total number of hours the company would operate during the day; the number of hours an employee was required to be present; the level of interdependence between jobs, between departments and with suppliers and customers and legislation and national practices. According to the JEF, overtime would still exist but would occur outside the prescribed forty (40) hour work week and within the context of existing collective agreements and labour legislation. The JEF supported carry-over (banking) in flexible working arrangements where an employee could elect to carry forward debit or credit hours from one settlement period to another.

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The JEF opined that there were numerous benefits that would be realized with the introduction of flexible work arrangements. These include: increased productivity and cost effectiveness; greater flexibility in use of resources; maximization of rent/lease and reduction in overheads; reduced absenteeism and sick leave; wider services to customers; creation of employment; increased global competitiveness; possibility of working from home (tele-commuting); possibility of second or third jobs; reduction in transportation and meal costs; flexibility in arranging personal time; increased opportunities for training/educational advancement; and Saturday worshippers could opt to work on Sundays and Sunday worshippers can opt to work on Saturdays. In designing flexible work arrangements, the JEF felt that the process should be consultative and that there should be a legislative framework for the protection of both parties. In that framework, minimum standards should be established and sanctions and penalties should be outlined. Based on their assessment of the current situation, the JEF pointed out that flexible work arrangements already exists in some form in a number of organizations; and that some organizations are breaching prescribed opening and closing hours and are operating illegally on Sundays. The JEF, in its presentation to the Joint Select Committee outlined the results of a survey done in November, 2000 on flexible work arrangements. The survey showed that 50% of the participants wanted staggered working hours, 90% felt that the organization would benefit from flexible work arrangements and 78% wanted changes by November, 2001. The JEF was of the opinion that flexible work arrangement was feasible and has worked in other jurisdictions. They cited the examples of the Hong Kong Civil Service (FWA used for the past 20 years); the USA (28% of full time workers have flexible work schedules); Johnson and Johnson where a 50% decline had been noted in absenteeism; Japan (laws revised in 1999 to allow employees to benefit from flexible work arrangements); Australia (70% of enterprise agreement contained provisions for flexible work arrangements); Netherlands (the Working Time Act was implemented in 1994 to allow for flexible work arrangements); West Germany (introduced flexible work arrangements in 1967). According to the Jamaica Employers Federation, locally, flexible work arrangement has been working in different sectors which include, Mining and Quarrying; Manufacturing; Health; Transport; Hotel and Restaurant services; Security Services and Public Utilities. The Federation also pointed out that the National Housing Trust has staggered working hours which led to increased opening hours to the public; increase in punctuality; reduction in absenteeism and reduction in sick leave. The JEF in its concluding remarks pointed out that flexible work arrangements have been successfully utilized both locally and internationally. However, there was need for enhanced public education. They advocated for the protection of rights for unionized

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workers by the Unions; employers by the Jamaica Employers Federation and non unionized workers and Employers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The Joint Select Committee made a special request for the JEF and the Concerned Church Leaders Group to meet and to embrace the opportunity so that whatever uncertainties arose with respect to the entitlement to worship and questions related to the impact of the flexible work arrangements on family life could be discussed and resolved. West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists According to the West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventist they would accept the flexible work arrangements based on the understanding that Christians are admonished by God to be supportive and to cooperate with governments and those in authority. They posited that where flexibility was reasonable and permissive the church was willing to cooperate. The West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists was of the view that it would not support any work arrangements which would allow employers to violate the workers’ rights to freedom of religion. They postulated that respect for basic human rights was fundamental to orderly and peaceful coexistence and effective governance. They felt that it was incumbent on those who were given the privilege and the responsibility to formulate policy and enact legislation to think carefully and prayerfully when formulating the policy and legislating procedures. They also believed that policy makers and legislators should think carefully and prayerfully about the far reaching effects of those actions, and act to protect the rights of all, especially those who are most vulnerable. In their opinion, unless the legislation guaranteed the protection of certain fundamental rights, it was considered a direct threat to freedom of religion and the right to worship. The West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists was of the view that Government must guarantee the rights of the individual, including religious rights. The citizens, including members of the church, have entered into a social contract which would give Government the right to act on their behalf to safeguard their rights and it was the God-given right that Government was being asked to protect. It is also the view of the West Indies Union of Seventh Day Adventists that since the worker was not required to work seven days per week, his day of worship should be included in his day off, so there should be no problem in allowing the worker the day of his choice for worship, whether that day was Friday, Saturday, Sunday or any other day. The West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists stated that the issue was raised against the background of what was been experienced at the work place. They claimed that they had good reasons to be apprehensive about flexible work arrangements, unless Government took specific action to require employers to respect and guarantee the God-given rights of the individual to his day of worship without hindrance or obstruction.

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The West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists emphasized that the conflict between employee and employer and between student and administration, was not a figment of someone’s imagination, but a fact. Documented experience showed that workers frequently suffer harassment, duress and victimization because of religious beliefs. The West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists was adamant that the employer cannot be the sole arbiter and determiner of the worker’s rights as some supervisors were sometimes unreasonable, inflexible and spiteful. It therefore cannot be left to the employer’s discretion to ensure that the worker obtains his entitlement. On the matter of the implications of flexible work arrangements for family life, the West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists perceived that the average working Jamaican family cannot afford full time help in the home. With no stabilizing presence in the home when children are out of school the direct results might be further deterioration in the family structure, problems in the maintenance of values, and an increase in child neglect and juvenile delinquency. They queried the likely good of flexible work arrangements if law and order could not be maintained. The Union felt that flexible work arrangements should not be imposed on the society at all cost in the name of economic improvement as there were other implications to consider. The Joint Select Committee, without any reservations, shared the concerns of the West Indies Union of Seventh-day Adventists regarding upholding the Jamaican Constitution in respect of the rights to the freedom of religion and the freedom from discrimination. The Joint Select Committee felt that everyone shared the anxiety that family life had deteriorated and needed to be rebuilt as a part of the process of composing a society with greater social order. It was felt that citizens’ rights are currently being abused and to address the problem, the office of the Public Defender needed to be strengthened and provided with resources and also that the mechanisms in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security needed to be strengthened to ensure that the violation of workers’ rights are appropriately addressed. The Joint Select Committee felt that there was no law in Jamaica that could force a worker to work on his day of worship. It was felt that there would be abuses of the position and the right to worship needed to be emphasized and the methods of enforcement needed to be remembered. 2.2.3 The Concerned Church Leaders’ Group The Concerned Church Leaders’ Group, in their presentation to the Joint Select Committee, focused on the possible effects of the introduction of flexible work arrangements on family life. They perceived the family as the corner stone of the society and the major social institution that is responsible for the socialization of the child. The family also has responsibility for the care of the child. Child care, in most cases, is under the control of a woman in the status of mother. In the family, a mother represents welfare and the father represents law and order and respect for male authority. It is during the time when both parents and children are at home, that more attention could

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be paid to disciplining the child. Disciplining would involve the teaching of correct behaviour as much as it would involve correcting wrong behaviour. On week-ends parents could find more time for interaction and recreation with their children and other members of the family. It was the expressed opinion of the Concerned Church Leaders Group, that to introduce flexi-working week in an economic climate in which there was more of a demand than a supply of jobs, and available employment was accompanied by a high level of insecurity and uncertainty of tenure was to force parents to work outside of the home when their children were at home and in need of love, support and supervision. They felt that if parents had to work on weekends it would mean that children might be left at the mercy of the television which sometimes portrayed more negative than positive values. The absence of parents on weekends would subject older children to peer group pressure which has been found second only to the parents, in socializing the child. It was felt that as children grow older, the peer group assumed increasing importance in the socialization process.

The Concerned Church Leaders Group pointed out that there was a strong correlation between lack of church attendance and wrong doing. Reference was made to the report of the National Committee on Crime and Violence that was set up as a joint effort of the Government, the Opposition and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica which listed among the six (6) root causes of crime and violence, destabilized family structure, including poor parenting as the number one cause. The Concerned Church Leaders Group raised some questions regarding who would teach and train children if parents had to be at work at unusual times; who would tell children that breaking the law, was what really endangered people’s safety and who would teach children to admire lawful activities and behaviour with the emphasis on the positive. In essence, the Concerned Church Leaders Group felt that not everything that appeared to be economically justifiable should be embarked on. The Concerned Church Leaders Group was of the opinion that in the proposal for flexible work arrangements Saturday and Sunday would become normal work days. That would mean technically that there was a seven day work week and historically, one day was set aside as a day of rest on which no work should be done. There was a shield and protection around one day and by removing that one day it would mean that the concept of a day of worship was removed from the legal framework. The Joint Select Committee was told that preliminary studies had shown that a tremendous variety of flexible work arrangements existed. Some countries have opted for a seven day work week, for example, in the United States, flexible work arrangement was operated with a great deal of compassion. In England, the process had been on a semi-selective basis and not every industry chose to become a part of the process automatically. In the Netherlands, one has to apply to the Government to open for business on a weekend.

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In their concluding remarks, the Concerned Church Leaders Group said that if the Government felt that it had to implement flexible work arrangements because of the pressures of the world there was a need to develop an approach which was unique and could be adapted to the Jamaican situation. They opined that if the nation was to be preserved there was need for a more extensive study of the particular impact of implementing the proposed arrangements. The Committee felt that the sentiments that the Concerned Church Leaders Group echoed were consistent with the approach that the Joint Select Committee had adopted. The Joint Select Committee accepted that the Concerned Church Leaders Group would like Jamaica’s peculiarities and special circumstances to be taken into account in developing any flexible work arrangements methodology. 2.2.4 The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce In sharing the perspective of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce with respect to the introduction of flexible work arrangement, the Joint Select Committee was apprised of some of the factors affecting businesses; the effects of globalization and business imperatives which included the need for flexible labour practices which could boost the competitiveness of firms, increase productivity and lower the cost of wages. According to the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, flexible work arrangements was not new to Jamaica as weekend and shift work were well established in the service and productive sectors. Customers were demanding services outside of the general office hours. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce put forward some misconceptions regarding flexible working arrangements and provided some appropriate answers to them. They claimed that there were persons who believed that flexible work arrangements would result in all industries being required to open 24 hours each day. That, however would not be so, as the arrangements would be subject to negotiations at company level and therefore a business would be able to choose whether or not to introduce flexible work arrangements. It was also disclosed that there were persons who believed that flexible work arrangements would result in exploitation of staff and would force them to work on weekends and on shifts. Shifts and weekend work were however seen as established industrial features and could assist in balancing work and home life. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce saw the proposed flexible work arrangement as facilitating greater flexibility and bestowing benefits on both employer and employee. With respect to the viewpoint that employers do not respect the right of employees to worship on a Saturday and Sunday, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce felt that that right was important and many of their members practiced that right. In their opinion, businesses do not open on a Saturday or Sunday arbitrarily but to respond to the needs of customers and ultimately for survival.

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With respect to the perception of many that flexible work arrangements were designed to ensure that employees earn less, it was explained that overtime would be computed differently and would not be designed to take away this payment. In assessing world wide trends regarding flexible work arrangements, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce pointed out that 50% of the companies in the USA have some form of flexible work arrangements; 18% of all employees in the USA are shift workers; as early as 1992, 73% of the factories in the Philippines practiced flexible work arrangements; annualized hours of work are common in Austria, France and Germany and weekend only was gaining popularity in Europe. In respect of the impact of flexible work arrangements on family life, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce said that flexible work arrangements would require life style changes and would require individuals to rethink the concept of leisure time. Employees would be challenged to come to terms with the long term social implications of flexibility. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce postulated that there was a correlation between flexible arrangements and increased employment, increased productivity and economic growth. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce recognized that there were differing views regarding flexible work arrangements. One viewpoint espoused by the business community focused on the benefits of flexible work arrangements, while de-emphasizing the human costs. The other stance emphasized the human costs, without acknowledging that the new arrangement was often a more productive way of organizing work. The key to balancing the needs of employees and the needs of business were adaptability on the part of both parties. The Joint Select Commerce was interested in finding out if the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Manufacturing Association and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica would be willing to take a firm stance when laws were violated. The Committee at that time also expressed concerns as to whether those organizations would be prepared to take a more active role in developing a code of conduct which would include the right to worship and the need to apply internal sanctions against members who violate the code of conduct. 2.2.5 The Bureau of Women’s Affairs The main point in the presentation made by the Bureau of Women’s Affairs was that flexible working arrangements would require fundamental organizational change involving changes in beliefs particularly around women and gender issues, values and norms that comprise organizational and work structures. They felt that the claim made was true particularly because of what was commonly seen as what constituted women’s work and men’s work. They argued that the cynicism about gender responsive budgets, paternity leave, and childcare systems needed to be reexamined in order to reflect better contemporary realities.

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According to the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Green Paper raised a number of issues for employment policy, including the reduction of full-time hours, improving the quality and amount of part time work and developing other means of helping parents to combine employment with family responsibilities. They believed that the combination of developments would enhance the work-life balance for the workforce by providing them with more scope to obtain their preferred working time arrangements over their lifetime as their circumstances changed. The Bureau of Women’s Affairs recommended that more research should be done on a number of the related issues to improve knowledge of the preference and trade-offs that the employed was prepared to make for reduction in full-time hours, such as whether they would prioritize reduction in wages over wage increases in the bargaining process and in MOUs. They felt that it was important to explore preferences for different working time schedules when considering the preferred number of hours.

The Bureau of Women’s Affairs recommended that flexible work arrangements should be considered in light of the changing roles of women and men and the need to balance work with family life and in order to encourage the equal sharing of responsibility between men and women. They also recommended that The Women (Employment of) Act, 1942 which prohibits employment of women in night work except in specified circumstances should be repealed. They believed that women should have the right to work when they wished to work.

3. ISSUES OF CONCERN TO THE JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE REGARDING

WORK ARRANGEMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Arising from the deliberations on the flexible work arrangements your Committee had to grapple with a number of issues. The concluding observations and the recommendations made based on the consensus of your Committee are listed below:

The need to finalize the length of the work day and work week - Your Committee

recommends that there should be no set eight hour or ten hour work day but there should be a cap of twelve hours in a work day so that a person is not pushed to work beyond a maximum of twelve hours. Concerns were expressed that some employers might want to impose a mandatory twelve hours workday on employees however it was felt that such action would be contrary to the spirit of flexible work arrangement. Your Committee agreed that the work week should consist of forty (40) hours. It was therefore incumbent on the employer and the employee to negotiate a work week that is no more than forty (40) hours. All seven (7) days of the week would be possible working days.

The management of overtime - Your Committee recommends that overtime would trip in after the forty (40) hours is worked within the established work arrangement.

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The protection of a worker’s right to worship and from discrimination based on religion - Your Committee felt that under the flexible work week arrangements workers could negotiate their work hours and work days. If persons were denied the right to worship the law would protect them. The law would also protect workers from being unduly dismissed because of their religion.

The safeguarding of a day of rest for workers - Your Committee recommends that

the employers and the employees could work out a position of compromise and understanding at the workplace that would take into consideration the rights of the employee to a day of rest.

Gender issues in terms of night work for women and the limits of daily hours

worked by women - Currently, many women work at nights particularly in the hotel industry. Your Committee recommends that the laws should be amended to legitimize women working at nights.

Provision of an effective machinery for monitoring and investigating complaints of

breaches of working time rights - Your Committee recommends that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security should be formally requested to supervise and monitor complaints using the same formula that is applied for supervising factories and other work related conditions at the workplace.

Amendments to be made to restrictive clauses in specific pieces of legislation -

Your Committee recommends that the process of amending restrictive clauses in the legislation to accommodate the process of flexible work arrangements should commence. The laws that require amendments are listed in (Appendix V – List of Legislation Requiring Amendment to Facilitate Flexible Work Arrangements)

Provision of settlement/arbitration machinery by which all workers both unionized

and non-unionized, with grievances arising from flexi work issues will have their matter referred to conciliation and arbitration for determination and settlement - Your Committee felt that the issue was dealt with when the House of Representatives and the Senate passed amendment to the Labour Relations and Industrial Dispute Act on October 6, 2009 and (currently on the Table of the Senate) respectively. In essence, the amendments to the Act give the Minister of Labour and Social Security the right to hear and settle disputes relating to both unionized and non-unionized workers.

The implementation of a Public Education Campaign - Your Committee supports

the implementation of a public education programme on flexible work arrangements.

4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Your Committee wishes to express sincere gratitude to all those individuals and organizations that made written submissions and oral presentations or participated in

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any way in the deliberation process. In particular, the Committee wishes to thank the technical officers from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, the West Indies Union of Seventh Day Adventists, the Concerned Church Leaders Group, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Martin Henry for participating in the deliberations thereby providing a greater understanding of the subject matter. Your Committee is also grateful to the Press, who ably covered the meetings and reported the proceedings to the public. The Committee wishes to express sincere gratitude to the Clerk to the Houses and staff for their invaluable contribution in terms of administrative and secretarial support and kind courtesies extended during the meetings.

Appendix I

Attendance – Committee Appointed in the 2001/02 and 2002/03 Parliamentary Sessions 4 Meetings

Present Absent Apology

Hon. Donald Buchanan – Chairman 4 - - -

Hon. Collington Campbell 2 2 2 -

Hon. Michael Peart 1 3 0 -

Rev. Ronald Thwaites 3 2 1 -

Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster 4 - - -

Miss Alethia Barker 2 2 0 -

Mr. Clifton Stone 3 1 0 -

Mr. Karl Samuda 1 3 0 -

Senator Navel Clarke 2 2 1 -

Senator Aloun Ndombet-Assamba 1 3 1 -

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe 3 3 0 -

Senator Rudyard Spencer 2 2 0 -

Senator Brian Wallace 0 4 0 -

Appendix II

Attendance – Committee Appointed in the 2002/03 Parliamentary Session 1 Meeting

Present Absent Apology

Hon. Horace Dalley – Chairman 1 - -

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Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster 0 1 1

Mr. Victor Cummings 1 - -

Mr. Lenworth Blake 1 - -

Mr. Pearnel Charles 1 - -

Mr. Rudyard Spencer 1 - -

Senator Navel Clarke 0 1 1

Senator Prof. Trevor Munroe 0 1 0

Senator Keste Miller 0 1 0

Senator Dwight Nelson 1 - -

Senator Arthur Williams 0 1 1

Appendix III

Attendance – Committee Appointed in the 2008/09 Parliamentary Sessions 2 Meetings

Present Absent Apology

Hon. Pearnel Charles – Chairman 2 - -

Hon. Rudyard Spencer 0 2 0

Hon. Neville Andrew Gallimore 2 - -

Mr. Derrick Kellier 0 2 0

Mr. Fitz Jackson 1 1 1

Senator the Honourable Dwight Nelson, CD 1 1 0

Senator Warren Newby 1 1 0

Senator Hyacinth Bennett 2 - -

Senator Navel Clarke 2 - -

Senator Norman Grant 1 1 0

Appendix IV

Attendance – Committee Appointed in the 2009/10 Parliamentary Sessions 3 Meetings

Present Absent Apology

Hon. Pearnel Charles – Chairman 3 - -

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Hon. Rudyard Spencer 3 3 0

Hon. Neville Andrew Gallimore 3 - -

Mr. Derrick Kellier 1 2 0

Mr. Fitz Jackson 2 1 0

Senator the Honourable Dwight Nelson, CD 1 2 1

Senator Warren Newby 1 2 2

Senator Hyacinth Bennett 2 1 0

Senator Navel Clarke 2 1 0

Senator Norman Grant 2 1 0

NOTICES OF MOTIONS GIVEN ORALLY

Reverend Ronald Thwaites gave notice that at the next meeting of the House he would move: WHEREAS the fisherfolk of Rae Town in Central Kingston and the remainder of the more than 40,000 fisherfolk in Jamaica have been experiencing reduced cash intake and, poor earnings due to the depletion of their catch: BE IT RESOLVED that the Government seek funding and itself invest in a scientific study and implementation programme for increasing the stock of fish, lobster and conch in Jamaica’s coastal and territorial waters. (Mr. Othneil Lawrence, MP, St. Ann North, Western entered and took his seat). The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, gave notice that at the next meeting of the House he would move: BE IT RESOLVED that the Special Report of the Special Select Committee of the House of Representatives to consider and report on the Bills shortly entitled the “Casino Gaming Act, 2009” and the “Betting, Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act, 2009” be adopted. He further gave notice that at a later stage that day, he would move for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable him to take the motion.

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The Minister of Finance and the Public Service gave notice that at the next meeting of the House he would move to introduce and have read a first time a Bill entitled “AN ACT to Amend the Industrial and Provident Societies Act”. Mrs. Marissa Dalrymple Philibert moved to introduce and have read a first time a Bill shortly entitled “The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World of Jamaica (Incorporation and Vesting) (Amendment) Law, 2010”. Seconded by: Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett. Agreed to. Clerk read Bill a first time. Notice of second reading given. The Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Honourable Pearnel Charles gave notice that at the next meeting of the House he would move: BE IT RESOLVED that the Report of the Joint Select Committee on its deliberations on the Report on Green Paper #4 of 2001, Regarding Proposals for the Introduction of Flexible Work Arrangements, which was laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, the 26th day of January, 2010, be adopted.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS Reverend Ronald Thwaites gave notice that at the expiration of 21 days, he would ask the Minister of Finance and the Public Service the following question: (1) What are the levels of arrears owed to creditors by Government owned or controlled entities at this time? (2) What are the consequences of such arrears to the Country’s fiscal deficit? (3) What is the plan to pay off these arrears and prevent recurrence? (4) How do these arrears impact on the Government’s capacity to provide basic social services?

PRESENTATION OF BILLS WITHOUT LEAVE OF THE HOUSE FIRST OBTAINED The Minister of Finance and the Public Service moved to introduce and have read a first time a Bill shortly entitled the “Financial Administration and Audit (Amendment) Act, 2010”.

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Clerk read Bill a first time. Notice of second reading given. The Minister of Finance and the Public Service gave notice that at a later stage that day he would move for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable him to move for second reading of the Bill and to take it through all its concluding stages.

PUBLIC BUSINESS The Minister of Finance and the Public Service, having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders, moved that the Bill shortly entitled the “Financial Administration and Audit (Amendment) Act, 2010” be now read a second time. (Mr. Fitz Jackson, MP, St. Catherine, Southern entered and took his seat). (Mrs. Sharon Hay-Webster, MP, St. Catherine, South Central entered and took her seat). (The Minister of Energy and Mining, the Honourable James Robertson, entered and took his seat). (The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Honourable William J. C. Hutchinson, entered and took his seat). (Mr. Peter Bunting, MP, Manchester, Central entered and took his seat). Seconded by: Mr. Othneil Lawrence. Agreed to. Clerk read Bill a second time. The House resolved itself into a committee of the whole House to consider the Bill Clause by Clause. Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to. The Title and Enacting Clause agreed to. The question that the Chairman report the Bill as having passed committee stage was agreed to. The House resumed.

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The Bill having been reported to the House without amendment, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service moved that the Bill be now read a third time. Seconded by: Mr. Desmond Mair. Agreed to. Clerk read Bill a third time. Bill passed without amendment. The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Telecommunication, having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders, moved: BE IT RESOLVED that the Special Report of the Special Select Committee of the House of Representatives to consider and report on the Bills shortly entitled “The Casino Gaming Act, 2009” and “The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act, 2009” be adopted. Seconded by: Mr. Tarn Peralto. Agreed to. Dr. Omar Davies continued debate on the motion: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House of Representatives approve the economic strategies being pursued by the Government to address the challenges confronting Jamaica in the context of the global economic crisis, and the urgent need to place the economy firmly on a path of meaningful and sustained growth. (Mr. Ernest Smith, MP, St. Ann, South Western entered and took his seat). (The Minister of Water and Housing, the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang entered and took his seat). Dr. Omar Davies, having spoken for 30 minutes, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Deputy Leader of the House, the Honourable Neville Andrew Gallimore, moved that the time limit of his speech be extended by 15 minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Luther Buchanan. Agreed to. (Dr. Donald Rhodd, MP, Portland, Eastern entered and took his seat).

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(Dr. Esmond V. Patrick Harris, MP, Trelawny, Northern entered and took his seat). (Dr. Fenton Ferguson, MP, St. Thomas, Eastern entered and took his seat). The extension of the time limit granted to Dr. Omar Davies having expired, the Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved that the time limit of his speech be further extended by 5 minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Colin Fagan. Agreed to. The Leader of the Opposition, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, having spoken for 30 minutes, the Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable her to continue her speech to its conclusion, notwithstanding the time limit on speeches. Seconded by: Mrs. Natalie Neita-Headley. Agreed to. The Prime Minister, the Honourable Orette Bruce Golding, having spoken for 30 minutes, the Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable him to continue his speech to its conclusion, notwithstanding the time limit on speeches. Seconded by: Mr. Desmond Mair. Agreed to. At 7:17 p.m. the Speaker interrupted. The Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable the House to sit beyond 7:30 p.m. to complete the business of the day. Seconded by: Mr. Fitz Jackson. Agreed to. The Minister of Finance and the Public Service, having spoken for 30 minutes, the Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable him to continue his speech to its conclusion, notwithstanding the time limit on speeches. Seconded by: Mr. Ernest Smith. Agreed to. On the substantive motion being put, same was agreed to.

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ADJOURNMENT

At 10:03 p.m., the Minister of Education and Leader of the House moved that the House do now adjourn to a date to be fixed by the Speaker. Seconded by: Mr. Joseph Hibbert. Agreed to. On the motion for the adjournment: Dr. Peter Phillips, M.P., St. Andrew, East Central, spoke on the problems being faced, as a result of water shortage, by residents of lower St. Andrew. The Minister of Water and Housing, the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang responded to Dr. Phillips’ concerns. At 10:06 p.m., on the motion for the adjournment being put, same was agreed to. The House adjourned accordingly. ………………………………………… Delroy H. Chuck, MP Speaker