Oct 22, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Labour has issued a warning to unscrupulous security firms across the country over the treatment of their employees.
The warning follows numerous complaints filed at the Labour Ministry by staffers of several known security firms. According to a disseminated statement yesterday, the Ministry has moved to publicly condemn the actions of employers who have contravened sections of Guyana’s Labour Laws.
In an attempt to fulfill its mandate of protection of the rights of workers, the Ministry noted that steps will be taken to prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law upon the receipt of formal complaints. According to the Ministry, the notice serves to edify those who may not have been aware and also to warn the proprietors and directors of security firms currently in breach of the labour provisions.
The Ministry warned that “Entities not in compliance should take active and immediate steps to conform to the various legislations governing employment relations; failing which, the Ministry will be forced to publish the names of companies in default, along with all directors or the names of the businesses and their proprietors.”Further, the Labour Ministry also sought to remind security employers and employees of the rights and entitlements of security guards, whether or not they are nationals of Guyana.
In this regard, the agency highlighted several sections of the employment legislations which are the most prominently violated in the security sector. Among them is Section 12 of the Labour Act Cap 98:01 which states that an employer shall pay wages either agreed between employer and employee or prescribed by law.
The prescribed wages for security guards as set out in the National Minimum Wage Order No. 15 of 2016 is $255 per hour. According to the statement, that order stipulates that the set hours of work are 40 hours which shall not exceed five days per week and any hours of work beyond the normal period shall attract overtime rate.
To this end, the Ministry noted that it was made aware of employers who constantly engage in paying wages long after pay period has ended. “Employers who engage in such acts should cease and desist immediately,” the Ministry warned.
Another legal provision which the Labour Ministry highlighted is Section 3 of the ‘Leave with Pay Act Cap 99:02’ which states that every worker is entitled to leave and further elucidates how leave is to be computed.
“Section 4 of the said Act mandates that no employer shall require a worker to take his/her leave with pay in a period less than six consecutive days; provided that any of the days which are Sundays or Public Holidays shall not be computed as leave with pay.
The rate at which leave is calculated is at an employee’s current daily wage,” the Ministry said in the statement.
Additionally, it was noted that any provision in any agreement between an employer and a worker, where the worker purports to receive any less benefit than he/she is entitled to under the said Act, it shall be of no effect.
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