NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Labour Director John Pinder said yesterday employers are being encouraged to make “adjustments” to remain viable in light of the current economic circumstances, noting “it isn’t business as usual”.
Pinder told Eyewitness News: “We are certainly trying to encourage employers to make adjustments to compete in these challenging times. It isn’t business as usual.”
Pinder said there has not been any indication of any major terminations on the horizon.
“It’s really a wait-and-see situation right now. People are waiting to see what happens at the end of January,” said Pinder.
The temporary layoff period, during which companies can send employees home without paying full severance pay, expires some 30 days after the emergency powers end. With the emergency powers set to expire at the end of the month, employers will have until the end of February to decide whether to recall or terminate workers still being furloughed.
Pinder reiterated his support for the suspension of the redundancy clause. Reforms to the Employment Act in 2017 mandate that once workers have been sent home for a 13-week period or 90-day period, an employer has to either to recall them to work or terminate them with full compensation as required by law.
“While there may be some people ready to go, there are many others who understand that having to find new employment with benefits in light of what’s going on could prove very challenging, especially if that person is already at a certain age,” Pinder said.
“People are trying to protect their seniority and benefits they have on the job. Many people are just waiting and hoping to get called back to work.”
He noted that many of those jobs are tied to the tourism industry and its revival.