The Bahamas took a step yesterday toward the building of an ethical and productive framework for a fair workplace by signing a memorandum of understanding with the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO) for The Bahamas’ Decent Work Country Programme.
Addressing what he called an historic achievement for The Bahamas, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis announced that the government has finalized its national policy on national and labor relations pursuant to agreements with the National Tripartite Council (NTC).
“This historic policy includes the adoption of The Bahamas Decent Work Program 2021, which we took the first step today. The adoption of a National Child Labour policy, the ratification of ILO Convention 159 regarding vocational
rehabilitation and employment for disabled persons, the establishment of a national productivity council, enactment of legislation to establish a livable wage and a comprehensive review of the Minimum Wage Act and an increase in the national minimum wage. And of course, we intend to amend the law to afford the Industrial Tribunal to ensure that their decisions are more efficiently enforced,” he said during yesterday’s signing ceremony.
“In preparation for the development of The Bahamas’ second generation Decent Work Program, the Ministry of Labour in conjunction with the NTC and the ILO Decent Work Program team will be focusing on consulting with social partners, other national and regional stakeholders to ensure the widest public consultation on the process to develop the second generation program. As we execute this historic memorandum of understanding it signifies my government’s commitment to social dialogue and our steadfast desire to work with social partners in national development. I am confident that over the next five years the ILO and the Bahamian government will take extraordinary steps to maintain harmony in the industrial relations environment in The Bahamas and work with our trade unions and employment representatives to recover from the challenges associated with Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The ILO has worked with the government to address decent work challenges over the past four decades. During this period The Bahamas has ratified eight core ILO conventions.
The Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) is the primary mechanism through which the ILO supports the efforts of national tripartite constituents to advance the Decent Work Agenda; that is, jobs and employment creation, fundamental rights at work, social protection and social dialogue. It expressly aims to promote and integrate decent work as a key component of national development strategy and support national actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The priorities and outcomes of the second generation DWCP for The Bahamas are based on a Decent Work Country Diagnostic conducted by the ILO and the NTC in 2020.