While international businesses are welcome to set up shop in Barbados, such organisations are required to follow local labour legislation.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Cox, made this assertion, during a recent courtesy call at the Ministry with executives of AMECO, an international fleet management company.
“I am happy that AMECO is considering Barbados as a new frontier. If you decide to establish operations here, this would boost our economy and stimulate employment,” Cox said.
But, he advised the company to become familiar with labour legislation, particularly the Safety and Health at Work Act and the soon to be proclaimed, Employment Rights Act.
“We have a social partnership culture here, where Government, employers and unions – which represent the workers – engage in dialogue. Abiding by the law is best for a smooth transition into the marketplace and workforce,” Cox advised.
AMECO’s Business Development Director for the Caribbean, Edgardo Torres, said that a team was in the island on a scouting trip to discover if there was a demand for AMECO’s services and to gain information about Barbados’ business and labour requirements.
Emphasising that safety was a part of the company’s culture, he stressed: “For us, safety is not an option, it’s a mandate, and so, we are pleased to learn that Barbados has recently passed the Safety and Health at Work Act.”
AMECO’s Vice President the Caribbean and North America, Jim Jacoby, said the company hoped to enhance Barbados’ net impact positively as well as improve the workforce through training and customer service. He added that the organisation intended to hire locals and recruit persons from technical and vocational institutions.
AMECO currently operates in Jamaica. The regional subsidiary employs more than 110 Jamaicans.