Cabinet approves new tribunal members
Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who made the announcement at a media conference this morning, said the appointments will take effect December 29.
While she declined to name the Government’s three nominees prior to the issuance of their instruments of appointment, the minister said she expects the tribunal to begin its work in a matter of weeks, rather than months.
“I have accepted the resignations from the Employment Rights Tribunal and, at the ministry, we’ve already begun the process of appointing a new tribunal. The new chair and deputy chairs have been approved by Cabinet and now we await the submissions from the unions and the employers’ organization,” the minister said.
“The new chair and deputies will receive their instruments of appointment very shortly and then they will be meeting with me and with the ministry. This will happen in the next few days. Their mandate, of course, will be to ensure that the Employment Rights Tribunal functions and does so as a tribunal should, with simple procedures, which can be administered without undue delays.
“As soon as we have the other names from the trade unions and the Barbados Employers’ Confederation, the tribunal would be able to sit. I am mindful the unions and the employers also have a process for selection and nominating their persons. That is the only delay now.”
The members of the previous tribunal resigned after the minister wrote to them, urging them to commence their work.
Dr Byer-Suckoo is standing by her actions, and laid the blame for the delay squarely on the shoulders of the ex-members.
“Before their appointment, I must assure you that we did have the resources in place, the human, physical and financial resources in keeping with other tribunals, including all the NIS tribunals, which fall under this ministry. However, this particular tribunal had a different vision for their operation and we attempted to meet most of the new requests. Other tribunals are administered through ministries or departments and they don’t have their own offices, or telephones or staff and so on,” she explained.
“Additionally, taking Government’s financial situation into consideration, some of the stated requirements were deemed unaffordable and not in the best interest of Government or the taxpayers of Barbados at this time, and served to delay the process.”