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Andrew Browne, [email protected]

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REPORTS OF UNFAIR LAYOFFS and dismissals have been engaging the attention of the Ministry of Labour.
However, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo has indicated that official reports on these incidents were not yet in.
“My ministry keeps on top of things and when we do get complaints, we do have to investigate. I have not received official reports of any investigation that has been made recently, but we do know that there are [employers] who have had to lay off people [or] put them on short weeks [and] some people have not been scrupulous in how they have managed that,” Byer-Sukoo told the DAILY NATION on Friday.
She said in an interview on Friday that even though many employers had endeavoured to maintain employment levels, some were too badly squeezed by the economic crunch to follow through.
“We know that when you give your employees security at a time like this you get a certain loyalty from your employees. I think for the most part that employers have been trying to do that, but I have heard of situations where some, for genuine reasons, cannot hold on to the staff longer,” Byer-Suckoo said.
Her advice to employers who were truly pressured by the economic downturn was to adopt cost-cutting measures that should include allowing some staff to work from home.
“The Ministry of Labour and Labour Office have been talking about that to employers in terms of the time commuting, but also where we have offices that are cramped; it is an option that both private and public sector employers are taking up where it may make more sense for employees to work from home,” she said. (SR)