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Jamaica government extends maternity leave for public workers

Jamaica government extends maternity leave for public workers
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke. (GP)

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government on Tuesday announced that maternity leave for public sector workers will increase from 40 days to three calendar months.

Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, told a news conference that the government is also moving to provide leave for adoptive parents who are bringing a new child into the home.

“We are working to modernise Jamaica public service and modernisation is multifaceted. It includes pursing efficiency and certification. It embraces fairness and equity in compensation. It involves the application of technology to boost access to enhance productivity,” Clarke told reporters, adding “it also embraces changes in terms and conditions that better reflect our values”.

Clarke said to give effect to these changes, the “appropriate circular “will be sent out to members of the public service by September 30, noting that the cost of the new leave entitlements will be made public at a later date..

Clarke said that the Andrew Holness government is working to assist public sector workers who are bottom rung of the compensation ladder and “that we will have in place a programme that persons who earn at the lowest levels of the public service can be assisted with back to school support in the same way we are assisting …students with support.

He said the modernisation of the public service system “could not have come at a better time” and that the government‘s action came out of the compensation restructure exercise, which reviewed the terms and conditions of service.

He said it is committed to modernising the civil service, which includes restructuring public sector compensation.

Clarke said the discussions on the details of the compensation restructure with public sector unions and bargaining groups are going well. (CMC)