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Breakfast Club- Dept of Employment
15th March 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Employment Matters at the GFSB Breakfast Club
Members of the GFSB discussed matters of employment over breakfast with representatives of the Government’s Department of Employment. The latest Breakfast Club seminar took place on 18th April at the GSFB offices in Irish Town and provided an excellent opportunity for small businesses to speak directly to the department, voicing their concerns and clarifying certain points of complexity.
Chris Grech, Debbie Garcia and Lizanne Belilo of the Department of Employment addressed the GFSB members to provide a useful summary of the various sections of the department, their duties and their activities. In Chris’ opening speech, he emphasised the willingness of the department to demythologise its work, to explain some of the changes that are taking place, and to open the department to clear dialogue with employers as the teams involved introduce the changes that are needed to simplify and streamline processes for employers as well as for employees.
Businesses represented at the Breakfast Club meeting were varied. There were very small businesses alongside bigger corporations with large teams of staff; construction companies who need to engage staff under the complex umbrella of CATA rules (Construction and Allied Trades Agreement); as well as recruitment companies who deal with both permanent and temporary contracts, detached workers, obtaining work permits – the whole gamut of employment regulations. The presentations by the Dept. of Employment team were clear and succinct, and these generated engaging discussions so that members were able to openly address areas that caused them difficulties or concerns.
There was an overall acknowledgement that there are many complex regulations by which employers must abide and recognition of the fact that there are other government departments such as the Tax Office and the Office of Fair Trading that also have involvement in business registration and activities including employment. The ensuing discussions were open and friendly, with Chris, Debbie and Lizanne ensuring members with very specific queries were able to contact them after the meeting and arrange for more in depth advice.
Topics covered included the issue of ensuring that workers have the correct work permits where these are required, the timely registration of vacancies, the timescales involved in registering a new employee and in registering a termination, and the complexities involved for employers in dealing with the registering of detached workers. There was also a discussion on the enforcement role of the Department and the rights of Labour Inspectors to enter premises to ensure that employment rules are being applied correctly by employers. While some issues were cleared up for members at the seminar, others were taken on board by the Department’s representatives, with assurances that there is an on-going process of streamlining in collaboration with teams from other related government departments, and that open discussions such as these would be informing those processes.
With opportunities to learn, network and have their voices heard by those who influence the regulations by which businesses operate, the GFSB Breakfast Club seminars provide practical, informative sessions for members’ benefit. Check the website: www.gfsb.gi for further information and to arrange your GFSB membership.