The role of the Labour Division is outlined in Section 8(1) of the Employment Act of 1999 which outlines the responsibility in the administration of the Labour Department and the enforcement of the provisions of the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Act (Labour Code). The Ministry also manages the issuance of Work Permits to foreign nationals and Commonwelath citizens. With the Revised Labour Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act will be also included in the Labour Code.
The statutory responsibilities is enshrined in the Labour Code and includes the following:
a. Promoting the settlement of any differences between employers and employees in accordance with the provision of the Employment Act;
b. Advising the Minister on all labour matters and on measures to improve industrial relations generally;
c. Encouraging the development of tripartism and collective bargaining and provide advice to employers and trade unions on industrial relations;
d. Inspection of all workplaces;
e. Employment Agency ;
f. Preparation of Annual Report on the work of the Ministry including the Labour Commissioner’s report on the inspection services as provided in the Employment Act no later than the month of April following the year in review;
g. Making recommendations to the Minister for the promotion of good industrial relations practices;
h. Implementation of the Foreign Nationals and Commonwealth Citizens Act and the issuance of work permits.
Link to Statutory Bodies
This Ministry is responsible for the administration and effective functioning of two Advisory Bodies which are:
Labour Advisory Board – responsible for advising the Minister on all labour matters including the following:
The formulation and implementation of the national policies on basic conditions of employment and on health, environment and safety and welfare at work;
The promotion of collective bargaining;
Proposals for the adoption and amendment of legislation;
The review of the operation and enforcement of the Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act;
Government replies to questionnaires concerning items on the agenda of the International Labour Conference and Government comments on proposed texts to be discussed by the conference;
Proposals on submissions and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation;
Re-examination of ungratified conventions;
Questions arising from reports made to the ILO; and proposals for the denunciation of ratified conventions.
Wages Advisory Committee – The Minister appoints Wages Advisory Committee in cases where there is no existing arrangement for the effective regulation of wages in a particular trade, industry or occupation, or where the Minister deems it expedient.
Other Government organisations with close link to this Ministry are:
National Insurance Scheme – enforces the Workmen’s’ Compensation Act
Central Statistical Office – Conducts Labour Force Surveys
Committee of Social Partners – monitoring of the Home Grown Progamme