New project aims to modernise employment laws

A new committee is working to improve Seychelles employment laws and working conditions under a decent work concept initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2004.

Since then, many member states have developed programmes at national level to make easier processes to improve their country’s working conditions.

 

The project to be implemented is called the Seychelles Decent Work Country Programme, which was signed in November 2011 by the then Minister for Education, Employment and Human Resources Macsuzy Mondon and the Regional Director for Africa Charles Dan.

The committee had its first meeting recently at the Independence House. 
For their five-year mandate, the committee will aim to build capacity of Seychellois workers in various sectors through technical agreements with the ILO. A national project is due to be implemented to modernise employment laws in Seychelles, mechanism in place to deal with these issues and how to apply these laws in a just manner for the benefit of all workers.

Funding for the project will be jointly done by the Seychelles government and the ILO, with the former injecting 60% of total costs expected to be around R5 million, and the ILO 40%.

The committee’s chairperson and project manager Jules Baker said they intend to work on the quality of employment in Seychelles, where for example, salaries are in accordance with the work done.

“We will ensure that, for example, men and women who do the same kind of job do not get a different salary, they should on the contrary get the same pay if they do the same amount of work or work of equal value,” he said.

“We will also work on social dialogue, where we will hold consultations on national level to further our talks with stakeholders.”

Mr Baker said the project is important to Seychelles and that the committee members were appointed by the minister herself and he asked the members to take ownership of the project and its implementation.

Mrs Mondon said the programme is about promoting rights at work, employment opportunities and social dialogue and work has started since last year.

“The programme is there to reach out to workers, job seekers, young people and the public in general and I’m happy the committee is meeting, since work has started on the programme,” she said.

“The project identified three priorities, which are to review existing legislation, strengthening the dispute/resolution system, promote quality employment, reduce unemployment especially among women and youth and promote effective tri-partism and social dialogue,” she said.

“We face many challenges in the labour market today and through this programme these challenges will be addressed and the result will be decent work for each and everyone in the country and the committee is tasked with monitoring and evaluating per the objectives set.”

There will also be training sessions held by the ILO to ensure the programme is well managed and sessions and modalities are already under negotiations with the ILO.