New Pension Plan For Hotel Workers in Jamaica

Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett
Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Big Deal For Tourism Workers

The Cabinet headed by PM Andrew Holness has approved 1Ja $ billion to be drawn from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to fund a pension plan for the sector. Minister Edmund Bartlett made the disclosure recently.

The usual seasonal nature and the uncertainties associated with such employment is about to change due to the hard work of the players and sound leadership. It was a packed VIP lounge last Tuesday at the Sangster’s International Airport, Montego Bay, that Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett chose to unveil plans to transform the tourism indistry in ways never seen before in Jamaica and possibly in the English speaking Caribbean.

The Minister in the presence of a wide cross section of Tourism interests from Red Caps to Immigration officers to Airport Management, announced this new pension plan.

1) He wanted the usual seasonal employment to change to being all year

2) To provide security of tenure for the workers and their families

This very revolutionary and ambitious plan is not new thinking but words are being matched by positive action. The first quarter of 2017 seem to be the target date for the legislative action. Approval will be smooth as both sides of the House are on board, so there is not likely to be too many hurdles to ovetcome.

The proposed pension plan is a definite game changer as it will provide greater security of tenure and workers can retire with the prospect of enhanced dignity.

Vision was at the breakfast hosted by the Tourism Minister and applaud the move.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for vision newspaper Canada.

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