$19-million sick leave bill worries DEF

out sickPresident of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF) Benoit Bardouille has expressed concerns that EC$ 19 million has been spent in three years for sick leave by employers and the Dominica Social Security.

He stated that the figures, for 2010 to 2013, are “not encouraging” and a tighter approach to curbing this is critical.

“There is an increase in sick leave and other absenteeism at the national level, probably signs of discontented workers or loop holes in the legislation or both,” Bardouille said at the DEF’s 45 Annual General Meeting at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday evening. “The federation has been analyzing and releasing data on sick leave for the periods 2010 and 2013 and the figures are not encouraging. Over those three years EC$19 million has been spent by the social security and employers in terms of sick leave.”

He stated at a tripartite apprach may be necessary to stem the practice.

“We definitely have to give it a second look,” he noted.

Bardouille is also of the view that Dominica’s Labour laws should be reviewed to focus on employment generation rather than employment protection.

“We need to make it easier and cut out some of the red tape and regulations for employers to hire, manage and end work relationships with employees whenever this becomes necessary,” he said. “One may not agree with this statement but there is need to move this focus of our laws from employment protection to employment generation.”

The DEF’s President went on to say that if changes are made, employees have nothing to fear since they will still have the protective umbrella of the Trade Union movement and the court system.

“So really there is nothing to fear in making the changes that are necessary. It is only through sound and healthy employment relations between workers, unions and employers that we can expect to enhance performance, equity and fairness,” he stated.

He pointed out however, that for this to work, for the benefit of the social partners, the Division of Labour has to improve its rating among employees and employers.

“The Labour Division has to come on board as a partner in labour and employment and not remain on the fringes,” he stated. “There is an urgent need for credibility in the advice and directives given by the Labour Division to its clients. There is also urgent need for speed in the execution of its work.”

In addition Bardouille believes that the small staff at the Labour Division is something that needs to be looked at.

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47 Comments

  1. dunce
    May 25, 2015

    Mr. Bad will please update us about the ongoing airport fire investigations…

  2. Anthony Ismael
    May 25, 2015

    It would be interesting to obtain a break down of the total number of employees who were ill and the types of ailments that kept them out of work. In other parts of the world, employers and health insurance companies are providing incentives to employees who exercise regularly and take the least amount of sick days per calendar year.

    I’m on board with employment creation, but we cannot examine these figures in a vacuum. Offer more incentives to employees and less employees will report sick annually.

  3. Thorbjørn Jagland
    May 25, 2015

    Best you call it Skerrit Employers Federation cause you not working for employers in Dominica.

  4. Jimmy O'Brien
    May 25, 2015

    I will be in Dominica to see it

  5. May 24, 2015

    Yes! Change the laws. I work for a company that recently change their entire sicke leave, vacation day, sick days, paid days off, time off & tardiness policy because of how the system was abused by employees. For example, you got one point if you were absent from work, but you also got one point if you were out for five consecutive days. So, employees would take an entire week off and file for FMLA in order to receive full pay for the week of absence. Guess what?because of the abuse,the lost of revenue and man power, the company revamped the entire system. Now you can’t work any overtime, you have to report to work on time, you can’t leave early either, you have to show medical proof for your absence and points now last one year before they fall off – accumulate five points and you will be promoted to customer.

  6. Big bill
    May 23, 2015

    Note it most of the people taking sick leave are the ones saying my minister send me.

  7. wakama
    May 23, 2015

    those number bogus,publish those numbers for us to see so we can do our analysis,stop saying thing without giving us those numbers

  8. Doc. Love
    May 23, 2015

    The saying, what goes around comes around, is a true manifestation of what is happening in Dominica these days. The man is the main architect behind the suffering of Jammers and many port workers. What he does not want to spend directly in front of him, he will have to spend it otherwise. :mrgreen:

  9. kalinago
    May 23, 2015

    And one point when they don’t employ those who really need to work, they employed their friends through favoritism and are not competent so they must fall ill.

  10. Peter Potter
    May 23, 2015

    I normally do not agree with these people because in general they do not know what they are talking about. In this instance however, he has got a point. We need to be honest with ourselves. Most Dominicans attitude towards work, their workplace and employer leaves a lot to be desired. Resulting from that are amongst others an above average number of ‘sickness’ and absenteeism. This in the long run can not be tolerated otherwise the social security budget can not be balanced unless the contributions are going to be increased significantly. I wonder how that would go down with most employees in Dominica? Even the majority of the G8 find it increasingly difficult to balance their social security budgets without having to deal with this kind of slackness. I would suggest that everybody thinks twice before taking a day of sick unnecessary.
    Now you can all give me the thumbs down. I don’t care. The truth hurts sometimes. It’s time for us to step away from our selfish and selfcentered…

    • Lovely
      May 25, 2015

      while I agree with you, I think it has to do with the fact that employers themselves threat their workers badly.
      With profits, they build big houses, travel the world and buy heavy duty SUV and forgetting to re -invest in the business and workers. while the workers are left to take up the slack.
      It’s about time we are honest in Dominica and start treating people right for the country to progress.

  11. Da girl
    May 23, 2015

    Most employees pay social security. Why do we pay? Tell the government to pay their debt to social security. I work ,I pay social security, and when I am sick I cannot claim? What is that about?

    • Peter Potter
      May 23, 2015

      There we go. That’s exactly what I am talking about. “I pay x-amount in, so I need to make sure that I get the same amount or better even more out”. We needs to stop with this selfcentered and selfish attitude. Sometimes I just wonder what is happening to this country and its people. It is all about money, money, money…, honesty, social conscience, compassion, kindness…they are non existing in Dominicans minds any more.

  12. Delivery thru the nostrils.
    May 22, 2015

    Bad-will, What seeketh thou who is sick You need to go to the maternity ward for psychiatric evaluation. If you can frustrate the innocent and the unborn who else will you not frustrate. You are pregnant with madness.

  13. lolol
    May 22, 2015

    did it ever occur to you not so smart people that most of that debt may have been incurred last year when we suffered the chikungunya epidemic when almost half the working citizens didn’t have a choice but to take sick leave?? lost year many Caribbean countries had to pay exceptionally high rates in sick leave pay. what makes Dominica any different??

  14. May 22, 2015

    Moral is at all time low in Dominica, that’s why people stay home :-D

  15. watchdog
    May 22, 2015

    But wait Bardouille!! Don’t you think that people are actually SICK. My God, your first inclination is discontent and loopholes in the system. But what is wrong with dem fellas nuh??

    And BTW how many jobs and posts mister have nuh??

  16. Lang Mama
    May 22, 2015

    Alah Baduille take Parry job as Pro Duck TV Tea consultant. Now do I believe Baduille when Parry the expert (Not) did state that in his report. Did they renew Parry contract nuh.lol

  17. mandate 2 mismanage
    May 22, 2015

    I see a nice trend….

    First — No more free medical ride at the hospital
    Second — Clean your own roads, take out your own trash, fix your own feeder roads
    Third — No more SS payments for the sick; Fire them!

    I’m waiting to hear of the cutbacks in education, social services, and well, we already know about PWC. The only tax-funded agency that won’t be touched is the police!

    Effectively July 1, all tax payments will be for the ministers’ personal use only. Five more years……five more years….

    • Titiwi
      May 23, 2015

      Well, be reasonable, the money to pay the jobs created for the losing DLP candidates at the last election has to come from somewhere……we have to make sacrifices, beginning with Public Works, to make sure these new govt. officials can get paid on time.

  18. Tina
    May 22, 2015

    SO waitttt social security want to take people money all their lives and they vex when people sick? Social security is a scam not a scheme. They are hoping people die before 60 so they could take all their hard earned money. I know many people who work and pay social security for 20 years and never got sick,. Never claimed for anything. What happens to their money? Oh i see…Well the whole idea is to get money when you are unable to work so social security…if you dont want people getting sick close the scam…sorry i mean scheme.

  19. hmmm
    May 22, 2015

    Social Security want to take all ppl money…. retirement age increase..who knows i might die before that,so let me take my little sick leave money tan

  20. Malgraysa
    May 22, 2015

    Protection of the unions and the court?
    – what happens if you are not a member of a union? I would not want this to be a “persuader” for workers to feel obliged to join a union and I see mr. Bardouille’s statement as a hint to the unions for recruitment so they throw their support behind him. I any case, will the union pay you the same benefits whilst your case is pending?
    – protection of the courts. There are many people in low paid jobs that simply do not have the finances to go through a lengthy court process whilst in the mean time they must live on thin air.
    There are always shirkers but from my experience the employers can do a lot by empowering their employees, training them properly on an ongoing basis and give them recognition. Enforced union membership and ncreasing wages alone is not a panacea for this pattern of absenteeism.

  21. I luv Dominica
    May 22, 2015

    When I am contented with my salary and work conditions, I can work non-stop. If the salary sucks and conditions are poor, I am always sick. You do the math.

    • MandyB
      May 23, 2015

      Why not leave the job for someone that actually wants it instead of wasting people time?

      • Peter Potter
        May 23, 2015

        Exactly right! They want to work 5 hours a day and earn $2,000 a week. You all better wake up and smell the coffee. Not one successful economy on this planet is based on on that principle.

    • sick of it
      May 23, 2015

      You are so right my dear, bills going up and salary going down and you working for nothing but they adding more work on you.

    • TRUEMAN
      May 24, 2015

      Our sentiments exactly !

  22. Intransigent One
    May 22, 2015

    President of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF) Benoit Bardouille has expressed concerns that EC$ 19 million has been spent in three years for sick leave by employers and the Dominica Social Security.President of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF) Benoit Bardouille has expressed concerns that EC$ 19 million has been spent in three years for sick leave by employers and the Dominica Social Security.We need to make it easier and cut out some of the red tape and regulations for employers to hire, manage and end work relationships with employees whenever this becomes necessary,” he said. “One may not agree with this statement but there is need to move this focus of our laws from employment protection to employment generation.”
    Ok BOB! Benoit O Bardouille .
    Now what’s your position on unbridled, unregulated bribery & corruption? Where do you stand? You need not respond we already know like so many enablers where you sit ain’t where U stand.

  23. Outside Looking In
    May 22, 2015

    Gone are the days when most of the sick people used to be those up in age. The younger generation today, even those not yet working, are plagued with one type of sickness or another. Some workers may be abusing the system yes, but there are many who are actually suffering from sickeness, be it migrain, cancer or otherwise.

    On top of this, Mr President of DEF, there may be employers who are not treating their employees good thus leaving room for discontentment.
    Sometimes bad treatment + discontentment = sickleave.

  24. source
    May 22, 2015

    How much position Mr have nuh

    • ME
      May 22, 2015

      That was the first thing i said

  25. real possie
    May 22, 2015

    And then these same people that milk the system would turn around and tell you oh(de country not productive)in my DA voice these are all the things companies look at when they think of investing in countries, they look at your work ethic history. But like de boy for Ma Mally say de country nice boy.

  26. Ch employee
    May 22, 2015

    *cough* clear harbor * cough* :lol:

    • hmmm
      May 22, 2015

      haha, so tru…worst place to work now..they treat their employees like dirt

  27. mydominicatradehouse.com
    May 22, 2015

    so bardo is an expert on planes, boats, customs, port, security and even social security and sick leave wow, I say bardo for prime minister.
    he also said that, Dominica’s Labour laws should be reviewed to focus on employment generation rather than employment protection.

    isn’t that same employment generation is happening at the port… sometimes there at least 19 guards at the gate, when imports are down.. business on the port is at an all time low?,
    ma Dominique told me she fini bat with those fellars

  28. Jayson
    May 22, 2015

    “There is an increase in sick leave and other absenteeism at the national level, probably signs of discontented workers or loop holes in the legislation or both….”

    So your solution is to change legislation to make it simpler to fire and hire with little or no strings attached!

    Did it ever OCCUR to you MR. Bardouille that employees may actually BE SICK!!!

    Instead of jumping to some bull crap conclusion, why not explore ( via the health care practitioners ) what some of the recurring ailments may be, and from the information gathered, see what can be enacted to generate a HEALTHIER and HAPPIER workforce.

    This would definitely be a more proactive approach to the issue at hand.

    Typical ‘house negro’ mentality! *smdh*

    • May 22, 2015

      Yes! Change the laws. I work for a company that recently change their entire sicke leave, vacation day, sick days, paid days off, time off & tardiness policy because of how the system was abused by employees. For example, you got one point if you were absent from work, but you also got one point if you were out for five consecutive days. So, employees would take an entire week off and file for FMLA in order to receive full pay for the week of absence. Guess what?because of the abuse,the lost of revenue and man power, the company revamped the entire system. Now you can’t work any overtime, you have to report to work on time, you can’t leave early either, you have to show medical proof for your absence and points now last one year before they fall off – accumulate five points and you will be promoted to customer.

  29. Francisco Telemaque
    May 22, 2015

    What is wrong with that; people do get ill, when they become sick would you prefer they remain on the job and drop dead rather than take time off to recuperate from the illness?

    And if in less than three weeks thirty ($30,000,000.00) million plus dollars was spent to buy votes, why shouldn’t nineteen million be spent on sick leave?

    The money spent to buy votes was somehow stolen from the peoples treasury, or Petro Carib. The money paying sick-leave is honest money; quite a difference.

    There are different ways to milk the cow, we do it honestly, or by corruption, and thievery! Government ministers milk the cow by thievery, the workers milk it when they are honestly ill oui!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

    What is good for the Goose is good for the gander.

    • Intransigent One
      May 22, 2015

      Do you want me lol

      • Francisco Telemaque
        May 25, 2015

        Well, I responded to you, but I have no idea why DNO deleted it, I don’t think there was anything I wrote which could constitute a law suit. In any event if they print this, and you it you could give me a call, or I will call you over the week end when you are free.

        Did you read my comments in regards to arsenic chicken in response to some information disseminated by another contributor? I hope the print this, I responded regarding some false scriptures Facts wrote in which I defined a man made eunuch and homosexuality, according to the Bible, and they omitted it. So, I do not know what is the problem man.

  30. May 22, 2015

    What do you expect?People are realizing that they work from january to december for over 20 years and cannot make ends meet,,,alot of gov’t workers are still at their parents home,while every time someone becomes a politician ,they own a house,car and spending lavishly in broad day light for the hard working people to see,,,whether the “sick leavers ” are pretending or not the way they are rewarded for their hard work results to cheating the gov’t also …which indeed puts the country in a huge deficit …

  31. hmm
    May 22, 2015

    The way that pple work like robots for little or no appreciation, the increase of such a bill is inevitable.

  32. hmmmm
    May 22, 2015

    Wat nonsense is that, so you mean to say people of Dominica not suppose to fall sick, thats is nonscence

  33. Shaka zulu
    May 22, 2015

    Passive strife. Stress kills.

    • Taj
      May 22, 2015

      Tell dem Shaka!!

  34. truth
    May 22, 2015

    Under paid,over worked, victimised unfairly treated poor working environment what else you expect from your employees smh.

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