Concerns with work ethics raised

Labour Commissioner, Matthew Leblanc

Labour Commissioner and Chief Labour Administrator Matthew Leblanc shared his thoughts on some burning employment patterns seeking to become norms at the workplace on day two of a three-day workshop being conducted by the Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce to transfer knowledge and skills to Chinese traders and other merchants who have displayed a need for information and tact to better manage their businesses.

The workshop is the result of concerns shown by the local merchant community about the manner and ethic of trade conducted by Chinese merchants.

Leblanc said yesterday morning that “cell phone use and texting on the job are inappropriate conducts and poor work attitudes and, following warning by an employer, are grounds for termination of employment.”

On the plethora of absences for illness, which is fast becoming a major cost of employment, the commissioner had this to say: “The law does not provide any time off to an employee claiming to be ill. Rather, the law provides a 48-hour window for an employee to obtain a medical certificate, not for an employee to be sick or stay home complaining ill. The window is not to recuperate or to chill out. It is to obtain a medical certificate.”

At yesterday’s session, Leblanc led participants into the laws and practices of labour management and relations in Dominica.

Special attention was placed on employment standards and other labour conditions imposed on employers by law and convention. The labour commissioner took his audience into the application of international labour law and how these affect Dominica’s image as a compliant member of the global community.

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26 Comments

  1. Sad
    September 24, 2010

    So what is going to be done…. In the present climate the country will only suffer more due to this. Every employee wasting time in DA is impacting the growth of the nation and costing the country money.

    Blame Skerrit all you want but people in glass houses must not throw stones. Get your own house in order first.!!!

  2. September 24, 2010

    After reading the comments, all this negative air no wonder the tourists boats are bailing out on us. Have you ever made calls to ‘professional’ companies in our island’s capital? I must say tsk tsk, shame on you guys and gals, country pple have more etiquette than y’all. And for the person that says you don’t need to stay home for colic, I’m betting they don’t have a vajayjay, also maybe they want the women to come and make errors in their work, while puking over in their waste baskets. Bravo!

    It doesn’t take much to have good work ethics, no matter what the manners of your boss or coworkers, be the golden apple. Also every company should have proper ethic standards. All the persons that criticizing Mr. Leblanc, have they been in his shoes? What effort have they made to make this island a better, more developled, more professional, more tourist friendly, more customer friendly place?

    Thank you!

  3. Valda Bruno - Durand
    September 24, 2010

    @ a nice guy

    You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, a woman who gets bad colic will not be able to walk much less come to work, the women in your life must be very blessed not to get colic if thats the way you feel. Colic comes with headaches, severe cramps, vomitting and more do you really think a person in that state should go to work?

  4. Pram Pram
    September 24, 2010

    I’ve seen soo much nonsense in Dominica since I moved back I wouldn’t know where to start! Dominicans need to start being more customer service oriented than they are! They watch all this American TV rubbish and try to pattern their lives on what they see on TV, maybe they should learn from the Americans and start being more polite and treat persons with respect. I must say I have seen a significant change at KFC.. The staff there are slowly becoming more and more courteous.
    I think persons should not be allowed to use Facebook at work unless their job is to manage social networks for the company. Persons abuse company time here in Dominica. It is so hard to get a job here yet persons abuse their employers. Working hours are 40hrs per week and if you work more than that especially at the request of your employer, the enployer should be obligated to pay you overtime. Your lunch hour is NOT paid for. In North America, if you pick up garbage or work for the Governement you’re entitled to 1 hr break per 8hrs. That is 30mins Lunch and 2 15minute breaks , you get 5 sick days a year and 2-3 weeks vacation per year. In Dominica you are given so much more and you take advantage of it. It’s really unfair to employers.
    Mr. Leblanc, I think the government should train their workers, then private sectors and offer FREE courses in customer service, educate persons in human resource practices and then maybe CARNIVAL and ROYAL CARIBBEAN to follow will not pull out of Dominica….

  5. ...
    September 24, 2010

    And yet all them big man never follow their rules and regulations. According to the Irish proverb “the man with the boots does not mind where he places his foot”, even if it means he has to trample on your and my rights.

  6. Jayson
    September 23, 2010

    Please please PLEASE make it mandatory for ALL government employees to wear NAME TAGS with their names printed big enough so persons can read it standing at least 3 feet away from that individual.

    ALSO, that whenever someone answers a telephone at ANY government establishment, make it MANDATORY that they identify themselves (first and surname).

    they’ll be more careful how they talk to you!!

  7. naomi
    September 23, 2010

    But the PM calls people during working hours on their cell. When they are supposed to be dealing with the customer, they have to stop to answer a personal call on their cell , from the Prime Minister. Of Course you know who gets those calls.So productivity is for everyone and not ust for some. Blackberry working alll day for peole who are supposed to be at work , I know because they are on facebook.

  8. Sad
    September 23, 2010

    @PURE PURE S—: Many compnanies ban the use of mobiles whilst at work unless for emergency.. but here it is the latest toy that people cannot put down…

  9. Sad
    September 23, 2010

    @a nice guy: i hit dislike by accident.. i like this response.. lol

  10. irving
    September 23, 2010

    that not making no sense, talk about those employees that come to work all 9 and 10 in the morning when work starts at 8 sharp. and those leaving the office when they want and coming back when they want. yes i’m a hard and heavy texter but my work never lags behind. talk also about those who taking long ass personal cell calls on the job, when somebody come to them or the government line ringing their cell phone hard and heavy in their ears. and they must look at the senior ppl too not just the small fries.

  11. see
    September 23, 2010

    What about the work ethicks for employers? Tell me, because I am not educated on the labour laws.. I work from 8am to 5pm, with a 15minute break and 1 hour lunch break. It’s my knowledge that employees are supposed to work 8 hours day, when asking my manager why i work 9, he simply said “your lunch hour is yours”.. Isnt there something in the law which says you are supposed to be paid for your lunch hour? And if i am correct, how do us employees approach this situation?

  12. interesting
    September 23, 2010

    @GINGER: Some of us are of the view that the 2 days “uncertified sickleave’ permissible per month (which in most cases is not written in law) gives us the right to take 2 days off per month. There is a limit to this ‘uncertified sick leave’ which in most cases is 8 days, after which any additional days are either deducted from your annual vacation or from your pay.

    Recently, one of my co-workers exceeded the amount permissible and she boldly stated that no one could touch her salary or vacation. That the 15 days she was ‘uncertified sick’ does not matter…..sometimes I just wish more of us were EMPLOYERS. It’s only then we understand.

    In fact, this ‘uncertified sick leave’ was becoming such a problem that in one of the top regional establishments, the decision had to be taken that on your first day of being sick you must submit a medical certificate otherwise your pay or vacation will be deducted. And, the Labour department could do nothing about it since there is no law that states you are ‘entitled’ to two days sick leave without a certificate.

  13. PURE PURE S---
    September 23, 2010

    “Leblanc said yesterday morning that “cell phone use and texting on the job are inappropriate conducts and poor work attitudes and, following warning by an employer, are grounds for termination of employment.” RUBBISH LEBLANCE….PURE RUBBISH

  14. I fed up
    September 23, 2010

    Mr. Commissioner clean you back yard first. the public service in bombarded with people brought in by the politicians, not one manager can control them. fights in public office ….in high office and no man can talk. So boss clean up your yard. you not even sure what is right and wrong…..

  15. vain-23
    September 23, 2010

    I wonder how much does the LC know about the labour laws of Dominica, since he spends more time doing the job of chief immigration, further more international labour law? international labour law has nothign to do with work ethics nor internal/domestic labour standards, tell him to ask me, i can give him session on dat

  16. interesting
    September 23, 2010

    Every day is the same cry but who’s going to bell the cat? We have bosses who figure they are the boss so they stroll in to work at 8:30 and 9am and then leave at 4pm with their keys jingling. They don’t even “pretend” to take home any work. While at work, 60% of their time is spent behind locked doors doing their own personal business, thus giving their workers enough time to be on facebook and msn.
    Blocking social networking sites is not the solution since most persons now have Blackberry.

    So what then is the solution? It goes back to our moral values ….our upbringing. Irrespective of what job you hold or how good your pay is, unless you have good work ethics and give your employer the output that they hired you to give, you will continue to find ways and means of cheating your employer.

    And to those of us who think sin is fornication and murder, news flash; when you stroll in to work late, leave early, spend two hours daily on facebook, msn, emailing, surfing etc, take an extended lunch, have breakfast from 8:30 – 915, you are STEALING, because you are being paid for doing all these personal stuff instead of your work.

    We are very irresponsible and too many of us have this ‘entitlement’ syndrome”. We are entitled to a salary but don’t want to work for it. We call in at 7:50 to say we are ‘running late’ – by 7:15 . We come in at 8:15 and go out for breakfast at 8:30am (for one hour)….really now.

    Sometimes I wish more local organisations would pay by the hour; we like to be treated like slaves too much.

  17. Fellow Dominican
    September 23, 2010

    On a recent visit to my homeland – Dominca, I attempted to make a purchase at a local retail outfit. I politely stood at the checkout with my items, but the clerk paid no attention to me. After a few seconds I said “Excuse me” to which her response was “My lady, you doh see I eating my lunch nuh!” I could hardly believe what I was hearing. However, the look she gave me was worse than what she actually said!! I made a decision right there and then that she was not worthy of my business. I left the store without making the purchases.

    My point is that the level of Customer Service offered in both the private and public sector establishments MUST get better if we are to make a name for ourselves as a “people-friendly” island.

    Thank you Mr. Leblanc for taking stand…..

  18. a nice guy
    September 23, 2010

    @lady saw

    Colic Period is not an excuse to stay home from work, so every time u get colic you gonna stay home?

    In other countries you get 5 sick days for the year, after that they taking out of vacation time and pay.

    NOT AN EXCUSE.. take ya rass to work

  19. GINGER
    September 23, 2010

    I SUFFER FROM TERRIBLE MIGRAINE SO WHEN I GET AN EPISODE AND REALY CAN’T MAKE IT TO WORK WHAT DO I DO GET A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE, I REALLY AGREE THAT AN EMPLOYER WOULD RATHER HAVE HIS EMPLOYEE OUT FOR TWO DAYS RATHER THAN TWO WEEKS.

  20. LADY SAW
    September 23, 2010

    SO IF I HAV COLIC (PERIOD) I HAV 2 GET A CIRTIFICATE JUS 4 DAT………HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  21. j
    September 23, 2010

    Leblanc said yesterday morning that “cell phone use and texting on the job are inappropriate conducts and poor work attitudes and, following warning by an employer, are grounds for termination of employment.”

    but we want to justify cell phone use in schools.. good point sir

  22. lele
    September 23, 2010

    work ethics in DA is horrible and this is why it is so diffcult for us to progress. Work ethics, Street ethics, home ethics all shed the same light in DA.

  23. Sad
    September 23, 2010

    The quality of staff available is of a poor standard. The country wants first world benefits with third world attitudes to work. Youngsters have a job and then rather sewo than work and get fired, then crying that they broke and cannot find work. Basic processes and decisions take forever.

    Customer service is embarassingly disgraceful etc.

    Employees and emplyers need to step to the plate. Being a beautiful country is not enough nowadays in this developing world.

    Too many people want to do the minimum or less than the minimum required to draw their salary.

  24. Valda Bruno - Durand
    September 23, 2010

    WHILE I MUST AGREE WITH MR. LEBLANC ON THIS ISSUE OF WORK ETHICS I THINK I WANT TO TAKE IT A LITTLE FURTHER, THE CIVIL SERVICE IN PARTICULAR NEEDS TO HAVE A LITTLE MORE CONTROLL OVER ITS NETWORKING SYSTEMS AND MANAGE WHAT EMPLOYEES HAVE ACCESS TO AT EVERY LEVEL, “IT HAVE ENOUGH CIVIL SERVANTS THAT HAVE GARDENS ON FARMVILLE ON FACE BOOK WHO NEVER PUT THEIR HAND IN SOIL AND IS ON GOVERNMENT TIME THEY DOING IT”, I THINK GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BLOCK ACCESS TO THESE SOCIAL NETWORKS, LEAVE THAT FOR AT YOUR HOME. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE AN OFFICIAL WORK EMAIL THAT CAN BE MONITORED TO LEAVE LITTLE ROOM FOR PRIVATE BUSINESS, LEAVE THAT FOR AT YOUR HOME. ON THE ISSUE OF THE TWO DAYS OFF SICK I AM SURE THE EMPLOYER WOULD PREFER AN EMPLOYEE TAKE TWO DAYS OFF TO CHILL AND PULL THEM SELVES TOGETHER THAN TO HAND IN A TWO WEEKS SICK LEAVE, FOR SOME THINGS WE HAVE TO GIVE AND TAKE. HOWEVER THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS NOT THE ONLY ONE AT FAULT THERE ARE SOME PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESSES AND NGO’S YOU SWEAR THEIR STAFF VEX WITH THE WHOLE WORLD, IT COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE AND SMILE OR TO BE CORDIAL WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS, IT NOT EVERYBODY BUSINESS YOU DID NOT GET A LITTLE PEICE LAST NIGHT TAKE IT EASY YOU WILL GET IT TONIGHT, DO NOT PASS THE RAGE ON YOUR CUSTOMERS.

  25. DomCan
    September 23, 2010

    good stuff

  26. NEUTRAL
    September 23, 2010

    Does that meant that government workers will no longer just walk out of their offices and go shopping
    on government time? Hallelujah!!!
    To be fair we should also hold out hope that employers in the private sector will also get from their employees the work that they are paid for.
    You see, every time some one who has lived overseas make a comment we should not dismiss it, the discipline learned from punching a clock and giving your employer the eight hours due to him or her is not a bad thing for us Dominicans to adopt.

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