President of the Industrial Court, Debra Thomas-Felix, is concerned about the substantial increase of COVID-19 pandemic related cases filed in the Industrial Court over the past 18 months.
During her address at the Special Sitting for the Opening of the new law term, Mrs. Thomas-Felix said between March 2020 and September 2021, a total of 178 COVID-19 related Industrial Relations offences were filed in the court. However, in the 12 month period between March 2020 and March 2021, 124 new cases were filed.
Mrs. Thomas -Felix lamented the absence of social dialogue between employees and employers.
Mrs. Thomas-Felix also criticised the unilateral approach that some employers are using to change workplace and employment policy. She noted this practise does not augur well for a productive post pandemic economy.
The Industrial Court President implored everyone to come together to fight the pandemic to create and maintain safe, healthy working conditions which includes taking practical steps to minimise and prevent the spread of the virus.