Ministry of Labour launches mobile application to address labour concerns

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2024, 23:47 by Writer

In keeping with its push for the decentralisation and modernisation of its services, the Ministry of Labour, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, launched its first public mobile application on Google Play and App Stores.

The app, titled “Labour Advice”, will allow for the computerised management of complaints and inquiries being submitted to the ministry’s Labour Department.

Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Dhaneshwar Deonarine, noted that the app serves as both a quick and easy mechanism to access the ministry’s advisory services and lodge disputes and complaints.

“This app is designed to give workers and employers a convenient, efficient, and user-friendly tool to stay informed about their rights and seek assistance when necessary,” he was quoted as saying in a Labour Ministry news release.

He further reinforced that the app would not replace the ministry’s current walk-in services, but instead bolster the ministry’s capacity to ensure that Guyanese across the length and breadth of the country can access these services.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, who delivered feature remarks, stated that it is especially important to view the launch against the backdrop of the development that has been taking place in the labour sector since the re-establishment of the labour ministry in 2020.

“We are moving from a place where from 2015 to 2020, this country had no labour ministry, and that is important to note. Through the re-establishment of a labour ministry, and the expansion thereof, to today, the 29th of May, we are launching a user-friendly application to allow for workers to engage the ministry of labour,” he highlighted.

He further pointed out that when the ministry was re-established, it deliberately set out to ensure that offices were established in every region—except for Region 8—for the convenience of workers countrywide. This approach was to ensure that persons have direct access to officers of the Ministry of Labour.

“That was the first phase of this activity. We are now moving into the phase of technology and ready access to the labour ministry,” Minister Hamilton underscored.

He emphasised that the work of the ministry is clear in several areas.

This includes the thousands of individuals graduating annually from the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), persons gaining employment through the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency (CRMA), the revitalisation of the co-operatives sector through the Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies (CO-OP), the promotion of safety and health in workplaces through the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department, and the advocacy of the protection of workers’ rights through the Labour Department.

“There has never been a time in this country where the Ministry of Labour is visible like it is today. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In the last, less than four years, through the work of the Chief Labour Officer and his officers, we have recouped over $160 million from employers, for employees.

“You cannot put a price to (sic) the work that the labour department does, free of cost, across this country to all and sundry. So, people [should] appreciate and recognise the importance of this application, its launch, and the importance of engaging expeditiously with people who have complaints from day to day,” Minister Hamilton stressed.

Finally, he took the opportunity to urge those with industrial relations matters to contact the Labour Ministry to have their disputes or queries sufficiently addressed, rather than airing grievances publicly.

“If you have a problem, the proper place to come is Lot 82 Brickdam to report your matter so that we can investigate,” he said

The launch of the “Labour Advice” mobile application ties into the ministry’s efforts to digitalise, and thereby improve its services through a shift towards more localised and innovative approaches.

This includes the Ministry’s National Job Bank, which was launched through the Ministry’s Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency (CRMA) in March of 2022.

Both of these services were created in collaboration with the National Data Management Authority (NDMA).