Thursday 9 April, 2020

Minister: Barbadian youth deterred by unhealthy work environments

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan.

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan.

Toxic workplace environments have been blamed as one of the reasons behind Barbadian youth increasing interest in entrepreneurship. 

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan was speaking during the Estimates in the House of Assembly when he suggested that Barbadian youth were skeptical about working for others due to the bad reputation of some workplaces. 

"There are some workplaces, there is a lot of tension and a lot of unease. When a person is mistreated, unfaired at work [and] when they go home, they are not able to mask the fact that they just left eight hours with a demon and because of the nature of human beings, that must have some impact on the other people in the household, it must have impact with those they interact with even at a social level," Jordan explained. 

"I believe it affects the view of some young people as it relates to working for people and I believe that the desire of a lot of young people to work for themselves is not just a built-in desire to be an entrepreneur but it comes from a view that working for people is hard work, low wage, bad treatment at work. I believe, that view is a result of the experiences that some of the people that they have interacted with," he continued. 

The Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations was unable to give statistics on the prevalence of bad treatment in the workplace and its effects, however he stressed that he was aware of its negative impact on employees. 

"I am not able to quantify, I cannot say that some percentage of deviance is a result of but I do know, I think most of us know that bad treatment in a workplace must manifest itself outside of the workplace and I am of the view, without any empirical data, that it is having a negative impact," he stated. 

Jordan said that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations to not only settle differences between employers and employees but also to come to the aid of workers who have faced discrimination, unlawful conduct or unfair treatment because "the strong will kill the weak".

"We need to make sure that chaos does not reign and that the vulnerable are looked after," he persisted. 

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