Danny Roberts warns fixed contracts ‘an abuse’ of work arrangements

Danny Roberts, co-chair of the Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (Photo: JIS)

Co-chair of the Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (P-STOC) Danny Roberts has again highlighted the issue of temporary contracts, which he says continue to put some workers at a disadvantage.

In his new year’s message as head of the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute, Roberts said the emergence of these types of contracts have pushed many workers outside the statutory provisions established to protect them from unfair and unequal treatment.

“There are undoubtedly occasions when fixed-term contracts would provide the degree of flexibility that prove beneficial to both the employers and employees.   The issue, therefore, is not the use, but the abuse of these forms of flexible working arrangements which have a negative impact on the quantity and quality of jobs and undermine the sustainability of the social protection systems,” he stated.

Roberts pointed out that other jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, and the European Union (EU), have provided legislative reforms to protect workers.

He said industrial relations must focus on organisational efficiency, equity in management/worker relationship as the key to productivity and profitability.

The P-STOC co-chair further argued that the country must work towards moving the national minimum wage to a liveable wage.