Gov’t moving to conclude talks on public sector overtime policy Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Government is working to finalise a new standardised overtime policy for public sector workers by the end of the current financial year in late March, according to Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke. 

The policy is aimed at establishing clear and consistent principles for compensating for overtime work across all public sector occupations.Clarke, in a statement on Friday, said the Government has been “actively working” with public sector unions and staff to develop a fair overtime policy. 

“It is expected that these discussions will be concluded by the end of the financial year,” he stated.

The policy is part of broader public sector compensation reforms that have been implemented over the past year that involves over 40 unions and over 100 public bodies. 

“Prior to the compensation restructure there were several different methodologies across the public service and across several occupational groups, to compensate for work done outside of normal working hours,” Clarke stated. 

“These arrangements were characterised by a lack of equity, inconsistency of application and, in some cases, payments made whether or not work was carried out outside of normal working hours,” the minister informed.

“These arrangements did not allow for the most efficient delivery of services to the Jamaican people,” he added.

The finance minister went on to say that the new standardised policy is aimed at ensuring overtime compensation is fair and tied directly to actual overtime work.

Additionally, he said proper management systems will be implemented to ensure fiscally sustainable application of the new policy.

Previously, some public sector workers received duty allowances regardless of overtime hours, while others working overtime went uncompensated. 

The reforms are to base overtime pay strictly on hours worked outside normal schedules, and managers are also to have more flexibility in scheduling, to minimise unnecessary overtime costs.