Saturday 4 July, 2020

Human resource body wants work-from-home arrangements to continue

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iStock image

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ) is encouraging employers to continue to support a flexible work-from-home (WFH) policy for their workforce, although the government’s requirement for such will end on May 31.

It is also seeking government support a flexible workplace policy.

The Jamaican Government, among its COVID-19 containment measures, had asked businesses in non-essential trades to allow workers to operate from home.

The HRMJ, in a recent statement, encouraged all organisations to document work-from-home policies for implementation as a tool for the support of the Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) legislation.

The release said, “We note that work-from-home is not a new concept and was always a feature of flexible work arrangements (FWA) in some local organisations even before the advent of FWA legislation.”

“As an association of a diverse workforce, we commend our members and other companies who prior to now would have implemented work from home policies.”

The association also commended the prime minister’s encouragement of WFH.

 “We support the government’s COVID-management efforts and we encourage the continuation of the previous emphasis on WFH for those whose jobs allow them to.”

It added: “This will provide a necessary and important signal from the government to organisations that we need to focus on measuring output rather than rely upon traditional methods of workflow management,” the HR body said.

It stated that continuing WFH, where possible, will communicate to both employers and employees a strong commitment to supporting the clear efficiency and social distancing opportunities.

“HRMAJ sees a need for restraint on a return to work order for those who were home because their jobs allowed it.”

The body said it is urging policy support be provided to allow employees to be entitled to apply for full or partial WFH if they and their jobs meet key qualifying criteria, and which require employers to consider and determine eligibility.

 “HRMAJ supports statements by private sector leaders that WFM can benefit both employers and employees, and we commend and support their desire to maintain it where necessary and possible,” the association stated.

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