By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Junior Minister of Social Protection, Simona Broomes on Tuesday September 08, conducted a spontaneous inspection at on Regent Street establishments following several complaints by employees of irregularities.
According to Broomes, the Ministry has been hearing several complaints with varying degrees of seriousness hence a decision was taken to do the impromptu inspection.
The inspection witnessed in part by iNews revealed several irregularities at some of the stores while others seemed to be in check with the labour laws and operating standards.
At a Cambio, the owner was instructed to pay an employee some three weeks salary after she was arbitrarily dismissed and had made a complaint to the Ministry about the manner in which she was given marching orders.
Over at B&J fashion, it was revealed that some of the employees are not told of their entitlement to two-weeks per annum vacation leave. One of the employees working at the store for over six years had only taken time off once – her maternity leave.
At that entity too, the Ministry discovered of non-working fire extinguishers and blocked fire escapes. The Minister and her team also had a run in with a Chinese business proprietor, who was seemingly upset with the surprise inspection and spoke to the Minister in mandarin after speaking to a customer in English.
“Y’all stop this drama thing that y’all ain’t understanding English, y’all know good English. You know to tell me you selling hat,” retorted Minister Broomes.
It was revealed that the entity was paying workers salaries under the minimum wage at just $34,000 per month when the minimum wage is just over $49,000 monthly.
Broomes urged all the employers to correct the irregularities with immediate effect.
“The amount of complaints that we have been receiving from Regent Street…what we find in most cases is non compliance…there is no pay slip, there is no record. NIS is being deducted but it is not being paid,” said the Social Protection Minister.
She said that the workers are not just “store boys and store girls” but rather employees and should be treated as such.