Labour Market Information System

The ILO is seeking to contract a qualified national consultant to undertake review of the Labour Officers Powers Act of 1943 and to provide technical advisory to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services for preparation of recommendations for revisions to the named legislation.

Background and context:

The review of the Labour Officers (Powers) Act (LOPA), 1943 is being undertaken within the framework of an ILO-funded project that aims to support priority strategies and interventions for the transition to formality in the household services, agriculture and fisheries sectors in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Transition to Formality Action Plan (JTFAP), was developed in 2018-19 with ILO technical and financial assistance, and reflects agreements by national tripartite constituents to pursue a national policy aimed at (a) reducing informality and (b) increasing formalization of business units/actors in target sectors. The specific objectives of the action plan include increasing compliance with labour laws for the benefit of household workers and fisher folks, and obtaining compliance among own-account workers with industry registration requirements.

The strengthening of labour legislation and ensuring commensurate national capacity for enforcement was identified as an actionable strategy in the JTFAP that would address important gaps and obstacles to governance and effective enforcement of regulation by government, which were deemed important drivers in the process for formalization. More specifically, revisions to the Labour Officers Powers Act were considered necessary in order to strengthen the scope and coverage of the law, and to address the need for prosecutorial and enforcement powers of officers for example, in situations where employers consistently fail to respond to information requests regarding household workers.

The impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic and of the public health responses of the Government has been particularly damaging to Jamaica’s tourism and other formal economic sectors. However the shut downs, physical distancing and community quarantines have been especially catastrophic for the livelihoods of informal workers. Among them, roughly 45,000 female domestic workers and 200,000 fishers/ agriculture workers who due to their situation of being unregistered or in informal work, may have been excluded from benefits under existing social security schemes or other emergency economic relief programmes. Therefore, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, with ILO support, is seeking to expedite action on the legislative elements of the JTFAP, not only with the intent to mitigate the increased vulnerability of targeted workers induced by COVID-19, but as part of its ongoing programme of work to modernize and rationalize labour market institutions in Jamaica.

The purpose of the legislative review is to verify whether the mandate and powers of Labour Officers (including the labour inspectorate) are adequate from the viewpoint of (a) comparative law, (b) international labour standards and (c) governance of the informal economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective of the Consultancy:  To conduct a thorough review and analysis of the Jamaica Labour Officers (Powers) Act of 1943 and relevant grey documentation, and to prepare a report of the findings, along with recommendations to facilitate the reform of the legislation in support of strengthening the prosecutorial,  enforcement and monitoring powers.

Methodology/ Activities

The selected consultant will be required to

  1. Review LOPA (1943) to clarify the objectives of the legislation and identify existing gaps.
  2. Review all labour legislDraft (consolidated) report of review findings and recommendations to facilitate the reform of the legislation in support of strengthening the prosecutorial, enforcement and monitoring powers of Labour Officerst, pending legislation such as the Draft OSH Act, to assess the correlation and impact of the LOPA.
  3. Review international treaties that treat with the monitoring and enforcement roles of labour officers. In particular,  the review should include International Labour Standards ratified by Jamaica,  including the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81), the Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150), and the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189)  as well as the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129), the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (No. 204) and the Labour Administration Recommendation, 1978 (No. 158).
  4. Review legislation of other jurisdictions such as the UK, Canada and other Caribbean countries for comparison and to identify good practices to be considered for enhancing the LOPA.
  5. Prepare a report of the findings and recommendations that will be used by the MLSS to facilitate the stakeholder consultations, drafting and other processes for reform of the legislation.

Anticipated deliverables/ Tentative deadlines

Inception Report– presents final agreed data/ information collection methodology and work plan (incl. provisional schedule) for actions/engagements and deliverables. Should include expanded bibliography of key source materials and other documents to be reviewed/examined. 1 week after signing of contract
(Report of) Desk Review- gap analysis of LOPA, referencing all other relevant national legislation/ labour legislation 2 weeks
(Report of) comparative analysis of international treaties/ standards/recommendations, and of legislation of other jurisdictions (matrix of good practices) 2 weeks
Draft (consolidated) report of review findings and recommendations to facilitate the reform of the legislation in support of strengthening the prosecutorial, enforcement and monitoring powers of Labour Officers 2 weeks
Final report of review findings and recommendations (incorporating MLSS and key stakeholder feedback/inputs, as well as feedback from ILO technical review.) 1 week

Submission of Interest

Interested consultants are invited to submit their CVs and a Letter of Expression of Interest containing a technical & financial proposal (max 3 pages) which should address:

  • A brief description of how the work would be undertaken.
  • Initial sources of information the consultant would draw from for gathering the necessary information
  • Schedule to complete all tasks by/ before end October 2021
  • A list of consultant’s previous similar work
  • A financial proposal for the completion of the assignment (i.e. consultancy fees inclusive of associated administrative costs / rate per estimated number of work days).

Qualifications, experience and eligibility of consultant

The consulting expert should be a legal practitioner and/ or have an advanced university degree in law, public administration, international relations, economics, or a relevant field. They should also have at least 5 years of professional experience in research/study, policy/legislation review and drafting. The consultant must have in-depth knowledge of the national labour laws of Jamaica, international labour standards, and other relevant disciplines.

The consultant must also possess competencies such as flexibility, and ability to manage complexities. Excellent verbal and written command of English and knowledge/ ability to use modern ICTs are also required.

Consultants providing references with contact details will be given favourable consideration.  In addition, consultants are requested to complete and submit the ILO supplier registration form to be registered in ILO’s payment system.

How to apply

Submissions should be sent via email only to ILOCARIB@ilo.org copied to melville@ilo.org .