In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the Government stipulated national pause
aimed at combating the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases across the island,
the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) recently hosted an
informational session entitled “What Businesses Need to Know During the Current
The session is part of the Barbados Chamber’s ongoing efforts to keep members of the
business community and the wider private sector fully engaged on critical issues that are
impacting businesses during the current climate.
“We recognise that in times of crisis it is very important to keep our communication lines
open and to keep our members engaged while providing a forum for members of the
business community to keep abreast of developments that will impact their businesses
during this pandemic. Our commitment is to keep members of the Chamber sensitized
about how to adapt and pivot in the face of the unprecedented challenges facing
businesses and the country in general,” said Mrs. Lobban-Clarke, BCCI Executive Director.
The recent informational session sought to address labour and employment issues
impacting businesses during this current pandemic and to provide the private sector with
an update on Government’s ongoing COVID-19 measures and the roll-out of the
vaccination which recently commenced with frontline workers of supermarkets and other
The discussions were led by Dr. Anton Best, Senior Medical Officer of Health, HIV/STI
Programme, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Dr Omar Edwards – Medical Officer of
Health, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Mrs. Claudette Hope-Greenidge, Chief Labour
Officer, Labour Department, Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and Mrs.
Sheena Mayers-Granville – Executive Director, Barbados Employers’ Confederation.
President of the BCCI, Trisha Tannis in her opening remarks stated, “there is a natural
preoccupation with the impact on the labour market as it relates to both existing curfew
period. This session is intended to explore these issues and the options available to
businesses within the context of the legislation.”
“Businesses are suffering severely and are attempting to keep the companies afloat
amidst the ongoing pandemic,” Mrs. Claudette Hope-Greenidge, Chief Labour Officer
stated. She added encouraged greater collaboration between businesses and the Labour
Department as it relates to labour and employment issues while ensuring that the rights
and responsibilities of both employer and employee are protected.
Mrs. Hope-Greenidge stressed that there were no changes to the labour legislation during
the period of the ongoing pandemic and as such, an employer is required to comply with
the legislation including where an employee cannot report for work due to being
quarantined. Employers were encouraged to continue open dialogue with staff and if
needed to make the necessary intervention to sensitize employees about COVID-19
protocols and the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In his presentation, Dr. Anton Best noted that the indicators for the success of the ongoing
measures were “trends of new cases within a 14-day period; rate of causes per 100,000
population, case fatality rates, positivity rates, occupancy of isolation beds and public
adherence to measures”. He added that, “we need to effectively deal with COVID-19
through collaboration with various entities such as the BCCI, the businesses community
and the public. ” Participants were also advised that as more persons are vaccinated the
less persons will be in quarantine or isolation as a result of exposure to the virus.