Sixth
Fifth
Fourth
Special
Third
Second
Sustainable
First

Skip Navigation Links

Barbados
- Afro Descendants - Agriculture - Civil Society - Cultural Diversity - Democracy - Disaster Management - Education - Elderly Persons - Energy - Environment - Gender Issues - Health - Human Rights - Indigenous Peoples - Infrastructure and Transportation - Joint Summit Working Group - Justice and Rule of Law - Labor - Migration - OAS - Public and Private Cooperation - Public Management Improvement - Security - Social Development - Summit Follow-up - Sustainable Economic Growth - Technology - Trade - Youth and Childhood -
Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  12/18/2015 
The informal economy may be described as that part of the economy that operates outside structures of taxation, social security, the collection of statistical information and labour standards as well as regulation. Establishments which operate in the informal economy usually adhere to most laws and are not engaged in major criminal activity.

Barbados recognises informality as both a product of the market system we operate and a driver of the market system. The informal sector can be seen as an element of the economy that is rich in potential, to spawn, incubate and nurture businesses enabling them to develop and grow into the more formal structures.

Mechanisms for transfer into the formal economy
A policy approach of support and assistance to persons in the informal sector has been adopted. While it is recognised that the informal sector will always be with us, we are unfailing and steadfast in continuing efforts to promote the formalization of those in the informal sector to ensure that persons in that group are able to enjoy decent work and access the same benefits of persons employed in the formal sector. In that regard the following mechanisms are in place to assist those in the informal economy to transfer into the formal economy:
Social Security
All self-employed persons are required by law to be insured under the National Insurance and Social Security Scheme. Self-employed persons are entitled to Sickness, Maternity, Funeral, Invalidity, Old Age and Survivors’ Benefits.
Business Incorporation
To officially establish a business name, one completes a one page form and pays a small fee. A limited liability company can be established with relative ease.
Entrepreneurship business training and development - Small businesses are encouraged to become involved in relevant organisations, namely the Small Business Association and the Barbados Association of Vendors (BARVEN). The Government provides technical assistance to young business persons through its Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme which facilitates the development of businesses in areas such as business planning, marketing and budgeting.
Enterprise Growth Fund
Medium-sized enterprises can access financial resources through the Enterprise Growth Fund, which also manages sectorial funds such as the:
- Agricultural Development Fund
- Energy Smart Fund
- Industrial, Investment & Employment Fund
- Innovation Fund
- Small Hotels Investment Fund
- Tourism Loan Fund
- Fund Access

Raising Operating Standards

Health authorities in Barbados work continuously with persons in the informal sector to raise the standards of their operations. The aim is to attain and maintain certain basic standards that ensure the maintenance of good public health, and engenders confidence in the quality of products offered by small operators, particularly those in the food and catering industry.
Physical Facilities
The Government provides physical facilities and amenities at strategic locations throughout the country, to facilitate the operations of small scale operators.
Labour Standards
Labour standards are applicable to persons engaged in employment regardless of the size of the organization. It is recognized however, that the oversight of labour standards in the informal sector presents particular challenges. On-going public education activities, administered by the Labour Department, contribute significantly to reaching persons in the informal sector as it relates to labour standards.
Paragraphs: 13 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme

The Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme represents an improvement of the
existing Welfare to Work Programme. It is part of the overall empowerment programme
offered in the treatment model to recipients of National Assistance and those persons at
risk. Clients are offered skills training opportunities to equip themselves for the world of
work. Personal development training is also part of the programme. It is based on the
philosophy that persons can earn their way out of poverty.

The scaled-up version of the programme will include job placements and work
experience as well as psycho-social support. It will also be an integral part of the ISEE
Bridge Programme.
Paragraphs: 15 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Decent Work

Government through its medium term economic strategy has implemented a number of measures aimed at improving employment prospects. These include:
- investments in capital projects;
- increased funding to entities like Fund Access to assist such institutions in providing technical assistance to small and micro enterprises;
-maintaining employment levels within the public sector and using the mechanism of the Social Partnership to encourage the private sector to do likewise by adopting measures such as reduced work hours and implementing shift systems; and
-pursuing additional double taxation treaties in the effort to further develop the international business and financial services sector.
As the Ministry of Labour pursues its mandate of facilitating the provision of decent and
productive work for Barbadians it will focus on a number of activities and programmes
during the fiscal year 2011-2012. This will inter alia entail the following:
• assisting in employment generation through the sourcing of job opportunities for Barbadians in both local and overseas markets;
• formulating policies and implementing legislation with a view to promoting rights at work and enhancing other employment conditions, relations and opportunities; ensuring there is an adequate supply of well trained manpower in various branches of economic activity through improved delivery of training and expanded programmes;
• enhancing the Barbados Labour Market Information System to deliver reliable, accurate and relevant information to key agents in the labour market;
• continuing the development of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programme as the principal means of workforce development and mobility;
• continuing to ensure the maintenance of a stable industrial relations climate by (i) enforcing and promoting labour, including workplace safety and health standards; and (ii) promoting good industrial relations practices throughout the public and private sectors;
• promoting standards of appropriate behaviour in the workplace;
• promoting a supportive, ethical and human rights environment in the workplace for people living with and affected by HIV / AIDS and other life threatening illnesses; and
• implementing a decent work country programme with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Paragraphs: 15, 16 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The Government of Barbados strives to protect the rights of all women and children and seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women "Convention of Belem do Para. Legislation has been passed in order to protect against incidences of Human Trafficking. A National Task Force on Human Trafficking currently exists but must be formalised. A Protocol on Human Trafficking to complement the legislation is being drafted.
Paragraphs: 18 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Domestic Laws

The Ministry's legislative programme includes the development of the following pieces of legislation - An Employment Rights Bill, Anti-discrimination legislation and Sexual Harassment legislation. It is also planned to proclaim the Safety and Health at Work Act 2005.

The Employments Rights Bill is at an advanced stage of preparation. It seeks to confer on persons, primarily employed persons, new employment rights. This Bill inter alia protects persons from unfair dismissal and the infringement of other employment rights. It ensures that employees are given full details of their employment particulars.
An Employment Rights Tribunal will make determination on such matters.

Drafting instructions have been prepared for anti-discrimination legislation. Through this legislation, no person shall unfairly discriminate against an employee or prospective employee in any employment policy or practice on the basis of race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, sex, marital status, pregnancy, age, medical condition or disability. An important aspect of the proposal is the identified need to empower officers assigned to the Ministry of Labour's Project Unit whose mandate includes investigating and recording cases of discrimination against persons living with and affected by
HIV/AIDS.

Sexual Harassment legislation seeks to provide remedies in respect of acts of sexual harassment. The Employment Rights Bill will determine complaints made under the legislation with regard to sexual harassment and will make awards in accordance with the powers given under the legislation.

The Ministry of Labour is currently addressing two (2) important matters before proclaiming the Safety and Health at Work Act 2005:
- carrying out an audit of the workplaces in the public sector to determine the extent to which safety and health conditions conform to the Act;
- obtaining consensus through discussion among the tripartite constituents with regard to Section 104 of the Act - the right to refuse dangerous work.
Paragraphs: 15 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Facilitating and promoting the movement of enterprises and workers from the informal to the formal sector, without adversely affecting the rights of workers

This cross-cutting issue falls under the ambit of several Ministries. In Barbados, there is no large scale effort to carry out the activities described in the above caption. However, it should be noted that the National Insurance Department which is responsible for administering the social security scheme, continues to promote to small business and individuals, the need to be insured against a number of contingencies so that should they occur, the worker would enjoy some level of social protection in their time of need.
Paragraphs: 16 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Protection of all people particularly women and children from sexual and economic exploitation

Barbados has ratified Convention No. 182 (the Worst Forms of Child Labour) and is committed to the precepts of that Convention. The Ministry of Labour has performed the important role of sensitizing its stakeholders and members of the public about the scourge of the worst forms of child labour through educational workshops, the print and electronic media.
Paragraphs: 15, 18 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2011 
The Government of Barbados strives to protect the rights of all women and children and seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women "Convention of Belem do Para. Legislation has been passed in order to protect against incidences of Human Trafficking. A National Task Force on Human Trafficking currently exists but must be formalised. A Protocol on Human Trafficking to complement the legislation is being drafted.
Paragraphs: 18 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Related Resources