This follows a call made via press release by MP Ameen for Deyalsingh to reconsider his decision and allow Day Care Facilities to be opened with guidelines from Ministry of Health in time for Public Servants and other employees to return to work as announced by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in Parliament on Friday 4th March.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced on Friday that all Public Servants will be expected to return to work from March 7, 2022, and Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh announced on March 5th at the Ministry of Health’s virtual media briefing that Day Cares will remain closed. On March 6, 2022, Minister Deyalsingh announced that Day Care Centres will be opened.
MP Ameen said, “the timeline of these decisions represents a lack of forethought and demonstrates the Minister’s muddled and incompetent leadership.”
However, MP Ameen reiterated that supervisors in the Public Service should be given the discretion to allow flexible work schedules and work from home arrangements on a case-by-case basis given that Covid-19 virus has not disappeared and parents with children at school or in day care will from time to time require special consideration for safety, well-being and peace of mind for both parent and child; issues which she says are even more critical to parents now.
Ameen pointed out that employers in some countries are offering flexible and feasible options, including in some cases providing backup child-care or paid leave so parents can balance work and parenting obligations and pointed to Rachael McCann and Megan Sowa, health and benefits director and assistant director, respectively, at global consulting firm Willis Towers Watson who wrote “To the extent employers are able to offer flexible work schedules and generous leave, this can go a long way to maintaining a heathy and productive workforce.”
Ameen is calling on the Government to be more pro-active, transparent, and coherent in their decisions going forward.