The full time contractual employee

Surely something must be wrong with that heading, since the conventional wisdom is that full time employees are not on contracts but are “permanent” employees.

Jamaican companies are increasingly ( for cost saving measures) moving away from full time permanent employees to contract labour who are “permanent”, here is how it works.

An employee is taken on board and at the time of employment he is told he will be placed on contract which last a year and becomes renewable at the end of the year based on the performance of the employee.

There are ( we call fix term) contracts, but they most often goes beyond one year and most pay a performance bonus or gratuity at the end of the contract period and that is fine.

What we are seeing now is not the above but a deceptive way many company’s are using to get the job done, but without fully compensating the workers for their efforts under the Jamaican law.

These workers not given the following benefits

  1. Life insurance
  2. Health insurance
  3. No pension scheme
  4. Not entitled to funding to upgrade their skills
  5. Laundry or uniform allowance

So the company has chosen to shaft the ordinary worker in order to cut operational cost, while still maintaining their fleet of  luxury vehicles and their full cadre of highly paid executives who live a life of luxury.

I am all for senior managers to be paid well so long as they deliver the results, what I am totally against however is the exploitation of the worker to achieve those results, for which you are being handsomely rewarded.

Young people looking for jobs are now being forced to go into these types of arrangements, which offer them little or no protection.

If we continue to this part, there is no doubt that productivity in Jamaica will continue to fall, as these workers do not see themselves as part of the company, they will not be committed or dedicated and will just do enough to stay employed until they find a better opportunity elsewhere.

If we are not careful, in the next 30 years or less we will end up with a multitude of retired persons with no pension and who are sick having put off for years visit to the Doctor simply because they had no health plan, which could offset the cost of medical treatment.

The only pension many will have the the government run NIS, which is not enough to keep them going and many could end up on the streets in Jamaica.

Is this what we want to see in this country, if we plant the seeds that will not bear good fruit then that is exactly what is going to happen in the next 30 years or so and we are going to be left wondering what really happen.

If a company wants to reduce operational cost, the first thing it out to create is what we call a value stream mapping.

What this does is,  to look at all aspect of your operations as it currently is ( not what it’s supposed to be) ie you map every aspect of our process from when a request is made by the customer to the delivery of the product or service to the customer.

The next step is to note how long each step takes, how many persons are involved and then tabulate the total time that is involved.

The next step is to identify the following:

  1. What steps adds value or are valued added steps
  2. What steps adds no value .

A step that adds value is one in which the customer would want to pay for what is being done at this step.

A non value added step is one which adds no perceived value and is a step that the customer is not willing to pay for.

Finally you then move to eliminate as much of those non valued added steps as possible.

One must note however that you will not be able to eliminate all non value added steps as some just have to be completed to get the job done.

This of course is an over simplified process as it requires quite a bit of work and someone with special training in this area.

At  the end of this exercise, many companies will come to the realization, that they have been engaging is many activities they need to keep and can eliminate those. Ultimately this leads to cost reduction in the operations and in many instances elimination of some positions.

The value stream process however should NEVER be used to cut staff, the focus is to reduce waste and ultimately cost and where jobs are eliminated in one area, these folks can be used to improve the additional processes in other areas of the organization.

Companies will then not have to cheat its workers out of the benefits that are due to them, they can pay more while still be in a position to offer value to the customer.

PR for commonsense.

If you are interested, I have no issue having someone on board to  engage you in reviewing your operations with a view of eliminating waste.


We need to do better for our workers






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