Fathers who may be included in the hundreds of Government workers announced to be retrenched are being urged not to abandon their fatherly responsibilities. And those who have to pay child maintenance through the law courts have been told to continue honouring that commitment.
This from Ralph Boyce, chairman of the Men’s Education Support Association (MESA), as he gave Barbados TODAY his advice to men who will be affected by the action announced by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last December and expected to start from Wednesday.
“So whatever you have to do, my advice to men is that you should continue to do and continue to bare your responsibilities as fathers, no matter what is happening to you,” he said.
Boyce also pointed out to the men that as they received unemployment benefit from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), they should spend the money wisely, especially as it resulted in fulfilling their fatherly duties.
“They are going to get some sort of unemployment benefit; they need to carefully deal with this money because sometimes they get the money and then spend it very quickly. They should be very frugal and try to live within their means with that money,” said Boyce.
He added: “The child is your child and you need to give it all the support, despite whatever is happening to you. Sometimes if you can’t give actual money, you can give in kind and sometimes stay with the children or take them out as a means of getting the pressure off the ladies.”
The advocate for men’s rights in Barbados also called on mothers to be understanding of the situation where men were unable to meet the requirement of supporting a child.
And for those men and women who will be sent home and on the breadline, Boyce urged them to “turn over a new leaf and be resilient” while equipping themselves with relevant skills and knowledge that would enable them to become marketable on the job market.
He warned those currently employed in Government or the private sector to practise good work ethics through being punctual and effective as they gave a full day’s work.
“I have heard the criticisms on the air where people are saying that people came to work late and leave early; that is something that they should try to avoid for the future. I have had persons working with me and you can’t find them when you look, because they gone to the minimart or they are outside sitting just quietly relaxing.
“Sometimes, the hour before they are supposed to leave they start freshing up and men are doing it now too. I see men having this sort of hand cream because they want their hands to be soft rather than rough,” said the former Chief Education Officer.