The “last in first out” method used by Government to fire workers in the public sector could soon become a thing of the past, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has indicated.
In addition, she said a new policy was being developed to introduce up to seven lieu days for public servants.
Mottley gave the indication on Wednesday during the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) January luncheon as she responded to questions from members of the audience.
She said her administration was currently working on putting a performance evaluation system in place that would help Government to make a determination of who would go during a restructuring so that the most productive workers would be spared.
“So I hope there will never be a next time, but realistically if there is, decisions can be made on the basis of performance, on the basis of merit and in a transparent and fair way, but . . . we need to have a comprehensive performance management system in place,” Mottley told the packed room of business officials.
Mottley explained that “the difficulty” her administration had in its retrenchment exercise under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme was that “we had to move quickly” and in the absence of a proper performance management system.
“We knew that we had to go with the unions on the last in, first out for this time. We are working assiduously to put in performance evaluation and we are working assiduously to change our relationship with public servants,” said Mottley.
She said in addition to the retrenchment method, Government would ensure that public servants did not have to take a vacation or sick day to tend to an emergency, adding that this method was “antiquated”.
As a result, Mottley said Government was working closely with the labour movement and private sector through the Social Partnership to put new rules in place to introduce “a system of lieu days of up to seven days”.
The Prime Minister did not give any indication of how soon those policies were expected to be in place.
Mottley, who is also the Minister of Finance, also assured the business community that she was seeking to invest “significant sums” in a national training initiative so that private and public sector officials can receive requisite training.