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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

In Barbados, the duties of the Chief Labour Officer, Deputy Chief Labour Officer and Labour Officers in respect of labour inspections are laid out in Section 5 of the Labour Department Act Chapter 23 enacted on 1st September 1943. Their duties shall be to:

  • (a)

    ensure that the laws in force concerning conditions of employment and the protection of employees in their occupations are fully applied;

  • (b)

    to give technical information and advice whenever necessary to employers and employees as to the most effective means of complying with the said laws;

  • (c)

    indicate in their inspection reports difficulties or abuses not specifically covered by existing laws;

  • (d)

    visit places of employment and to institute enquiries for the purpose of performing the duties set forth above;

  • (e)

    establish statistical data in the course of their enquiries, as instructed by the Chief Labour Officer.

The labour inspectors have the power to enter, inspect and examine at all reasonable times by day and night any premises or place liable to inspection, when he has reasonable cause to believe to be liable to inspection. He may require the employer to provide documents and information to show that all laws are complied with.

Every employer who employs ten or more employees shall, when requested by the Chief Labour Officer, furnish him with the following particulars in respect of his/her business, trade or profession: Number of employees (adults and juveniles) and sex.

It is generally regarded that child labour tends to take place in small informal enterprises. It is therefore recommended that this provision be amended to include all employers, regardless of the number of persons they employ. Use of Information There are limitations with respect to the information provided by the employer. Section 9 states that no individual return or information provided by the employer shall, without the previous consent in writing of the person giving the information be published nor, except for the purposes of a prosecution, shall any person engaged in connection with the collection or preparation of statistics under this Act be permitted to see any such return.

It further states that no person engaged in connection with the collection or preparation of statistics under this Act shall disclose or make use of the contents of any such return or information. Any person who knowingly acts in contravention of this subsection is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred and twenty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.

Moreover, any report, summary of statistics or other publication prepared in accordance with this Act shall not be disclosed in any manner whatsoever to identify any particulars as being particulars relating to an individual person or business. The


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