Barbados Employers’ Confederation's (BEC) HIV/AIDS program
SummaryBEC is the only membership-based private sector organization specializing in industrial relations and human resource management in Barbados. It was founded in 1956 and was registered as a trade union of employers. It now has an estimated membership of 232 private enterprises and sectoral groups.
Key program components
BEC’s objectives for HIV/AIDS in the workplace are the following:
- Reaching a substantial number of enterprises nationwide through information, education, and communication. Continued dissemination of the booklet “Dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Workplace”.
- Integrating HIV/AIDS prevention and anti-discrimination programmes into existing industrial relations and health and safety programmes targeting small, medium and large enterprises.
- Continued collaboration with the social partners to conduct seminars and workshops on counselling and managing HIV/AIDS and other related workplace concerns.
- Training for management and personnel to implement the HIV/AIDS policy and workplace programmes.
- Continuing to produce and disseminate additional industrial relations and health and safety education literature on HIV/AIDS workplace issues.
- Regularly reviewing the workplace policy on HIV/AIDS and modifying it as needed. Establishing a monitoring and evaluation system of the effectiveness of the policy and other guidance literature.
BEC participates in consultations and meetings among the social partners and has maintained an ongoing representation on national governmental committees. The Executive Director of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry represents BEC on the National HIV/AIDS Commission. An Industrial Relations Officer has been designated as HIV/AIDS focal point in the BEC, and is the organization’s representative on the Ministry of Labour HIV/AIDS Core Group. BEC collaborated in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security seminar on the national Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and Other Life Threatening Illnesses in the Workplace, and helped finalize the Code.
BEC first prepared the booklet "Dealing with Aids in the Workplace" in 1995. This sets out guidelines for managers and supervisors in dealing with the pandemic. The booklet was revised in 2001 and has been circulated to businesses across Barbados.