Nearshore Americas
Jamaica BPO covid-19

Jamaican BPO Association Seeks Government’s Help for Introducing Work-at-Home Arrangements

Jamaican BPO outsourcing industry lobby group has urged the government to remove duties on computing devices and amend labor laws for the BPO employees to work from home.

The Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) says it wants contact center workers to purchase computers instead of taking home the computers they use in their workplace.

Computing devices are expensive in Jamaica, as most of them are imported from countries such as China and South Korea.

Removal of import duty and sales tax would make the devices affordable for thousands of BPO employees, reported Jamaica Gleaner, citing Gloria Henry, president of GSAJ.

“We have started to put work-at-home solutions in place, and one of the critical things to accommodate that is to get a waiver on the duties for computers because, for security purposes, the companies will need to have their own equipment being utilized (in the homes of their employees) under any work-from-home arrangement..,” Henry said.

Laws governing privacy and data security also need to be changed for the BPO employees to work from home, according to the GSAJ.

The BPO industry is the second biggest earner of the US dollar for Jamaica, with its workforce increasing from 12,000 to 40,000 in the last six years. Besides, the industry is hopeful of making US$1 billion in annual revenue and creating 11,000 new jobs annually in the years to come.

It seems some BPO firms have already started teaching their employees how to safeguard data and behave responsibly when they start working from home. “The business continuity measure is being utilized as we speak for persons working at home….,” Henry added.

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The association’s boss has confirmed that travel restrictions, imposed in response to the outbreak of coronavirus, had not affected the BPO industry yet.

“We have investors that are being processed now, and even with the restrictions on travel, we are fortunate because we have been conducting meetings with prospective investors…”

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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