Baffour-Awuah: Three million jobs were created under Akufo-Addo’s first term

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Mr Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations

The Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, says some three million jobs were created under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term in office.

“The last time we reported was in September 2020, and the figure was around three million jobs,” the nominee said during his vetting yesterday.

When probed on specifics, Mr Baffour-Awuah said he would make the relevant figures available to the committee.

“I have on a number of occasions come to this House, and given these figures out already,” he added.

Though members of the Committee raised concerns with regard to the discrepancies between the figures he gave and what was contained in his handing over notes, he explained that the handing over notes were prepared in June in line with the Transitional Provisions Act.

“I cannot come before this committee and lie to the committee. I have indicated my readiness to supply you with the information by close of day.

“If I was given the chance to update handing over notes, this would not be the figure you would have,” he added.

On how the ministry arrives at its figures, Mr Awuah said his outfit collates data from various sectors under the state to record employment figures under the public sector.

Private sector

But for the private sector, Mr Awuah said his ministry relies mainly on data on pension contributions from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

“Every person engaged to work must be entitled to SSNIT payments… at any point in time, if you want such information, you can go to SSNIT,” he explained

He however admitted to gaps in this strategy because of the high number of Ghanaians not making pension contributions though he insisted “it is very close to accurate.”

“That is the best we have at the moment. The level of informality in the country is very high. About 80 per cent of work takes place within the informal space,” he added.

Maternity leave

The Minister-designate said he is indifferent when it comes to moves to ensure a possible increase in the length of maternity leave.

When asked about Ghana’s variance with the International Labour Organisation Convention (ILO) on maternity protection, Mr Awuah said: “I am indifferent about it.”

Currently, women workers are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave with full pay.

 

But the International Labour Organisation Convention on Maternity Protection dictates that nursing mothers should be allowed 14 weeks of maternity leave.

Mr Baffour Awuah said there are still ongoing consultations with stakeholders, including the tripartite body, on the matter.

He noted that the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry “hardly takes a decision on its own”.

“Oftentimes some of these things are discussed at the tripartite level to get the buy-in of all stakeholders,” he said.

 

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