Remove taxes on bulletproof vests | Local company

The Estate Police Association is calling on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to settle all state enterprise negotiations and remove all taxes and duties on body armor in the next budget.

In a press release yesterday, EPA President Deryck Richardson said the association believes it should be mandatory for employers to provide body armor to all law enforcement officers. security industry.

He recalled that “Occupational Health and Safety Act 88:08, Section 6(c) General Duties of Employers, gives the employer the responsibility to provide adequate and appropriate protective clothing or devices to ‘a standard approved for employees who, during the course of are likely to be exposed to the risk of injury to the head, eyes, ears, hands or feet, injury caused by an airborne contaminant or any other bodily injury and the provision of adequate instruction in the use of such protective clothing or devices”.

Richardson said: “We have taken the new approach, which may seem like a corporate responsibility to ask the government to remove all taxes and duties on this essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) and we recognize that we use to take legal action against employers, which is time consuming and expensive.

“The association believes that we have a responsibility to initiate this petition on behalf of those taxpayer citizens who are employed under already harsh and oppressive conditions and operate in a high crime environment and are subject to the criminal intent of members of society. “

He added that this measure removes the argument of affordability by employers, strengthens the EPA’s argument for the mandatory provision of body armor and strengthens the protection of its agents.

Richardson had lamented last month that the private security industry is poorly paid and that there are currently no provisions for annual leave, sick leave and other benefits for private security workers.

“Alarmingly, there was provision for this in the Security Industry Sector Ordinance 1994 which was signed by PNM Labor Minister Kenneth Collis. This ordinance included a clause for the provision of uniforms by the employer, however, provisions for annual leave, sick leave and provisions for uniforms by the employer were removed in 1995; the resulting effect is that security guards are not legally entitled to these essential provisions and many are forced to pay for their uniforms,” he said then.

Richardson said there were employers in the industry who had state contracts but did not pay their officers’ sick leave and annual leave.

He noted that property police officers from security company G4S had challenged the company to pay overtime after working eight hours instead of 12 hours, but a special labor court tribunal had ruled that estate agents were not workers under the Labor Relations Act. and as such are not covered by the minimum wage law.