ONE GROUP OF COMPANIES has shown its commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Cave Shepherd & Company Ltd along with its associated companies - Duty-Free Caribbean Holdings Ltd, Signia Financial Group Inc., and Fortress Fund Managers Ltd - unveiled a draft policy addressing HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
Speaking at the launch of the Employees' HIV/AIDS policy on Friday at the Barbados Central Security Depository on Hincks Street, Bridgetown, Duty Free Caribbean Holdings regional head of human resources Pauline Mager-Miller said it was important for employers to take action against the disease. "The first step of such action is the formulation of a strategy that increases awareness and tolerance," she said. Mager-Miller noted that the policy had been formulated using International Labour Organisation guidelines and combined the protection of rights, prevention and care.
Chief executive officer of Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd, John Williams said the 20-54 age group representing 75 per cent of reported HIV/AIDS cases also formed the core of the group's workforce. Noting that his company had always taken its corporate and social responsibility seriously, Williams said this policy represented further commitment to employees.
AIDS Foundation of Barbados president Colin Brewer described the policy as a "truly commercial decision". He said it would be a beneficial investment which, among other things, would help reduce early retirement.
The group of companies also partnered with AIDS Foundation of Barbados Inc. to donate $20 000 each year for the next three years to tackle HIV/AIDS in the workplace.