GHA validates standard employee handbook

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Gambia Hotel Association (GHA) staff handbook was on Wednesday 22 November 2017 validated at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) in Kanifing.

The Gambia Hotel Association, in partnership with Africell, Guaranty Trust Bank and Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute hired the services of Fatou Mass Jobe Njie to develop its first standard employee handbook for its member hotels.

The handbook was developed in collaboration with the department of labour and Haddy Dandeh-Jabbie, legal practitioner and dispute resolution practitioner.

The handbook was also designed to acquaint employees of GHA member hotels with detailed information regarding working conditions, employee benefits and other issues affecting their employment.

The main objective of publishing the standard handbook was to ensure that all employees are protected according to the labour laws of The Gambia.

In her remarks at the validation, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, the consultant disclosed that they went beyond the scope of traditional employee handbooks by introducing new topics such as the unique selling proposition of destination Gambia, what the GHA is about and the need to create a positive total customer experience in the hospitality industry.

She stressed that the ultimate goal was to ensure that the handbook is a living and breathing document for all employees. She thanked all for their invaluable support.

Malleh Sallah, Chairman Gambia Hotel Association, said hotels are the biggest employers in the tourism sector and that comes with serious responsibilities.

He added that labour issues have become major issues in the tourism sector but he believes that the handbook would go very far in making sure when hotels employ personnel, they start with the right underlining  principles in the handbook.

According to him, tourism is on the verge of taking the lead in the Gambia as well as taking the lead in the economy, saying that tourism has the potential to double employment and the economy.

‘Tourism is the sector that all Gambians should see as the best way forward for the economy to double its benefits and earnings,’ he stated.

Mr Sallah said they want to see hotel employees and employers to see themselves as one family in order to achieve success.

He thanked Fatou Mass Jobe for her great work.

Madudou Bah, Director of Quality Control, Licensing and Enforcement, said the handbook would bring fairness and equity in the employment sector particularly the tourism industry.

He urged other sectors to emulate the initiative.

Haddy Dandeh Jabbie, Legal Practitioner and Dispute Resolution Practitioner, said in any relationship there has to be an understanding which the handbook seeks to provide.

Sidad B. Sanneh, Principal Labour Officer at the Department of Labour, stated that the handbook would enhance close cooperation and mutual understanding for employers and employees by creating a conducive working environment.

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb