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Companies could pay 50% more for security services following Marksman ruling

Companies that engage private security guards at business establishments will now have to pay almost 50 per cent more for the service. 

The court ruled that guards engaged by security companies to provide third party services are employees and not independent contractors.

The court's decision is applicable to all private security companies that engage security officers as independent contractors.

The Jamaica Society for Industrial Security (JSIS) held a media briefing on Friday morning to outline how the court ruling will impact security companies and their customers.

JSIS Director Major Richard Reece said the ruling has significant financial implications for clients of security companies, including the Government of Jamaica, which represents 65 per cent of the market, while the private sector makes up the rest.  

He said the increase in costs could be as much as 49.56 per cent, "based on a 40-hour work week in addition to 32 hours of overtime". 

JSIS President Lieutenant Commander George Overton has said some security companies are already finding it difficult to meet the next payroll.

He said a "hard stance" will have to be taken to recover monies owed by the government and other customers who engage their services. 

"We're going to have to get money to pay the guards. And those who are really delinquent, we're going to have to decide whether we want to have their business or not. We have to collect our money off the road because we have our bills to pay and our bills to pay predominantly, first and foremost, is the guards. If we don't pay the guards, they're not attending for duty," he reasoned.