JFF announces new policy guidelines governing sexual harassment, whistle blowers and safeguarding children

By Sports Desk January 23, 2023
JFF President Michael Ricketts JFF President Michael Ricketts

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has announced new policy guidelines surrounding sexual harassment, whistle blowers and safeguarding children and young people.

The new policies emerged from a meeting of the JFF board on Saturday January 21st.

The policies, the JFF said, complement the Procurement Policy already approved in December 2022 and submitted to FIFA.

According to the JFF the Sexual Harassment policy aims to safeguard employees of both genders from unwanted sexual advances and provide them with guidelines to report incidents.

The new policy explains how they handle complaints and take action against offenders.

“The JFF aims to provide a safe working environment and prohibits any form of sexual harassment,” the football governing body said it a statement on Monday.

“Hence, any act of sexual harassment or related retaliation against an employee is unacceptable. This policy, therefore, intends to prohibit such occurrences and details the procedures to follow when an employee believes that a violation of the Policy has occurred. Making a false complaint of sexual harassment or providing false information regarding a complaint will also be treated as a violation of the policy,” the JFF said.

With regards to its Whistle Blower policy, the JFF said it will provide a mechanism for all directors, officers, employees and contractors of JFF to report and disclose, in good faith, all improper or illegal conduct which adversely affects this entity or is contrary to the public interest, without fear of punishment or reprisal.

This policy, it said, is also aimed at facilitating prompt and full investigations into reports which are made in good faith and stipulates the procedure which must be complied with when addressing any complaints which alleged acts or attempted acts of interference, intimidation or reprisal against directors, officers, employees and contractors who report, disclose or investigate such acts.

“Therefore, all directors, officers, employees and contractors of JFF are encouraged to adhere to the procedures and guidelines specified in this Policy for reporting all allegations of suspected improper or illegal acts,” the JFF said.

The policy governing the Safeguarding of Children and Young People aims to ensure compliance with the Children (Child care and Protection Act) (2004) that all children participating in activities and programmes organized by the JFF do so in as safe a manner as possible.

 In addition to the policies approved, the JFF has also taken steps to ensure that it conforms with internationally accepted standards, by commissioning background checks on all coaching and technical staff, and will further expand this as they seek to bring full transparency and comfort around the persons involved with the operations of the JFF.

“This is especially as we recognize that we are the guardians of children directly, through our national teams and camps, and also have to interact with children nationally,” the JFF said.

 In addition, the board also deliberated on the coaching qualifications in Jamaica, as it recognizes how critical coaching development is for a sustainable and improved football product.

Against that background, the board approved the following:

A subsidy of $150,000 for the next batch of 24 coaches that will be doing the CONCACAF B License, which will be selected as at least one from each parish and the national coaches.

For 2023, there will be two B License sessions of 24 each, and in order to encourage participation we will subsidize the first batch. The full cost is $300,000, which means that participants will only have to pay $150,000 and there are currently 27 B License coaches already.

A subsidy of $40,000 for the next batch of 24 coaches that will be doing the CONCACAF C License, which will be selected as at least one from each parish and the national coaches.

 For 2023, there will be four B License sessions of 24 each, and in order to encourage participation we will subsidize the first batch. The full cost is $80,000, which means that participants will only have to pay $40,000 and there are currently 57 C License coaches already

The JFF, through the Technical Committee, will do an assessment as to whether a subsidy is needed for JFF D License certification. There are currently 300 D License coaches already.

 “The JFF encourages coaches to take advantage of the available certifications, especially that as of next season the minimum coaching requirements will be as follows:

Premier League Men’s – every coach must either have a CONCACAF B License or is actively registered

Tier 2 Men’s and Premier League Women’s – every coach must have a CONCACAF C License or is actively registered

Major League – every coach must have a JFF D License or JFF Advanced Level 2 certification or is actively registered

Every person involved with the youth must do a safeguarding course, and is familiar with the Safeguarding Children and Young People policy.

 At the highest level of CONCACAF A License, the JFF currently has 10 coaches completing the course, with seven of the 10 almost certified.

“The JFF is committed to improve the governance and transparency around our operations, to ensure that our stakeholders are fully aware of decisions taken that will affect the JFF and football in general,” said JFF President Michael Ricketts.

“I have therefore asked that these decisions be communicated to the public to show the steps being taken to continue the development of football in Jamaica and chart an even more successful path for Jamaica’s international performance. The JFF recognizes that we are seen as one of the leaders in CONCACAF and will ensure that we do not disappoint.”

 

 

 

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