Industrial peace and ensuring fair and adequate remuneration are among the priorities of new Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou told MPs on Tuesday.

Explaining the five priorities of his ministry to the House labour committee, Panayiotou said this focuses on two pillars; the cohesion of society and the development of the economy.

“They are two sides of the same coin as for the economy to grow our society must be cohesive.

“People can be good citizens, willing and hardworking when they understand that their state loves and supports them so that they can produce and the economy can grow,” he said.

Referring to his priorities, the labour minister said these are ensuring industrial peace, regulating the working environment, ensuring fair and adequate remuneration, safety, health and dignity at work.

The most important, he said, is the development of the country’s human resources.

Addressing the MPs, Panayiotou stressed he is “fully aware of the responsibility” he assumes as labour minister and “the importance of cooperation between us both at the personal level, but especially at the institutional level.

“Our mission is to hand over the power that we currently administer better than we took over,” he said.

Cooperation and consultation with the competent House committee is “important”, the minister added.

Committee chairman and Akel MP Andreas Kafkalias assured the minister the committee would work with him “to the extent that it can contribute constructively to providing solutions to the problems facing society, the country and workers”.

The committee decided to examine the issue of workplace health and safety on April 4.

During the session, the opposition MP said other important issues that require immediate regulation were raised which will be discussed at a later stage.

These include CoLa, amendments to the national minimum wage decree and to remove the 12 per cent penalty for those wishing to receive their pension at 63.

“Now is the time to make corrections to the new Employment Strategy for third-country workers, which further deregulates labour relations,” Kafkalias said.