Sunday, 9 October 2011

Holiday Entitlement at work

Q: What are my holiday entitlements at work?

Me in Paris 2010, thanks to my GUARANTEED UK holiday entitlements.


A: This is an area of employment law that MUST be addressed by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently, there is no legislation or policies regarding holidays, UNLESS you're a State employee. How can we as a country, leave holiday entitlements up to the private companies to overwork employees? The government MUST ensure that employers fulfill their duty of care towards employees.

Yes, we have numerous public holidays, but if an employee wants to take a vacation and is denied the time, that employee has no rights or recourse. How could that be fair? Why hasn't this yet been addressed? My suggestion is that we follow the format used in the UK where there is a minimum right to paid holiday, but the employer may offer more than this. The main aspects of holiday rights in the UK include:

•you are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave - 28 days for someone working five days a week (capped at a statutory maximum of 28 days for all working patterns)

•part-time workers are entitled to the same level of holiday pro-rata (so 5.6 times your usual working week, e.g. 22.4 days for someone working four days a week)

•you start building up holiday as soon as you start work

•your employer can control when you take your holiday

•you get paid your normal pay for your holiday

•when you finish a job, you get paid for any holiday you have not taken

•bank and public holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement

•you continue to be entitled to your holiday leave throughout your ordinary and additional maternity leave and paternity and adoption leave

53 comments:

  1. This is an informative post. Thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Enjoy great holidays in Tobago with your family and friends and get involved in the great and adventurous activities which are popular on the island.
    Tobago Holiday deals
    holidays to Tobago

    ReplyDelete
  3. My company decided to shift from a 7 days on 7 days off offshore rota to a 14 day rota and took away our 21 days vacation and gave us 14 days. Is this legal? Can they do that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see anything illegal about it.

      Delete
  4. I am on temporary continuous employment for nine (9) months am I eligible for any sick leave???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sick leave kicks in after 6 months...Minimum Wage Act.

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  5. Is Saturday and Sunday included in your holiday days

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't normally work weekends, weekend days would not be considered vacation days.

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  6. Can an employer include sick leave as part of you annual holidays thus reducing your holidays to tww weeks only?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sick leave and annual holiday are two distinct entitlements. Neither can be deducted from the other.

      Delete
  7. Great information.
    How do we go about making holidays legally challengable in order to safeguard the employee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have drafted an Employment Fairness Bill... support my cause and all employees in T&T will have all their rights protected.

      Delete
  8. Hello, I am permanently employed with a local private company for over 5yrs and working hrs are mon-fri 7:30-4:30. In the past 3yrs my employers have implemented a policy of closing the office from 27Dec to the first working day in Jan. This is usually 4-5 days but they take the days out of the employees vacation entitlement. Today an email was sent out stating the office will be closed for the public holiday Divali 23-25Oct 2014. They also stated the closure for Friday 1 day would be taken out of my vacation entitlement, and for those employed mon-sat 2days would be taken. I need to know if this an illegal practice? It seems so to me....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems unfair, but it's completely legal.

      Delete
  9. Hi Good day,

    I recently started working at a company...march 2014...and now they are downsizing and are closing my department. I was issued a letter last monday stating the redundancy of my position come december 31st. I would like to know what action can be taken to get paid for vacation that I would have been entitled to if I was to make a year come next March 2015. The company claims they dont pay vacation anymore. If you dont take it you lose it. No pay. But i need to know if I can get paid for my vacation before they let me go in December

    ReplyDelete
  10. Can an employer tell u when u can resign?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can a private institution choose not to pay their employees for Carnival Monday and Tuesday since it is not deemed as a PUBLIC holiday???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on how you're paid. If you're hourly paid and you don't work, you can't expect payment.

      Delete
  12. i work for a drugs store .i made my second year on 22/10/2014 and i asked for one week vacation for 16/1/2015 my boss say i cant have it and the she told me i could have it june is that right cant an employee decide his or her vacation time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The employer can make that determination if it is essential to avoid business interruption. For example, many employers don't allow vacation at Xmas time because it is a busy period.

      Delete
  13. I am a permanent employee and vacation leave was never discussed with my employer. Can you tell me the basic vacation leave entitlement for private workers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Private and public are the same. 14 days (10 working days) is the minimum.

      Delete
  14. I am a permanent employee I asked my employer to work less days so I could pursue some classes he agreed. I would like to know if I am entitled to vacation and sick leave despite my reduced working hours.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How many days does one entitled to after 5years.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi ! If my company wants me to work on a public holiday, can i be written up or punished if i dont go ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if they are paying you 3x your normal salary for that day.

      Delete
  17. Thank you for your speedy respeonse,
    The info passed to me is as listed:
    First 8hrs - 2times hourly rate
    thereafter 3times hourly rate
    and i am only required for 4hrs

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello! If an employee has worked for more than a year and then resigns, is the company legally required to pay for their unused two weeks vacation? I read the Minimum Wage Act and it isn't very clear about what the requirement is in that regard. Is this a legal requirement or does it fall under industry practice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on when your vacation is supposed to begin. Year 1, or year 2.

      Delete
  19. If I only work 20 -22 hours a week what sick leave and holiday leave am I entitled to?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have been working for a privately owned company for the past four years and was only entitiled to 1 week holidays after i made my first year uptil now ,is that fair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on where and for how much you work.

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    2. I work for a highly established steel company and i surely make a good salary ,the problem is other workers in other departments of the company are entitled to their 2 weeks from the second year of employment while i for no reason only entitled to one could this just be that my supervisior does not want to give me what i am entitled to?

      Delete
    3. The industry standard is 2 weeks. Clearly there's some form of victimization.

      Delete
  21. I work for a State Enterprise but its a closure company waiting to dissolve, I have been employed for 12 years. What are my vacation entitlement. No written contract was given to me but verbal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm lost... you worked for 12 years and now ask about vacation when the company has been dissolved?

      Delete
  22. In your introductory you stated “ Currently, there is no legislation or policies regarding holidays, UNLESS you're a State employee.”

    However this person asked

    Anonymous5 March 2015 at 07:25
    I am a permanent employee and vacation leave was never discussed with my employer. Can you tell me the basic vacation leave entitlement for private workers?

    Your response was

    Trinbago Rights7 March 2015 at 16:21
    Private and public are the same. 14 days (10 working days) is the minimum.

    My question is

    Do we have legislation in place which determines how many vacation days an employee is entitle to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Civil Service Act and the Minimum Wages Act are the only two legislation concerning vacation. If you don't fall into either category, there's no law covering you, HOWEVER, there is an "accepted standard" for those who fall outside of those categories to get 10 working days. Alternatively, the option is to unionise and let the trade union bargain for a collective agreement.

      Delete
  23. Can an employer seek justification from an employee who was denied vacation leave and took sick leave casual for the same period

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Once you deal with it properly, you won't have any issues.

      Delete
  24. What is "sick leave casual"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sick leave is sick leave.
      Casual is a type of leave created by the government for public servants.

      Delete
  25. My employer is a US based company and they want to implement a new policy to only allow 12 public holidays to be taken by staff. Trinidad has 14 official public holidays so the extra 2 will have to come out of our personal vacation. Is it legal for them to enforce this policy? Is there an Act related to this? If so then I would like a copy of it to show my HR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can't do that.
      http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/19.05.pdf

      Delete
  26. Prior to going on maternity leave I she took a total of 67 days by different sick leave certificates, would this affect my entitlement for vacation?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have been working with a state company three years next month. However wrote asking for six weeks vacation leave and proceeded on same with verbal permission, 10 days after resumption of duty I was given a letter indicating that I would not be paid for the period of leave taken because it was deemed 'unauthorized'. I have had contracts - one year by one year, then month to month for six months, which was followed by a six month contract, soon to end. In the contracts there is no mentioned of sick, business or vacation leave. Is the action by my employer legal, and how can I proceed with this matter to get my unpaid wages. Thanks in advance. Please note that my service was never broken and also please advise on gratuity for three year period.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello, I am trying to figure out if a state owned company can instruct their employees that they must apply for what ever vacation days they wish to take over the course of an entire year and all applications must be submitted by a set deadline at the beginning of that year. If deadline is missed then vacation will be denied.

    I am asking this because I find it can be difficult for an individual to plan out when they may want to take their vacation so far in advance... After all things do come up over the course of the year when someone may wish to get some time off...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This recently happened at PLIPDECO... the union doesn't seem to care about its members... no, that type of policy is nonsensical and the Court will most likely deem it unreasonable

      Delete

Thank you for commenting.

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