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

103 comments:

Discrimination Lawyer Boston said...

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

HolidaystoOrlando said...

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Anonymous said...

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?

Trinbago Rights said...

I don't see anything illegal about it.

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

Sick leave kicks in after 6 months...Minimum Wage Act.

Anonymous said...

Is Saturday and Sunday included in your holiday days

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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

roger Koonkoon said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Anonymous said...

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....

Trinbago Rights said...

Seems unfair, but it's completely legal.

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

No rights in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Can an employer tell u when u can resign?

Trinbago Rights said...

I need more information.

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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?

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

How many days does one entitled to after 5years.

Trinbago Rights said...

No law. Company decides.

Anonymous said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

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?

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Unknown said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

It should be pro-rated.

Hardworker said...

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?

caroni said...

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.

Trinbago Rights said...

Depends on where and for how much you work.

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Hardworker said...

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?

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Nicole, Blackchika said...

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?

Trinbago Rights said...

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.

concern employer said...

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

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Confused said...

What is "sick leave casual"?

Trinbago Rights said...

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

concerned worker said...

Hello, I would like to know prior to my maternity leave , i took a total of 67 days by different sick leave certificates, would this affect my entitlement for vacation. The company policy is saying i must work 220 days. The maternity 14 weeks were not counted as absent. I am paid above the minimum wage.

Kezia Maughn said...

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.

Trinbago Rights said...

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

anonymous said...

I work for a private company with 20 days vacation. I went on maternity leave with 10 days vacation as my maternity leave ended in the earlier part of 2015. This was all arranged and approved 2months before I left on maternity. Upon my return to work HR left (there's only 1 hr person in the dept) apparently employee files were missing etc. This was never communicated to the staff. A few months after returning to work I emailed the temp HR person asking how many days I had remaining on my vacation. They replied and I used all those days which they stated.

In 2016 the company is now telling me I went over my vacation entitlement because they incorrectly advised how many days I had remaining and want to deduct the days from my 2016.vacation or deduct it from my pay. (Note I went over by 10 days)

Is this legal? I was not aware I went over as I applied and got approval from my direct.manager for all days used.

concerned worker said...

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?

Private said...

Can a company force you to go on vacation even though you don't have any?
So therefore you would not be paid?

Good Worker said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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...

Trinbago Rights said...

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

Mya said...

Is a private company required to pay double time on a public holiday?

Nicole said...

Do you count public holidays as part of maternity leave. Eg. Start maternity 21st June, due to end 27th September. If you add in 4 public holidays you would instead return on 4th October. Can you clarify which is correct.

Trinbago Rights said...

The Maternity Protection Act does not mention public holidays, so there's no law on it; however, I do not believe that the holidays would be added at the end.

Trinbago Rights said...

Are you a minimum wage worker?
https://www.facebook.com/ttworkersassociation/

disagreed said...

I've started working at a private company in 2010 and the policy was when you make 5 years you will be entitled to 3 weeks vacation i got permanent in 2014 I made 6 years this year last year they changed the policy to six years last year and now this year they are telling us we have to work 210 days from the time we was made permanent is this legal

CB said...

Hi I am a permanent worker at a private institution. Am I supposed to get paid on public holidays or is it up to the employer?

Dawn Phillip said...

Hi I'm currently employed as a security officer working a 24 on 25 off shift im going on my 2nd year of employment. When I was interviewed I was told that I will be entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation however when i applied I was told that I can only get 7:days leave. Can my employer do this. Is this illegal in any form.

Trinbago Rights said...

If you're monthly paid, yes. If you're daily paid, no.

Trinbago Rights said...

No it's illegal to do that. That's a breach of contract.

Anonymous said...

Hi. My employer requested that all employees take their vacation within the year. Any outstanding vacation would be lost. Can a company take your vacation away without any remuneration? Is there any case law to back this up?

John brown 12 said...

I lives in Port of Spain,I am currently employed at a security company only as recent as last week I found out I have to work two years before I can apply for vacation. Is it legal to do so?

Trinbago Rights said...

No... it's 12 months. Look at the Minimum Wages Act.

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes... Use or lose. We used it in England.

Limer said...

Thanks for the reply

Unknown said...

I am employed with a state enterprise for over 5 years. My second 2 year contract expired almost 18 months ago and since then I have been employed on a month to month basis. My concern is I am now pregnant and plan to take maternity leave in a few short months and the corporation is not issuing any contracts at this time. What protection do I have in this case? Am I even entitled to this maternity leave? Please help and advise. Thanks.

Trinbago Rights said...

You're safe. Contact our Union: Trinidad and Tobago Workers Association.

Anonymous said...

I am working for an US base company here in Trinidad and according to the new contract offered they are giving us 5 days sick leave is this legal? Doesn't the Labor Act States 14 days sick leave?

Anonymous said...

I own a small private company. My employees are asking for an increase in hourly rate as well as overtime. They are paid $400/day and overtime at $30/hour plus meal of $30 after 7.30pm. They are also paid for holidays and sick days. My questions are as follows (1) Is my overtime payment too low? (2) Are they entitled to a meal allowance? (3) Are all workers (even those who have completed their 6 month probationary period) entitled to be paid for holidays, sick days and casual days?

Trinbago Rights said...

1. They're paid above minimum wage, so there's no law governing this. It's your business decision
2. No law on this - business decision
3. Sick leave after 6. Vacation after 12. Although I believe these thins should begin immediately pro-rated.

Anonymous said...

Good day
AS a part time worker who only works Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, am I entiled to time and a half on Saturdays and double time on Sundays?

Trinbago Rights said...

No

Anonymous said...

As a temporary employee am I entitled to paid vacation

Kernesha said...

Good dayI am employed withva private firm for 23 years. I am only entitled to 3 weeks vacation and maternity leave is this legal. In took sick leave once in 14 years and was 2dys and my employers were upset about this.

Trinbago Rights said...

Everyone is entitled to paid sick leave. Private or public is IRRELEVANT.

Concerned Employer said...

I am the owner of a small business,service oriented. I have three service men but is experiencing a lot of problems. In one instant one of them were on probation 3mths and he took 1day off every month. He has worked for 10 months to be exact and has already taken 22days off. What can i do as the employer.

Trinbago Rights said...

Warning. Suspension. Dismissal.

Anonymous said...

Hi i work for a private company they pay nis for us but we dont get sick leave, vacation or anything is that right and when we work overtime we doesnt get paid for the time spent.Is that right what they are doing

Trinbago Rights said...

Absolutely not. Contact us

hack 5 said...

I and my friend work in a pharmacy and she just made a year they told her she is only entitled to ONE week vacation for the first year is that legal

Trinbago Rights said...

Minimum Wage? 14 days.

hack 5 said...

She gets around $19.00 an hour

Anonymous said...

Working for company for five (5) years.. how much vacation leave by law am I allowed ??

Trinbago Rights said...

14 days

reynold ramphal said...

good day I am assigned a company vehicle because of call out duty what time dose my work start and is it referred to in any legalisation

Trinbago Rights said...

No legislation... what does your contract say?

Anonymous said...

i am working with a company for the past 11 years and i want to resign (30) day notice and apply for my 18 day vacation. They are saying i won't be able to get all my holidays. Is this correct, by law?

Trinbago Rights said...

Even if they don't allow you to take it, they still have to pay you for it... don't even know why you're applying to take vacation after resigning. Makes zero sense. Just take payment and move on.

Christina Winchester said...

I have been working with a company for one year and twenty days two days ago I was told that my days will be cut from six to three days because of this I will no longer be able to continue but I'm due my two weeks holidays what am I entitled to upon leaving the job

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact us.

Michelle Le Blanc said...

I have been employed for 3 yrs till present; my NIS is not being paid (it is not being deducted from my salary, I do not get paid on any public holidays, I do not get payslips. Is this legal?

Trinbago Rights said...

Go file a complaint at NIB... the others depend on the type of work you do and how you get paid.

queen swagger said...

My employer decides they aren't gonna put up a sheet to state the date you want holiday instead they're gonna send us on holiday whenever they feel like is that legal

Trinbago Rights said...

No

brandon adams said...

How long after starting a new job years your
Allow vacation?

Unknown said...

I'm working for a private company for 7 years I was getting 3 weeks vacation but this year the manager want to give me 2 weeks vacation is that legal for them to take back 1 week

Anonymous said...

CONFUSED I have been working with a company for the past 12 years.Can you tell me how much sick leave i am entilted to and casual leave i only get 10 days vacation leave

Trinbago Rights said...

No

Trinbago Rights said...

No law besides the minimum wage laws stating 14 days.