Sunday, 26 October 2014

Public sector v private sector laws

Q: There is a common misconception in Trinidad and Tobago that our laws do not affect the private sector and is only applicable to the public sector.


A: This is an extremely erroneous belief. Contrary to the thinking of many Trinbagonians (based on the high proportion of questions stating this), legislation is actually created to regulate the private sector and in most cases, the public sector (the government) has to have a special provision in the Act stating that the specific law binds the State (public sector/government).

It is very sad when an  employee tells me that they have an issue at work, but nothing can be done because they work in the private sector. There is a high level of ignorance among employees and employers that perpetuates exploitation.

Every law on employment and labour law (industrial relations) is applicable to every private sector organisation. Know your rights!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is someone entitled to paid vacation every year and does it start from date of employment or after probation period?

Trinbago Rights said...

Starts from date of employment.

Anonymous said...

i have worked for the ministry of education on contract for over 8 months now. I am not a class teacher but i work in various schools. i was given an offer letter which states salary, casual and vacation days and the offer of 3years employment. To date i was not given an official contract because i was told CPO is still working on it. My supervisor insists that i must only take vacation during the school holidays although i was told by HR That i qualify for vacation after 11 months. If my 12th month does not align with the school vacation , is it legal for me to be forced to wait until this time to take vacation? Also, i was told that they can choose not to approve my casual or sick days and i wouldn't be paid. Is this legal?

Trinbago Rights said...

I need to see your contract. Contact me via e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I have not yet gotten a contract. All I have is the offer letter.

Trinbago Rights said...

Contact me via e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm trying to get some advice. I am employed for a private company who's work hours are from 1030am till 8pm weekdays and till 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 1230pm - 8pm on Sundays we are only allowed half hour lunch break each day and required to work 6 days a week, no written contracts. So I will like to know what are the legal break periods in a case like this?

Trinbago Rights said...

15 minutes break for every 4 hours worked.

Anonymous said...

Hi I work in the private sector from 9:30 to 7;00 am I entitled to time of for evening classes

Anonymous said...

Therefore nothing is wrong with the half hour lunch (2 - 15min breaks for the time period) or is it 15 mintues break in addition to the half hour lunch?

Anonymous said...

if your contract ends before a 3 yr period (contract-public sector), how is the gratuity calculated ?

Trinbago Rights said...

I believe that is in the Civil Service Act.

Nicholas Figaro said...

Is there any guidebook for all the private sector laws / entitlements that we can refer to?

frustrated.employee said...

Good day.

I am employed by a private, one owner accounting firm.
The owner/ manager regularly states that the employment/ labour laws of Trinidad doesn't apply to private practices.

There are no written or specifically discussed guidelines in terms of sick leave, vacation, bereavement or any other type of leave.
The owner/ manager always uses the term "I have no problem" when persons ask for time off etc but when the time-off is taken a problem arises.

The employees (some who have been employed OVER five years) are therefore confused as to what we are legally entitled to.

Please advise on whether the law permits any leave benefits to private employees, and specifically how many days... OR can you direct me to any guidebook for all the private sector laws / entitlements to which we can refer to?

Trinbago Rights said...

Generally, sick leave and vacation at 2 weeks each (10 working days).

Laws apply to every one; public and private, and even locally based foreign companies.

hack 5 said...

question is a drug store a private sector and what is a private sector

Trinbago Rights said...

Public is government... everything else is private.

hack 5 said...

does labour laws like after 12 months you are entitle to 2 weeks sick leave etc because my boss says most of the labour laws dont apply to him

Trinbago Rights said...

He says that out of ignorance (lack of knowledge).

hack 5 said...

He says we are only entittled to one week vacation .no paid sick leave and he said that since they are private labour laws does not apply to him me ge 19.50 an hour

Anonymous said...

I work for a company where I am permanent and they are saying I have to accrued my sick days. Is that legal

Unknown said...

Good night, I would like to know if there is any document that differentiates between the public and private sector within Trinidad and Tobago