Thursday, 27 August 2015

Employee election voting rights

Q: Can my employer refuse to give me time off to vote?


A: Employers are required to give their employees two hours paid time off to vote.

According to section 36(2) of the Representation of People Act 1967, as amended
"Every employer shall on polling day allow every elector in his employ the prescribed period for voting and no employer shall make any deduction from the pay or other remuneration of any such elector or impose upon or exact from him any penalty by reason of his absence during that period"

Additionally, according to Rule 28 under the Election Rules deemed to be made under section 161 of the Act states:
“Every employer shall permit each elector in his employment to be absent from his work on polling day during the hours of the poll for two hours in addition to the normal midday meal hour.”

The penalty for non-compliance is enshrined in section 96 of the Act:
"An employer who fails to comply with any of the provisions on section 36 (2) and any person who directly or indirectly by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way interferes with the granting to an elector or the prescribed period for voting referred to in that subsection is liable on summary conviction to fine of $30,000 or to imprisonment for 12 months."


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do I need to vote ? If I do not vote am I still entitled to my two hours off ?

Trinbago Rights said...

The two hours is to vote... it is not an extended lunch/break period. If you don't return with a stained finger, your employer has every right to discipline you.

If you're not voting, you cannot take the 2 hours.

Anonymous said...

Can an employer specify the period of time where time off must be taken?

Trinbago Rights said...

Of course... just like they can specify your breaks and lunch.

Anonymous said...

Am I entitled a paid day off if I am working on polling day

Anonymous said...

Am l still entitled to two hours off during working hours if l vote before my work starts?

Trinbago Rights said...

You want a paid day off from your main employer to go do an election day pj?

Kimberly Alexander said...

can i use anothe form of Id beside my ID to vote?

Anonymous said...

If your works hours are from 10 am to 8 pm. Can your employer demand you to vote before going to work without giving the 2 hours off between 10-6?

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes, a passport or birth-paper may work. It requires taking a special oath.

Trinbago Rights said...

It is a reasonable request by the employer... I'm not sure if that could be an exemption.

Good question, but I can't give a definite answer.

Anonymous said...

if you are working offshore and it wasn't made clear to you about special electors by your employer and the employer is saying that its the employee responsibility to register and if he /she is not registered thats not their fault and they can't mandate to their customers to stop or delay their offshore operations. what am i to do ?

Anonymous said...

Ok thank you.

Anonymous said...

What are the opening and closing hours of the pooling stations?

Trinbago Rights said...

0600 - 1800

Anonymous said...

Good day, is there a complete list of rules for voters on election day? Such as no party symbols or nail polish, etc?

spydei said...

Whom do you report your employer too, if he threatens to not give the time

Anonymous said...

What does the law say about citizens right to vote?
Is it mandatory?
If it is not and an employee leaves with the intention to vote and chooses not too at the last moment would this.... "If you don't return with a stained finger, your employer has every right to discipline you.".... apply in this case?

Anonymous said...

Does the law say anything about the extension of voting hours? Who has the authority to do this.

Trinbago Rights said...

The Act is silent on that specific issue.

Trinbago Rights said...

Police... it's a criminal offence.

Trinbago Rights said...

It's in the Act listed in the post.

Malcolm Gordon said...

If i am working a 6am to 2pm shift on election day and i am only allowed to leave work at 1:33pm is that legal? i wasnt allowed 2hours to vote. can u advise me?

blogger said...

Can voting hours be increased by ebc... can the elections be void

Trinbago Rights said...

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150909/press-releases/ebc-responds-we-have-the-power

Trinbago Rights said...

You had 4 (and even 5) hours to vote outside of your working hours. However, you're supposed to get 2 hours to vote, but the purpose of that is to ensure that you have enough time to do so... technically you did any way.

Anonymous said...

I work at a private secondary school in Trinidad. Can my employer refuse to give me the two hours off for voting because school ends at 2:30 pm?

Trinbago Rights said...

The Act isn't clear on that, but I that's a technicality I think can be easily justified by the Employer.

Anonymous said...

Does this time off apply to Local Government Elections or just General Elections?

Trinbago Rights said...

Both

Anonymous said...

is it okay not to vote

Anonymous said...

If we were not schedule to work on election day and was offered over time. Is it still required for us to get the 2 hours to vote?

unknown said...

if you are working as a polling clerk do you applied for a day off from work

Trinbago Rights said...

You decide:
http://www.newsday.co.tt/commentary/0,216636.html

keron boodhai said...

can my employer tell me what time i can go vote

Trinbago Rights said...

Yes