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Friday, 11 July 2014

Trinidad and Tobago National Insurance Scheme (NIS): Rights and Obligations

Q: After receiving numerous questions on the rights of employees and the obligations of employers under this topic, here's the info.

A: This area of law is governed by the National Insurance Act 1971, as amended.

Contributions are fixed weekly payments in relation to the wages/salaries of the employee (see table at the end). Payment of the contribution is shared between the employer and employee according to the rate set out in the Act. However, the EMPLOYER is responsible for paying the total contribution to the NIBTT.

The contributions for all employees (including paid apprentices, domestics and casual agricultural workers) and unpaid apprentices, are due from the start of their employment, apprenticeship or probationary period. This means that N.I.S. MUST be taken out from the first payment. 

s.40 – There is a $4000 fine and six (6) months in prison if the employer does not pay the contributions.

s.30(1)(a)  - EMPLOYER must apply for registration as employer within 14 days

How to Apply For Registration as an Employer
In order to register, an employer must complete the N.I. 1 Application form. All fields should be completed, but the following are mandatory:

  • Name of Business or Company
  • Address of Business or Company
  • Mailing address
  • Name, Title and Home Address of Owners/Partners/Directors, and Date of Ownership
  • Address where pay records are kept
  • Address where personnel records are kept
  • Nature of Business
  • Number of Employees/Unpaid Apprentices
  • Date Business Started
  • Date of hiring first employee
  • Authorized Signature/Designation and Date of Application 

s.30(1)(b) - New employer must apply for employee’s N.I.S. number after hiring the first employee.

s.30(2) – Within seven (7) days, the EMPLOYEE must provide the necessary details to allow the EMPLOYER to apply.

s.30(3) – The employer must also inform the employee within twenty-one (21) days of employment whether or not they have fulfilled their obligation in 1(a) and (b)

Who Must Be Registered?
Any employee who earns $180 or more per week. This includes a married woman employed by her husband. The contract of employment may be written or oral, expressed or implied. The apprenticeship may be paid or unpaid.

  • Anyone employed in a professional capacity on a full-time basis, for which a salary is paid. This includes a Doctor at a hospital, a Priest, Pastor or Nun etc. who receive a salary of $180 per week or more.
  • Anyone employed as a share fisherman or taxi driver or travelling salesman etc., where a contract allows for payment to be made on a share of earnings or profits.
  • Anyone employed temporarily with a firm, business organization, government department or statutory body (e.g. student during vacation period, seasonal employment (i.e., Carnival).
  • Persons paid based on commissions on sales, eg., Insurance agents or car salesmen who work on a full time basis and are paid by commission on sales.
  • Foreign employees engaged in work in Trinidad & Tobago on a contract basis, or on work permits. 

The exemptions of employees under s.29(2) are those earning less than $180/week and non-citizens.

s.30(6) – There is a $5000 fine for non-compliance with registration.

s.5(2) – Records of the employee and all contributions must be kept for seven (7) years. If this is not done, the penalty is a $5000 fine and three (3) months in prison.

s.45 - Where an employee has multiple employment, all employers must pay contributions on behalf of the employee.

s.16(3) – If the yearly total of the N.I.S. contribution is more than required, employees are entitled to a refund, but this is only done by request using the N.I. 79 Form.


  1. Why is that people who contribute to the NIS from its inception are denied their incremental increases when they retire....Please do the honest thing and give the pensioners what they rightfully deserve..It is not fair to the pensioner who has contributed well over the 750 contributions after working forty years and still gets the same as someone who worked only fifteen years. Explain away that

  2. Hello, as a self employed individual how do I pay nis? Thanks in advance

    1. hi good night i am a maxi taxi driver and want to know how can i pay NIS i never work any way besides taxi

    2. hi as a maxi taxi driver how can i pay NIS

    3. Self-employed persons cannot pay NIS unless they were previously employed elsewhere and have already made some contributions to NIB... only then can they continue paying if they leave and become self-employed.

  3. Hi gday i am subletting from someone.with their permission i brought in another person to rent a hair and nail a watts app message i gave her one months notice to move due to her unproffessional behaviour. The month is up and she refuses to move on top of that she sent a lawyer letter to my landlord asking him to intervene and states that i cannot evict her. I have a contract with her stating if for any reason the contract must be broken two weeks notice must be given.what is my next step to get her out and is my landlord obligated to intervene?

  4. I have submitted an invalidity claim since January 2019 at the Chaguanas branch to date it is a run around and I have not heard any thing from them. I have paid my contributions for 40 years. What steps to take. Even the supervisor can not give me an answer

  5. Hello i just want to know about the materity form an if its two weeks befor your due date you surpose to take your materity leave from your job or is it six weeks ? some how am getin the feeling my job is takin advantage of me .please help me i need more imfor

  6. When are you surpose to drop in your materity form after everything has been fulled out ? Because my job is tellin me after i deliver baby ,is this true?

  7. Hi he do small business employers have to pay N.I.A because I work for a small business and my employer says because he is a small business ,he does not need to pay nis or extra for holidays some advice pls and thanks

    1. All employers have to pay NIS for all employees.


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