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Prohibition against Termination

An employer shall not terminate the services of an employee on any of the following grounds:

1. Trade union membership or participation in trade union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours.

2. Seeking office as, or acting as the capacity of, an employee representative.

3. Making a complaint or participating in proceedings against an employer involving an alleged violation of laws and regulation.

4. Race, colour, sex, marital status, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, nationality or social origin.

5. Reasonable absence from work due to family emergencies or responsibilities.

6. Absence from work during maternity leave as certified by a medical practitioner.

7. Absence from work due to injury or illness provided that the employee submits a medical certificate to his employer by the third day of absence.

8. Absence from work in the performance of jury service as required by law.

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Cabinet has, on the 11 February, 2015 appointed Wages Councils to undertake a review of the minimum wages regulations.  The Councils were launched at an official ceremony on Thursday 31 March, 2016 at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown.

Delivering the keynote address, Minister of Labour, Hon. Camillo Gonsalves noted that some employers, for example, some employers of agricultural workers are already paying wages that are above the current minimum. “Whether this wages council will fix the minimum wages more reflective of the going market rate, or whether they would establish a new floor that employers would have to go beyond, is a matter that I am sure you would discuss robustly,” Gonsalves said.

He noted further that, “at the most basic level, minimum wage increase has the potential to stimulate the economy and increase demand by putting money into the pockets of low-income consumers who immediately spend it at local businesses.”

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines would host the 10th in a series of national bipartite workshops organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in conjunction with the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation and the Caribbean Congress of Labour. The workshop, which would be held at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, will convene at 9:00am on Wednesday, September 23, 2015


The opening ceremony is expected to hear remarks from Ms. Helena Thomas – President, St. Vincent Employers’ Federation and Mr. Joseph Bonadie – General Secretary, Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union. The keynote address would be presented by the Hon. Maxwell Charles – Minister of National Security, the Public Service, Labour, Information, and Ecclesiastical Affairs.

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Ms Claudia Coenjaerts, a Belgian national, has been appointed as Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, effective 1 August 2015.

Ms Coenjaerts joined the ILO in 1995 and has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Prior to taking up her assignment as Director of the ILO Office based in Port-of-Spain, Ms Coenjaerts took an 18-month sabbatical from the ILO to act as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Labor Association in Washington, D.C.

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