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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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The Department of Labour will be undertaking a Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS) during the period of 12th October to 9th November, 2020. The data obtained will provide indicators on the demand-side of the labour market labour across the various economic sectors at the national level, and would show where labour shortages may exist. It would provide a measure of the tightness of the job market, parallel to existing measures of unemployment.

The survey will cover the formal business sectors, inclusive of statutory corporations and non-profit organisations. Central government, private households and the agricultural sector, due to its largely informal nature, were excluded.

The survey collects data on Total Employment, Job Openings, Hires and the various forms of separations, including quits, layoffs, and discharges and other forms of separations.

The JOLTS will typically capture data over a three-month period. For this particular activity, the reference period will span July 1 to September 30, 2020.

In preparation for implementation, a two-day consultation was held on 10th – 11th August involving stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The main thrust of the consultation was to review the survey instrument that was developed in 2014, when the first survey of its type was executed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of conducting the survey, as well as to garner input from stakeholders about their data needs, for incorporation into the instrument.

The Labour Department, the Statistical Office and the National Insurance Services are the main partners in this activity. Other governmental agencies present at the consultation included the Ministry of Education, the Services Commissions Department and Invest SVG. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce, employers, and Trade Unions were also in attendance.

A training session with Enumerators and other field staff, in addition to staff of the main executing agencies – the Labour Department and the Statistical Office is currently underway.

The results of the survey will guide national economic policy, the development of education and training programmes and will be useful for economic research, industry studies, among others. Employers are urged to participate in the survey and are assured that no information that could identify your business will be disclosed.

The survey is being funded by the World Bank under the Human Development Service Delivery Project. A second round of the survey is expected to be executed in 2021. It is anticipated that the Labour Demand Survey will be conducted biannually.