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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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Guidelines For Employer/Employers for COVID-19
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GOVERNMENT OF ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS TO MITIGATE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and the challenges that it is presenting to the business community and workers alike, the Department of Labour wishes to publish guidelines to assist you in managing the situation.

 

 

Labour and Employment Guidance for Employers and Employees for COVID-19

LAY OFF

Section 27 (1) of the Protection of Employment Act 2003 makes provisions for a lay off period. Lay off is a temporary measure to be used in cases where there is a temporary closure or reduction in operations. However, please note the following:

a. Notice or payment in lieu of notice is not required for a lay off period. However, employees must be informed if they are going to be laid off. It would be reasonable to inform the employee at least one week in advance.

b. The lay off period was extended up to September 30, 2020 for all workers. If the lay off period prolongs beyond September 30, 2020, an employee can claim to be terminated and seek severance payment for years’ of service.

c. After the lay off period, the Act requires that an employer provide work to an employee of substantially similar terms to the previous employment for a period of 13 weeks. If such offer is not made within a week following the lay off period, then the employee can claim for severance payment.


 

 When there is a downturn in operations, a system of rotation of employees could generally be considered in order to maintain some level of employment. However, it is advisable that a rotation system should not exceed a period of three months and the basic rate of pay should remain the same, even though the income will be reduced.

 According to Section 28 (2) of the Protection of Employment Act, where an employee has been given employment on diminished wages by his/her employer, the services of the employee in the earlier employment shall be deemed to have been terminated and the employee shall be entitled to severance pay. However, given the pandemic situation, reduced pay can be an option to employers but must correspond with a reduction in hours of work. It is advisable that this measure should not exceed a period of three months. If the person is severed while on reduced pay and eligible for severance payment, then severance will be calculated using the wage/salary prior to the reduction pay.

VACATION LEAVE

The Wage Regulation Orders make provision for vacation leave. An employee can choose to utilise his/her vacation entitlement during this pandemic period, instead of being laid off without pay. However, an employer CANNOT force an employee to take his/her vacation during this time or use it as quarantine period.

CONFINEMENT

The Wages Regulation Orders (2017) make provisions for confinement for medical purposes of 30 calendar days per year, exclusive of the normal sick leave entitlement.

For more information on matters relating to employment and labour please contact the Labour Department at 4571789 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it