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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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Plans are on the way by the Labour Department to conduct the St.Vincent & the Grenadines Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS) scheduled for November 2014. The survey will take place as a pilot project for the member countries of the OECS with initial funding provided jointly by the OECS Secretariat and the ILO. The survey instrument was designed by Senior Specialist for Employment & Labour Market Policies at the ILO’ office in Port of Spain- Dr. Reynold Simons and was reviewed at a two-day consultation meeting of OECS Directors of Statistics held in June of this year in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Labour Day often referred as “May Day” is a public holiday in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and is observed on 1st May having previously been observed on the first Monday in May.

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The Department of Labour in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation launched a Pilot Project in June 2013 to implement HIV and AIDS Workplace Policies at the Enterprise Level. The Pilot Project ran from 1st July to 13th December 2013 and involved the following private sector enterprises: Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Courts St. Vincent Ltd. CWSA, ECGC, GECCU, LIME, Mustique Company, NIS, St. Vincent Planned Parenthood Association, VINLEC, and ST. Vincent Employers Federation.

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The Annual Review Meeting of the Canada Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 2nd – 6th December 2013. St. Vincent and the Grenadines was represented at the meeting by Deputy Labour Commissioner, Mrs Bernadine Dublin.

This meeting is held each year in different Caribbean Countries to review policies and procedures relative to farm workers from various Caribbean Countries who travel to Canada on a yearly basis to work mainly on fruits and vegetables farms. The Canada/Caribbean alliance has yielded enormous economic benefits for both regions over the years. The 2012 figures for compulsory savings by Vincentian farm workers were EC$956, 676.23, an increase of some $24,006.18 over the 2011 figures.