Government of Trinidad and

Enhanced Protection for Retrenched Workers: NTAC nearing Consensus

Port of Spain, Trinidad, Thursday 12 April 2018

Government, Labour and Private Sector Representatives of the National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC), under the Chairmanship of the Hon Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development, are close to arriving at consensus on recommendations for the harmonisation of measures to enhance the existing level of protection for retrenched workers.

Consensus has so far been reached on eleven (11) of the sixteen (16) provisions contained in a draft Position Paper which was referred for NTAC’s consideration by the Cabinet.

Amendments to Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act

The draft Position Paper is the outcome of a National Stakeholders Consultation which was held by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development on the 18th May, 2016 as well as comments solicited from stakeholders who comprised the leadership of employer organizations, trade unions, government, academia, the legal fraternity and other agencies with technical expertise.

The Paper was developed to lay the groundwork for the introduction of a Bill in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago to give effect to Amendments to the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act Chapter 88:13 with a view to bringing legislative provisions in line with contemporary social and economic conditions.

Insolvency and Receivership

One of the critical items under meticulous consideration by NTAC is the introduction of a provision that will ensure the payment of severance benefits in circumstances where the services of workers are terminated due to insolvency or receivership. These are two conditionalities not currently provided for in the scope of the original Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act which came into force in November 1985.

Prior to the passage of this Act, severance payments were generally made only where Collective Agreements provided for such payments or at the sole discretion of the employer.

The Council plans to engage in discussions with a number of professional and financial institutions over the next three (3) weeks, prior to arriving at consensus on the remaining five (5) items.

Upon completion of its deliberations, NTAC’s recommendations will be forwarded for Cabinet’s consideration.

April 11th, 2018

For further information, kindly contact:

Mr Roy Mitchell
Special Advisor/Coordinator
National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC)
Tel Nos: (868) 663 6968 Mobile: 754 5234