Rickie Ramdass

 Rickie Ramdass

Every employee in Trinidad and Tobago, regardless of if they work in the public or private sector, is entitled by law to certain rights.

These rights are vast in number and must be facilitated by employers or it could lead to harsh penalties if any issue of non-compliance is brought to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Some of these rights include the obligation upon employers to grant sick leave days, annual vacation leave, as well as overtime payment for extra hours worked. A safe working environment is also to be provided by employers to their employees.

These are just a few of the areas we will be focusing on over the course of the next few weeks.

It is important that employees be made aware of their rights in the workplace to spare themselves from unfair or underhanded treatment by unscrupulous employers.

While many workplaces may have differing internal rules and regulations, there are laws enacted by Parliament that applies across the board.

Today we will begin by highlighting the obligations imposed on employers under Chapter 32:01 of the National Insurance Act as amended.

The following information was provided by the National Insurance Board (NIB).

Under the Chapter:

• Employers are required by law to pay contributions on behalf of all employees and unpaid apprentices and submit statements of contributions due and paid for all employed persons.

• Employers must register as an employer within 14 days of hiring their first employee;

• Where the employee did not provide you with a national insurance number within seven days of employment you are required to register such employee and unpaid apprentice within 14 days of hiring him or her;

• They must inform the employees within 21 days of hiring them whether they have been registered or not;

• They must prepare accurate pay records in the appropriate format;

* Appropriate national insurance deductions must be made from each employee at the time that payment of such earnings is made. Where the employee’s portion of the contribution is not deducted at the time that the earnings are paid, the employer is fully responsible for the combined contribution for that period (employer and employee);

• Employers are required to remit the combined contribution to the NIB service centre on or before the last day of each month;

• They must ensure that the correct information relating to the contributions being paid and the employees to whom it relate are remitted to the NIB at the time that such contributions are being paid;

• They must complete the employer section on all forms relating to insured persons in their business;

• They must provide insured persons, whose employment has been terminated, with a termination certificate that indicates the contributions paid to the NIB on their behalf.

Next week, we will shift our attention to the rights and entitlements of minimum wage workers.

It is your right to know your rights. Continue to look out for valuable information in our Know Your Rights column every Monday. Be informed. Got a question you want answered? Send an e-mail to rickie.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

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