THE Ministry of Labour will soon approach Parliament with reformed labour legislation, said Minister of Labour Stephen Mc Clashie.
“The government of TT has recognised the need to enhance our legal infrastructure, in particular our labour laws,”
He said the ministry has been pursuing labour law reform which involves amendments "that seek to ensure workers’ rights and privileges are protected. This process is muliti-dimensional and would require the engagement of our social partners and stakeholders.”
Mc Clashie, speaking at the first "future of work" forum held virtually by the Energy Chamber, said government had held consultation with various stakeholders over the years and are now in the process of drafting policies and approaching Cabinet with the amendments.
The affected laws will include the Retrenchment and Severance Benefit Act, the Industrial Relations Act, the Employment Exchange Act, the Labour Contract Act and the Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies Act.
The minister said the labour laws would work in tandem with criminal law, as some acts which infringe on workers' rights, like domestic violence and sexual harassment, are also crimes.
“These issues far too often happen within our workspaces, with or without the use of technology. Our updated labour laws can call on us to work with criminal laws to effectively address them.”
Government will use international standards to identify the gaps in the existing law, he said.
Mc Clashie also said while teleworking and remote working have opened avenues for productivity, they also have drawbacks, which has forced the government to analyse health conditions and look at risks including health risks.
“We must work together to ensure that rights are protected and dignity is retained in workers’ lives.”