Laws on labour in Jamaica every worker should know

November 1st, 2015 by LegalWiz | Print Laws on labour in Jamaica every worker should know




QUESTION: Hello Legal Wiz,
I am about to do a contract with a part time employee to assist me. What laws should I consider?
Sean-O

Dear Sean-O,
The critical

List of Jamaica Labour laws are:
· Trade Union Act 1919
· Labour Relations & Industrial Disputes Act (LRIDA), 1975 Labour Relations Code
· Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payment) Act, 1974
· Holiday with Pay Act, 1974
· Minimum Wage Act, 1938
· Maternity Leave Act, 1979

RELEVANT DETAILS

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Trade Union Act, 1919
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This governs the establishment, function and conduct of registration of trade unions.
Outlines the procedures for gaining membership and settling industrial disputes

· The legality of trade unions

· Submission of Statements of Accounts

· Rules of trade unions

· The procedures for handling disputes

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws
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Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975
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This stipulates the rights of the worker in relation to trade union membership and industrial action.

Establish a permanent arbitration panel in the IDT.

Sets out its functions, powers and also establishes the Boards of Inquiry.

Provide for settlement of disputes in essential services.

Settle dispute in other establishments of national interest

To deal with the right of workers in respect of trade union membership

Provide for the taking of representational polls to determine bargaining rights

Provide for reinstatement of workers found by the IDT to have been unjustifiably dismissed

Make awards of the IDT binding in law

Provide for a Labour Relations Code.

The right to join and take part in a union.

Duty to Recognize

Machinery for the settlement of representational rights claims

Ballot Procedure

Reinstatement

Every worker shall (between himself and his employer) have the right –

· To be a member of such Trade Union

· To take part at any appropriate time in the activities of any Trade Union of which he is a member.

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws

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Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payment) Act, 1974
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Applies to all workers including household workers, however is excludes civil service workers in central and local government departments

Redundancy payment for workers dismissed for reasons of redundancy

Notice payment in the event of redundancy

Redundancy payment on the basis of years of service

Qualification for redundancy

Sets minimum standard of payment

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws

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Holiday with Pay Act, 1974
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Sets out the conditions under which workers are entitled to holidays and sick leave with pay or such gratuities and benefits as may be determined.

The Holidays with Pay Order regulates the granting of both vacation leave (holiday) with Pay and Sick Leave with Pay.

The entitlement stipulated by this Order is the minimum to be granted.

For each year of employment, (each 12 month period from the first day of employment) the worker qualifies, and becomes eligible for paid vacation leave.

The Holidays with Pay Order, thus stipulates the minimum vacation leave to be granted and the method of qualifying;

The main principle is that a worker earns vacation leave by virtue of working for a certain number of days in a year;

In principle and by law, vacation leave is paid before the holiday begins, or at any other time agreed upon by the parties concerned;

Vacation leave cannot be granted during a period of notice given by the employer to terminate employment.

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws

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Minimum Wage Act, 1938
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Allow for the fixing of minimum wages to be paid to certain categories of workers

The 1974 amendment allows for the appointment of a Minimum Wage Advisory Commission for the purpose of fixing a National Minimum Wage

The Order may regulate the hours of work or other terms and conditions and may fix different minimum wages in different categories of establishment.

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws

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Maternity Leave Act, 1979
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In order to protect all female workers from possible unfair treatment, the Government had to set certain minimum standards for employers to follow;

These standards however, does not prevent employers from offering better deals to their female workers, and in fact, many organizations make offers which are above the national minimum standards in order to attract suitable workers.

The Act defines “confinement” as the ‘birth of a living child or the birth of a child whether living or dead after twenty-eight weeks of pregnancy’ (Section 2) (This will include premature birth);

A female worker is entitled to three (3) paid maternity leave, while in the employ of the same employer

The Maternity Leave Act applies to all qualified female workers, irrespective of whether or not she is married;

Absence from work through the granting of maternity leave shall not constitute a break in the continuity of the worker’s employment;

Indeed, prior to the passing of the Maternity Leave Act in 1979, the continuity of the female’s employment, for the most part, was broken upon resumption to work from maternity leave, notwithstanding the fact, that the leave in itself, was left up to the discretion of the employer.

To qualify for maternity leave it is essential and indeed mandatory that the worker:-

· Be at least 18 years old;

· Be continuously employed, for a minimum of 52 weeks by the same employer as at the date the maternity leave begins, (the worker must have completed 52 weeks prior to going on maternity leave);

· Inform her employer in writing, of her intended absence from work owing to her pregnancy and that she intends to return to work; ( this should be done by the 29th week of pregnancy);

· Present a medical certificate to her employer stating that it is necessary for her to be absent owing to reasons of pregnancy, if she is requested by her employer to present same;

· Be at least 28 weeks pregnant and;

· Should be working a minimum of 18 hours per week, (not necessary to work a 40 hour-work-week).

· A qualified worker is entitled to a minimum of twelve (12) weeks maternity leave:-the first eight (8) weeks of which should be paid for; while the last four (4) weeks will be without pay;

· If there is medical reason that necessitates an extension of the initial 12 weeks of maternity leave (either arising from the illness of mother or child), then the Act provides an additional fourteen (14) weeks leave on submission of a medical certificate;

· This extension, if necessary, will not be paid for, unless the employer wishes to do so.

Back to List of Jamaica Labour laws

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See more at http://www.jtug.info/important-labour-laws.html
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9 Comments

  1. sandra walker

    i am doing a project on the labour law in jamaica and how it benefit employer and employee i need some info

  2. @SANDRA WALKER
    Here are a few laws governing labour in Jamaica thats additional to those above:
    Holidays with Pay Act; Foreign Nationals and Citizenship Employment Act, and Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act; Minimum Wage Act;
    ******
    Here area few places you can get reasonable information:
    Libraries such as Supreme Court, Kings Street
    Ministry of Labour, North Street

  3. John P

    Hey legal wiz, what is the maximum timeline on a contract eg. an employee is given a contract that has no timeline (months, years) is this contract truly legally binding ?

  4. @ JOHN P,
    Your question is a bit vague.

  5. Jade

    I need information on Jamaica’s Labour Laws in regard to the rights and benefits of an employee, I am doing a project on it. Thank you.

  6. Legal Wiz

    @ JADE:
    Here are a few laws governing labour in Jamaica:
    Holidays with Pay Act; Foreign Nationals and Citizenship Employment Act, and Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act; Minimum Wage Act;
    ******
    Here area few places you can get reasonable information:
    Libraries such as Supreme Court, Kings Street
    Ministry of Labour, North Street

  7. Dana

    Good Day Legal Wiz,
    As it relates to contract workers what does the law say about working on public holidays as it relates to remuneration? Also, what does it say about the tenure of the contract meaning if if last for 3months and then ends and then a new contract is given as the previous one ends should there be any form of gratutiy payment or should the staff be given “leave” before commencing the new contract?
    Thank you for your time.

    Regards

  8. Jodi-Ann

    Evening, If I started working in February and I got pregnant in April so Im two months pregnant now, What issues will I be facing as it relates to maternity leave?
    Will I be terminated?
    Will I be able to get paid maternity leave?
    Will it be at my employers’ discretion to grant me maternity leave without pay?
    Can you tell me my options, I would like to know.

    Thank you.

  9. angella bailey

    Good morning,
    what is my rights if my department is having a function that is not related to work and i do not feel like taking part, does that give you the right to say I am not a Team member and write me down for this?

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