President of the Industrial Court: Employers cannot use pandemic to abuse labour Laws

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President of the Industrial Court: Employers cannot use pandemic to abuse labour Laws

Her new book is titled “Labour Law in the Commonwealth Caribbean, and President of the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago Her Honour Deborah Thomas-Felix, spoke to IzzSo media and Power 102 exclusively about the book, labour and industrial relations in Trinidad & Tobago amid the covid-19 pandemic….

She said that a floodgate of matters are being filed at the Industrial Court as unions cite businesses are unilaterally changing workers terms and conditions and in some instances reporting terminations. There have been 109 Industrial Offence Disputes (IOD) filed between March 2020 to January 2021. Mrs. Thomas-Felix said that a pandemic cannot be an excuse to flout or abort labour Laws. In fact she stressed now is the time for consultation, and tripartite discussion more than ever.


Thomas-Felix says that there are many challenges on the labour front that have arisen due to the covid-19 pandemic, but women have taken a significant portion of the hardships. She spoke to many of the issues arising out of covid -19 in her new book : “Labour law in the Commonwealth Caribbean” which will be launched this Saturday 30th January at the Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative studies;

The celebrated and respected Jurist who’s expertise and experience is utilised across the globe also spoke about many of the present challenges workers faced before and now have been intensified in light of the pandemic:

She also spoke about the issue os ‘layoffs’ which she asserts is not provided for in the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. She said the pandemic has severely challenged small and medium sized businesses who have employed many measures in light of a difficult economic environment. She explains what should be considered best practices in these circumstances: