Labour laws against small businesses

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I am the owner of a small business which started operation in 1998.

Quite frankly, if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done so, and I would advise anyone interested in opening a business to forget it. Check the labour laws with the Ministry of Labour to find out just what you are getting yourself into.

The labour laws in Trinidad and Tobago are ridiculous, and the Government should take this opportunity to correct this wrong. I am not against laws to protect workers, but there should also be laws to protect the employers as well.

I have been to the Ministry of Labour and I have also spoken with the permanent secretary on this matter. The ministry’s stand on this issue is once a person is hired by a business, that person should stay there for as long as he wishes, whether or not he is a square peg in a round hole. It is the employer’s duty to make that square peg fit that round hole.

My stand on this issue is if an employee does not measure up to the task or show interest in growing that business, the employer should have the right to send that employee on his or her way. The issue of severance pay should also be abolished since the employer has already paid two-thirds of the employee’s pension through the NIB.

If these changes are made, the employee will realise he/she will have to change his/her attitude, knowing the Government will not be there to back them up when they do not perform or produce. It is time to take the bull by the horns and make T&T an efficient and reliable place to do business. All employers in agreement with me say, ‘AYE’.

R Deane
Diego Martin