Know Your Rights under the Termination and Severance Pay Act- Part II of 3

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This is the fourth installment of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act. The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) sees the Act as very important to workers, who day in and day out are facing threats of losing their jobs or are being terminated, sometimes for no valid reason. In an environment where unscrupulous and vindictive employers exist it is always good to know your rights in order to be able to stand in defence of your rights.

This week reproduces the second part of Part III, ‘Termination of Employment,’ which provides guidance to workers in dealing with termination under the redundancy clause. Last week reproduced the first installment of Part III, ‘Termination of Employment,’ which provided guidance around the circumstances surrounding the termination of a contract of service.

The previous two weeks were Part II of the Act which addressed the “Continuity of Employment,” and Part I which covered the Preliminary (Introduction) of the Act. GTUC continues to invite you to cut out these presentations and/or save them on your computer or telephone. You can never tell when this information would come in handy for you, co-worker or loved one. Refer below to the second installment of Part III of the Act:-

Termination of employment due to redundancy.

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12. (1) The employer may terminate the employment of the employee because the employee is redundant under the provisions of subsection (2).

12. (2) The employee is redundant under subsection (1) where in relation to his employer’s business where he is employed, his termination of employment is or is part of a reduction in the work force that is a direct result of –

(a) the modernisation, automation or mechanisation by the employer of all or

part of the business;

(b) the discontinuance by the employer to carry on all or part of the business:

(c) the sale or other disposition by the employer of all or part of the business;

(d) the reorganisation of the business by the employer to improve efficiency;

(e) the impossibility or impracticability for the employer to carry on the business at its usual rate or level or at all due to –

(i) a shortage of materials’

(ii) a mechanical breakdown:

(iii) a force majeure; or

(iv) an act of God;

(f) a reduced operation in the employer business made necessary by economic conditions, including a lack of or change in markets, contraction in the volume of work or sales, reduced demand or surplus inventory.

12. (3) Prior to terminating the employment of any employee pursuant to this section, the employer shall –

(a) inform as early as possible but not later than one month from the date of the existence of any circumstances mentioned in subsection (2), the recognized trade union, or if none exists, the employee or the employee’s representative and the Chief Labour Officer of –

(i) the existence of any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2);

(ii) the reasons for the contemplated termination of employment;

(iii) the number and categories of the persons likely to be affected;

(iv) the period over which such termination is likely to be carried out;

and

(v) such other matters as may be relevant;

(b) consult as early as possible but not later than one month from the date of the existence of any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2), with the recognised trade union, or if none exists, the employee or the employee’s representative and to the Chief Labour Officer, on the possible measures that could be taken to avert or mitigate the adverse effects of such circumstances in relation to employment generally and the employees concerned;

12. (4) Any employer who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty thousand dollars and imprisonment for a period of three months.

Effect of sale of employer’s business.

13, Where upon the sale or other disposition by an employer of a business as provided

for in section 12 (2) (c), the successor employer agrees to honour any of the obligations

under this Act of the first mentioned employer all such obligations of the first mentioned

employer shall fall upon and are binding on the successor employer who has acquired

the business.

Lay offs.

14, (1) No employer shall lay off an employee except where the employer is empowered by this Act to terminate the employment of the employee because of redundancy under section 12.

14. (2) No lay off under subsection (1) shall exceed six weeks.

14. (3) Any employer who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifteen thousand dollars.

To be continued..



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