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ECA: Employers don’t have to pay absent workers

Published: 
Friday, September 7, 2018
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Petrotrin employees during OWTU President General Ancel Roget's announcement of the planned shutdown of the company's refinery at the company's Beaumont Hill facility in Pointe-a-Pierre on Tuesday. Photo by:Rishi Ragoonath

Any attempt to shut down T&T will further hurt the economy, the Employers’ Consultative Association of T&T (ECA) warned yesterday.

In a statement issued ahead of today’s Rest and Reflect protest action by trade unions, the group said: “It is no secret that our nation continues to face tough economic times. It is therefore the responsibility of every citizen to ensure that decisions on the nation’s economic future are made dispassionately and realistically in all instances.

“At this time, the ECA urges citizens to remember that a national shutdown of any kind, even for a short period, will further affect Trinidad and Tobago’s ability to survive and compete in the global marketplace. Each day of lost economic earnings will inevitably have ripple effects on citizens across the nation.”

The ECA urged citizens to take personal responsibility in assessing the effectiveness of the proposed action and its relative impact on the ability to achieve sustained economic viability, national development, and an enhanced quality of life.

The group also pointed out that employers are also not obliged to pay employees who stay away from work without proper authorisation.

The statement continued: “The Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 88:01), Section 42:5 does not compel any employer, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, to pay or compensate any worker who does not report for work on any given working day without required approvals.”

The ECA added that given the country’s realities, the main focus at this time must be about securing T&T’s future prosperity by successfully navigating the economic challenges at hand.

“More than at any other time, our actions as citizens, must be well-informed, collaborative, progressive, productive, and consistent with 21st century approaches for dealing with matters of national significance,” the ECA said.

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