Unlawful workplace violations – What are your rights as an employee?

Similar to our everyday lives, there are laws which govern the workforce. 

 Minimum Wage Act 

According to the Minimum Wage Act of Jamaica, all employees reserve the right to a minimum wage. Upon advice from the Minimum Wage Commission, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security implements the minimum wage rate for employees carrying out particular roles. Employers also face being fined by the resident magistrate if they fail to comply with these rates.

Termination of Employment

Under the Employment Act (Termination and Redundancy) of Jamaica, employees who have been working for atleast 4 weeks reserves the right to a 2 weeks notice from the employer before being terminated. To further add, employees who have been working in an organisation for 5 to 10 years must be notified by the employer atleast 4 weeks before termination. For those who have been employed in an organisation for over 10 years must be notified atleast 12 weeks prior to termination.

Redundancy Payments

According to the Employment Act (Termination and Redundancy Payments) of Jamaica, Section 5 states in the event an employer wishes to cut ties with an employee, said employee has the right to a redundancy payment. Section 6 further adds, if the employer’s reason for terminating the contract is because of misconduct on the employees part then no redundancy is due.

Maternity Leave

Under the Maternity Leave Act of Jamaica, a female who has been employed under the same employer for atleast a year reserves the right to take maternity leave. The act then further goes on to state in Section 3, the employee must be granted an initial 12 week period for maternity leave. This is then to be followed by an additional 14 week period upon receipt of a certificate from a medical practitioner by the employer. Section 4 then outlines  that the female employee has the right to return to work after the maternity period has ended and resume on the same terms and conditions prior to maternity.

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