·         Trade Union Act, 1919

·         Labour Relations & Industrial Disputes Act (LRIDA), 1975 Labour Relations Code

·         Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payment) Act, 1974

·         Holiday with Pay Act, 1974

·         Minimum Wage Act, 1938

·         Maternity Leave Act, 1979

Trade Union Act, 1919 

This governs the establishment, function and conduct of registration of trade unions. Outlines the procedures for gaining membership and settling industrial disputes

The legality of trade unions

Submission of Statements of Accounts

Rules of trade unions

The procedures for handling disputes

Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975 

This stipulates the rights of the worker in relation to trade union membership and industrial action.

Establish a permanent arbitration panel in the IDT.

Sets out its functions, powers and also establishes the Boards of Inquiry.

Provide for settlement of disputes in essential services.

Settle dispute in other establishments of national interest

To deal with the right of workers in respect of trade union membership

Provide for the taking of representational polls to determine bargaining rights

Provide for reinstatement of workers found by the IDT to have been unjustifiably dismissed

Make awards of the IDT binding in law

Provide for a Labour Relations Code.

The right to join and take part in a union.

Duty to Recognize

Machinery for the settlement of representational rights claims

Ballot Procedure


Every worker shall (between himself and his employer) have the right – To be a member of such Trade Union

To take part at an appropriate time in the activities of any Trade Union of which he is a member.

Employment (Termination and Redundancy) Payments Act, 1974 

Applies to all workers including household workers, however, is excludes civil service workers in central and local government departments

Redundancy payment for workers dismissed for reasons of redundancy

Notice payment in the event of redundancy

Redundancy payment on the basis of years of service

Qualification for redundancy

Sets the minimum standard of payment

Holiday with Pay Act, 1974 

Sets out the conditions under which workers are entitled to holidays and sick leave with pay or such gratuities and benefits as may be determined.

The Holidays with Pay Order regulates the granting of both vacation leave (holiday) with Pay and Sick Leave with Pay.

The entitlement stipulated by this Order is the minimum to be granted.

For each year of employment, (each 12 month period from the first day of employment) the worker qualifies and becomes eligible for paid vacation leave.

The Holidays with Pay Order thus stipulates the minimum vacation leave to be granted and the method of qualifying;

The main principle is that a worker earns vacation leave by virtue of working for a certain number of days in a year;

In principle and by law, vacation leave is paid before the holiday begins, or at any other time agreed upon by the parties concerned;

Vacation leave cannot be granted during a period of notice given by the employer to terminate employment.

Minimum Wage Act, 1938 

Allow for the fixing of minimum wages to be paid to certain categories of workers

The 1974 amendment allows for the appointment of a Minimum Wage Advisory Commission for the purpose of fixing a National Minimum Wage

The Order may regulate the hours of work or other terms and conditions and may fix different minimum wages in different categories of the establishment.


Maternity Leave Act, 1979 

In order to protect all female workers from possible unfair treatment, the Government had to set certain minimum standards for employers to follow;

These standards, however, does not prevent employers from offering better deals to their female workers, and in fact, many organizations make offers which are above the national minimum standards in order to attract suitable workers.

The Act defines “confinement” as the ‘birth of a living child or the birth of a child whether living or dead after twenty-eight weeks of pregnancy’ (Section 2) (This will include premature birth);

A female worker is entitled to three (3) paid maternity leave, while in the employ of the same employer

The Maternity Leave Act applies to all qualified female workers, irrespective of whether or not she is married;

Absence from work through the granting of maternity leave shall not constitute a break in the continuity of the worker’s employment;

Indeed, prior to the passing of the Maternity Leave Act in 1979, the continuity of the female’s employment, for the most part, was broken upon resumption to work from maternity leave, notwithstanding the fact, that the leave-in itself, was left up to the discretion of the employer.

To qualify for maternity leave it is essential and indeed mandatory that the worker:-  Be at least 18 years old;

Be continuously employed, for a minimum of 52 weeks by the same employer as at the date the maternity leave begins, (the worker must have completed 52 weeks prior to going on maternity leave);

Inform her employer in writing, of her intended absence from work owing to her pregnancy and that she intends to return to work; ( this should be done by the 29th week of pregnancy);

Present a medical certificate to her employer stating that it is necessary for her to be absent owing to reasons of pregnancy if she is requested by her employer to present same;

Be at least 28 weeks pregnant and should be working a minimum of 18 hours per week, (not necessary to work a 40 hour-work-week).

A qualified worker is entitled to a minimum of twelve (12) weeks maternity leave:-the first eight (8) weeks of which should be paid for; while the last four (4) weeks will be without pay;

If there is a medical reason that necessitates an extension of the initial 12 weeks of maternity leave (either arising from the illness of mother or child), then the Act provides an additional fourteen (14) weeks leave on submission of a medical certificate. This extension, if necessary, will not be paid for, unless the employer wishes to do so.