(Trinidad Guardian) Industrial Court president Deborah Thomas-Felix has stated that mandatory vaccinations cannot be implemented unilaterally by employers.
Delivering her annual speech at the opening of the court’s 2021/2022 Law Term at its headquarters in Port-of-Spain yesterday morning, Thomas-Felix stated that while employers are permitted to introduce a vaccination policy for new employees, consultation is mandatory for it to apply to existing workers.
Thomas-Felix said: “In other words, can such a policy be introduced unilaterally by employers in the workplace? The short answer to that question is NO.”
“The introduction of a COVID-19 vaccination policy or any new policy can amount to a material change in the terms and conditions of employment and ought to be imposed unilaterally,” she added.
She noted that if workers or their recognised majority union cannot come to an agreement over such a policy, they can take their dispute to the Ministry of Labour or come directly to the court through the filing of an industrial relations offence.