The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago commits itself to give special emphasis to the following Labour and Small Business Development and Entrepeneurship objectives:
- Encouraging proper industrial Relations practices and effective democratic Trade Unionism.
- Ensuring that the population is up to date and informed of International labour engagement trends, as a consequence of globalization and the need for Employers and Industry to become more flexible and competitive.
- Providing a clear Framework of the Rights and Responsibilities in the Workplace.
- Protecting the Health and Safety of workers, which will require amendments to the OSHA to deal with the environmental aspects of occupational health and safety.
- Promoting sustainable economic growth.
- A comprehensive and immediate review, in consultation with the Trade Union Movement, of all Labour Legislation, such as the Industrial Relations Act, Retrenchment & Separation Benefits Act.
- Simplification of the Recognition Process for Trade Unions.
- Timely Settlement of all outstanding public sector wage and salary negotiations.
- Dialogue, regular consultation and interaction with the Labour Movement on all areas of policy, plans, projects and programmes affecting the rights and interest of workers and Labour generally.
- Ensuring meaningful and active representation by Labour in the decision making process at all levels, in all important Government Committees, State Boards, Task Forces and the like.
- Formulating and implementing a Policy on Migrant Workers.
- Timely revision of Minimum Wage Rates, consistent with the Cost of Living.
- Inclusion of Labour in the Fifth Schedule of the Tobago House of Assembly Act, to give responsibility for industrial relations and labour matters in Tobago to the THA.
- Review and reform the use of Contract Labour in all sectors.
- Review the Appointment Process for Judges to the Industrial Court to provide for greater security of tenure.
- Facilitate Tripartite Engagement between Government, Labour and the Employer, to foster and develop a peaceful, competitive and productive Industrial Relations climate.
Small Business Development and Entrepeneurship
- Inclusion of entrepreneurship and innovation in the school curriculum.
- Strengthening of all state institutions that play a role in funding, training and developing markets for the SME sector and removal of duplication and overlap among all these agencies.
- A new regime of fiscal incentives, preferential tax rates and concessions, specifically designed to encourage the growth and development of small businesses.
- Comprehensive, targeted training programmes as an integral part of loan facilities.
- Small business windows in all public and private financial institutions.
- Grant funding, start-up capital and seed money, where required.
- Creation of business clusters within communities.
- Protection for local manufacturers against unfair competition from foreign manufacturers and imported goods.
- Active monitoring of awards of contract by government agencies to ensure that the tenets of the ‘fair share’ programme are strictly upheld in the current term and further developed and expanded in the short, medium and longer terms.