I work as a cashier in a grocery, when I asked my employer for time – off to vote I was told to use my lunch hour to do so. I did not vote as travelling to and from my polling station exceeded one hour. How much time am I entitled to vote?

Time Off for voting as stipulated in the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 2: 01 Laws of Trinidad and Tobago is as follows:

Section 36 (2) – “Every employer shall on polling day allow every elector in his employ the prescribed period for voting and no employer shall make any deductions from the pay or other remuneration of any such elector or impose upon or exact from him any penalty by reason of his absence during that period.”

Additionally, Election Rule 28 states that “Every employer shall permit each elector in his employment to be absent from his work on polling day during the hours of the poll for two hours in addition to normal mid-day meal” and;

Section 93 also goes further to indicate that, “An employer who fails to comply with any of the provisions of Section 36(2) and any person who directly or indirectly by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other way interferes with the granting to an elector of the prescribed period for voting referred to in that subsection is liable on summary conviction to a fine of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00) or to imprisonment for twelve months”.

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