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EOC News Issue 8

The EOC's webinar presentation was the marquee attraction at the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) 2021. The webinar on Know Your Rights: Employment Discrimination, registered the most attendees at this year's convention. The webinar, which took place on Wednesday 3rd November 2021, created an avenue for attendees to learn about the mandate of the EOC and have their questions answered on workplace discrimination and other relevant topics.

Education: A fundamental right for all

The Future of our nation depends on accessing talent and skill sets from all members of our society. It all starts with a quality education that gives people with disabilities access to inclusive and lifelong learning opportunities. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/22/education-a-fundamental-right-for-all/

Workplace vaccination: What the Equal Opportunity Act says

COVID19 has undeniably created unique and challenging circumstances for both employers and employees, as well as an avenue for unwanted discrimination in the workplace. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, employers are under a legal obligation to ensure that any decision made in response to covid19 does not discriminate against employees pursuant to the Equal Opportunity Act, Chap 22:03 (the act). To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/15/workplace-vaccination-what-the-equal-opportunity-act-says-2/?fbclid=IwAR1_5_oJEaNy-z4nrZa6VgH8C1wCJLZtCrfSgr6g9ab_blG6AIQ3mosGaMI

Towards inclusive job recruitment

Whether you are an employer or human resource professional responsible for hiring or a jobseeker, it is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities during the recruitment process. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/08/towards-inclusive-job-recruitment/

EOC News Issue 7

A grievance procedure is an orderly system for reporting and processing complaints. The procedure should contain an investigation and appeal mechanism that allows parties who are not satisfied to appeal against the results of investigations to the authorities.

Offensive behaviour is covered in the act

Imagine the following scenario: You are doing your job and in doing so, you upset a well-known authority figure. This person then posts racist remarks about you on their social media page. This results in many of the authority figure’s followers posting negative comments about you. What will you do? What can you do? The racist remarks are not tied to a category that is covered under the Equal Opportunity Act (the Act): these are education, employment, provision of goods and services and provision of accommodation. However, the good news is that the Act makes provisions for persons to lodge a complaint under the category, “Offensive Behaviour”. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/09/offensive-behaviour-is-covered-in-the-act/

Conciliation – a viable alternative to court

The Equal Opportunity Commission offers conciliation to all parties involved in the complaints process. At these sessions, the commission’s conciliator/mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates discussions between the participants. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/10/25/conciliation-a-viable-alternative-to-court/

Annual Report 2019

The Commission has continued its good work in 2019 in a climate of financial constraints and limited resources. These constraints have had a significant impact on our ability to deliver on our statutory function, to work towards the elimination of discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different status.

Annual Report 2018

Over the past year, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace have been a focus of national and international attention largely because of the impact of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. These two events led to a global debate about fairness, equality and the treatment of women in the workplace. The 2018 theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, focused on empowering persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

Annual Report 2016

The year 2016 saw the Commission assuming a greater role in raising awareness of its statutory obligations both to remove clearly defined forms of discrimination and to intercede in instances in which such discrimination was found to be present.

Annual Report 2015

The highlight of fiscal year 2015/ 2016 for the EOC was the conduct of our strategic planning exercise to take the work of the Commission down to the year 2018. We felt a 3-year plan would provide continuity after the end of the term of the current board in 2017.

Services offered by the EOC

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) offers a range of services to organisations, communities and members of the public to empower them to exercise their right to equality of treatment, or to enable them to make more informed decisions. These services are accessible and free of charge up until the stage of conciliation. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/10/18/services-offered-by-the-eoc/

Free and easy EOC redress

The services offered at the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) are designed to be accessible and inclusive. The Equal Opportunity Act removes potential barriers that may prevent a person from accessing justice and empowers them to exercise their right to equality. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/10/11/free-and-easy-eoc-redress/

Offensive behaviour on social media

Social media sites were made to connect people, but are quickly becoming a source of division and a hotbed for cyberbullying. In recent times, choosing whether or not to be vaccinated is the hot topic, but in discussing the options there are those who intimidate, offend or humiliate others to get their point across. To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/10/04/offensive-behaviour-on-social-media/