Trinidad and Tobago - Social development

All employees aged 16 through 64 are required to become members of the National Insurance System. Employers contribute5.6% of payroll, according to 12 wage classes, and employees normally contribute 2.8% of earnings. The program covers employed persons, including agricultural and domestic workers. In addition, a social insurance scheme is funded by the government and extends benefits to those with limited means. The system provides old age, retirement, and disability pensions; maternity, sickness, and survivors' benefits; and funeral grants. Retirement is between the ages of 60 and 65. Maternity benefits are at 60% of average earnings for a maximum of 13 weeks, and there is also a maternity grant. A compulsory system of workers' compensation for injury is also in place.

The Constitution mandates human rights and freedoms to all citizens regardless of sex. Women are active in the labor force, but few rise to senior management positions. There is no law that mandates equal pay for equal work. The law does not address sexual harassment and it remains a problem. Violence against women and domestic abuse continue to be major issues for women although the government and media are addressing the problem. The law has been strengthened to protect women and assist victims of abuse.

Human rights organizations operate freely. A human rights ombudsman has been established by the government to investigate allegations of human rights violations. Poor prison conditions and lengthy pre-trial detention remain a problem.

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