Protection file

“Further strengthening of protection in the workplace”

The Labor Advisory Board will be asked to consider a number of possible policies, including the obligation to notify the Ministry of Labor when an employer intends to fire more than 20 people, workplace inspections, wage theft protections and more.

This is according to a statement by Minister of Labor Jason Hayward in the House of Assembly, as he gave an overview of the “role and functions of the Labor Advisory Board [LAC] and the work it will start in 2022.

The Minister said: “The LAC is chaired by the Minister of Labor and includes representatives of government, employers ‘groups and workers’ groups as equal and independent partners, jointly seeking solutions to the problems facing the workforce. Bermuda’s work is confronted through social dialogue.

“The ministry has identified areas in the 2000 Employment Act where further strengthening of workplace protection is needed. The BAC will be invited to consider and provide advice on a policy document in this regard, which includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • 1. An obligation to notify the Ministry of Labor when an employer intends to effect collective redundancies of more than 20 people – This will enable the ministry to provide the necessary assistance in a timely manner to employers in relation to concerns compliance with the Act, as well as with employees, with respect to finding alternative employment and / or re-equipping them for the workforce;
  • 2. Determine what constitutes the end of a layoff period – This will ensure that when recalling employees to work, measures are in place to protect employees from consecutive layoff periods and clearly define the end of the layoff period. the layoff period;
  • 3. Publication of employment standards – This will ensure that all employed persons, especially work permit holders, are aware of their rights and obligations under the law and are aware of who to contact for employment. aid;
  • 4. Workplace Inspections by the Labor Relations Officer – This will ensure that employers maintain adequate employment records in accordance with the law and that employees have proper access.
  • 5. Salary Theft Protections – This will strengthen employee protections by ensuring that there are adequate provisions to protect employees from employers who:
    • a. not paying employees for all hours worked,
    • b. failing to make the appropriate overtime payments,
    • vs. not tip employees, and
    • D. unlawfully deduct or fail to pay the appropriate statutory benefits.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good morning Mister President.

I am pleased to take the floor today to give Members of this Honorable House an overview of the role and functions of the Labor Advisory Board [the “LAC”] and the work it will start in 2022.

Mister President,

The LAC was created in the 1960s in response to the social and labor unrest that was unfolding at that time. It is a non-statutory tripartite government council tasked with advancing industrial relations and building consensus among its members to make recommendations on legislative amendments, policies and standards relating to the workforce. Bermuda.

Mister President,

The LAC is chaired by the Minister of Labor and includes representatives of government, employers’ groups and workers’ groups as equal and independent partners, jointly seeking solutions to the problems facing the workers’ workforce. Bermuda through social dialogue.

This form of social dialogue is called “tripartism” and it is extremely effective as it allows each party’s views to be taken into account when making decisions, leading to more favorable outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

Mister President,

The LAC meets quarterly and has the option of meeting more frequently if necessary. CAL sub-committees meet more regularly. The LAC will convene quarterly meetings again in January 2022 and has a strong agenda which I will now share with members of this Honorable Assembly. Which includes, but is not limited to:

  • 1. New amendments to the Employment Act 2000;
  • 2. Advice on contracts of independent contractors; and
  • 3. Inequalities in the world of work

Mister President,

I. Subsequent amendments to the law on employment

The ministry identified areas in the Employment Act 2000 where further strengthening of workplace protection is needed. The BAC will be invited to consider and provide advice on a policy document in this regard, which includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • 1. An obligation to notify the Ministry of Labor when an employer intends to effect collective redundancies of more than 20 people – This will enable the ministry to provide the necessary assistance in a timely manner to employers in relation to concerns compliance with the Act, as well as with employees, with respect to finding alternative employment and / or re-equipping them for the workforce;
  • 2. Determine what constitutes the end of a layoff period – This will ensure that when recalling employees to work, measures are in place to protect employees from consecutive layoff periods and clearly define the end of the layoff period. the layoff period;
  • 3. Publication of employment standards – This will ensure that all employed persons, especially work permit holders, are aware of their rights and obligations under the law and are aware of who to contact for employment. aid;
  • 4. Workplace Inspections by the Labor Relations Officer – This will ensure that employers maintain adequate employment records in accordance with the law and that employees have proper access.
  • 5. Salary Theft Protections – This will strengthen employee protections by ensuring that there are adequate provisions to protect employees from employers who:
    • a. not paying employees for all hours worked,
    • b. failing to make the appropriate overtime payments,
    • vs. not tip employees, and
    • D. unlawfully deduct or fail to pay the appropriate statutory benefits.

Mister President,

II. Provide advice on independent contractor contracts

The department has received a number of concerns from workers and members of the public about unfair contract terms and employment contracts which appear to take advantage of the current economic climate in Bermuda and people’s inability to find suitable employment. and sustainable. The Act was amended to address this long-standing problem and allows the manager of the Labor Relations Section, in consultation with the Labor Advisory Board, to issue guidelines for the purpose of determining whether an employment relationship is more like that of an employee than that of an independent contractor.

The IBC will review this matter and determine whether there is a need to issue guidelines in this regard and the content of such guidelines.

Mister President,

III. Inequalities in the world of work

On November 23, 2021, I attended the meeting of Caribbean ministers of labor of the International Labor Organization, in preparation for the 109th session of the International Labor Conference. The LAC will consider and consider the report submitted to the 109th session of the International Labor Conference entitled Inequalities and the world of work.

The LAC will review this report with respect to Bermuda and seek to address the following areas:

  • The economic and social implications of inequalities in the workplace;
  • the main factors of inequality in the labor market; and
  • what effective and responsive policies and measures should be introduced to reduce inequalities and promote productivity and growth, including in the context of recovery from the pandemic.

Mister President,

The Ministry wishes to take this opportunity to thank the members of this Honorable Chamber for the opportunity to address them in this regard.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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