Video: Proposing To Amend Labour Legislation

October 18, 2018 | 10 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown is holding a press conference this afternoon [Oct 18] about a labour initiative. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The Minister said that some employers are offering employment contracts that do not cover benefits like health insurance, social insurance, and payroll tax, with the ‘contractor’ or ‘consultant contracts’ stipulating that persons are fully responsible for their own benefits.

“Government is proposing to amend the current labour legislation to include provisions that clearly outline the various types of employment relationships within Bermuda, thus limiting the ability of employers to create subsets of workers that fall outside of the protection afforded under the labour legislation,” the Minister said.

“The imposition of harsh sanctions and the suspension of work permits for employers who willfully defy the legislation are a few of the penalties being thoroughly and keenly considered by the Government.”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 6-minute replay is below

Update 1.10pm: Minister Brown said, “Problematic employment contracts have been an issue in Bermuda for some time now, and dealing with this matter is high on the Government’s agenda, especially when they impact Bermudians’ inability to find suitable and sustainable employment.

“As a result, I, as the Minister of Home Affairs, working with the Labour Advisory Council, am seeking to amend the current labour legislation in order to safeguard workers’ rights and combat this issue.

“I should mention that the Labour Advisory Council is a tripartite committee consisting of Government, union and employer group representatives and chaired by the Minister.

“Workers within various industries have voiced concerns that employers have found ways to deny them their rights under the current legislation.

“Many employers, for example, are offering employment contracts that do not cover the basic benefits such as:

  • health insurance,
  • social insurance,
  • and payroll tax.

“These contracts – usually referred to as ‘contractor’ or ‘consultant contracts’ – stipulate that persons are fully responsible for their own benefits…yet do not allow persons the ability to negotiate their rate of pay to compensate for these deductions.

“Contractor and consultant contracts are typically used for persons who provide expert advice professionally and should not be used to replace or impose an unnecessary burden on your typical worker, forcing them to fall outside of the benefits and protections of the labour legislation.

“By working together with the unions and employer groups, Government is proposing to amend the current labour legislation, i.e.:

  • the Employment Act 2000,
  • the Labour Relations Act 1975,
  • the Labour Disputes Act 1992
  • and the Trade Union Act 1965…

“….to include provisions that clearly outline the various types of employment relationships within Bermuda, thus limiting the ability of employers to create subsets of workers that fall outside of the protection afforded under the labour legislation.

“The proposal also allows for the investigation of complaints of unfair treatment of persons who are employed on a temporary, part-time or casual basis, or the like, and who are not defined as employees under the current legislation, thus limiting their protection.

“The imposition of harsh sanctions and the suspension of work permits for employers who willfully defy the legislation are a few of the penalties being thoroughly and keenly considered by the Government.

“The Labour Advisory Council is currently tasked with examining ways to ensure that employers and unions work together to combat these concerns and continue to promote good and fair industrial relations. Thank you.”

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Comments (10)

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  1. question says:

    A ‘labour initiative’ by Walton Brown is a set of measures designed to stifle or prevent the creation of jobs.

  2. Jt says:

    Walton,
    Every single business person who knows far more than you about our economy has stated quite clearly that we need more people. What is the PLP doing to address this and WTH is happening with your immigration reform?

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Government is proposing to amend the current labour legislation to include provisions that clearly outline the various types of employment relationships within Bermuda, thus limiting the ability of employers to create subsets of workers that fall outside of the protection afforded under the labour legislation,” the Minister said.

    “The proposal also allows for the investigation of complaints of unfair treatment of persons who are employed on a temporary, part-time or casual basis, or the like, and who are not defined as employees under the current legislation, thus limiting their protection.”

    “The imposition of harsh sanctions and the suspension of work permits for employers who willfully defy the legislation are a few of the penalties being thoroughly and keenly considered by the Government.”

    So Government is going to limit my freedom of contract in Bermuda, make independent contractors into “employees” and punish people who do not do what Government says they should do.

    So if I get the lady down the road to clean my house, she will be my “employee” as well as an “employee” of all the other people she cleans for. She will have to have health insurance with each “employer” and each “employer” will be responsible for Social Insurance and Payroll Tax payments.

    That is one way to get money into Government coffers!

    • Rhonda says:

      The cleaning lady will be a partime aka self employed..

      You know how Donald Trump once told Aretha Franklin she works for him and she had to correct him and tell him no you purchased my services..You were my customer.

  4. Marion Jones says:

    About time! Thank you Minister Brown! How can a worker taking home 500-750 a week for over 40 hour work week afford even hip at 4oo a month never mind social insurance or tax and still eat and provide shelter for family nevemind self . If you are working you should be able to support yourself , gain access to health care without going into debt or jail for not paying the debt .

    • question says:

      Don’t worry, the government is making sure you will no longer have that job. That will stop you having to worry about social insurance.

  5. BullyBreed says:

    The problem is like he states we have companies in the construction industry that are getting away with murder!!!!All for the sake of big profits. And us the ones that employ Bermudians pay the price when we bid against these companies.This has got to stop

  6. Disaster Recovery 101 says:

    WHERE IS COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM? Just do your job.

  7. you have lost credibility says:

    When you allowed the rights granted to people to be stripped away.

    No shame with this lot at times

    Praise the lord and pass the titty milk!!!

  8. Trump supporter says:

    These guys are grabbing for fresh air trying to escape reality.
    They hoodwinked all their voters that voted them in.
    Been in 15 months and have dkne NOTHING but waste money we dont have..
    Can’t even update us on how much our national debt has climbed to.
    #burtcoin

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