Minister Fahy On International Workers Day

April 30, 2015

Tomorrow Bermuda will join many other countries around the world in recognizing International Workers Day, and  Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said the day is one where we “salute each and every worker for their contribution to Bermuda,”

“May 1 is a day where we can reflect on the international labour movement and salute each and every worker for their contribution to Bermuda,” said  Minister Fahy. ”This Government recognizes that Labour has played a huge part in driving our economy as we seek to re-engage all Bermudians in the workforce.

“I understand that one of the topics to be discussed at the numerous May Day events organized by the BTUC will be: the adverse effects of immigration policies and the need for immigration reform”.

“As such, I thought it appropriate to make mention of the recently released Work Permit Policy which contains a number of changes which this Government believes will not only encourage investment ‎but will also lead to job growth and opportunities for Bermudians.

“For example, for the first time, certain work permit categories will require training programs to be in place, along with opportunities for Bermudians, before any work permit is allocated. In addition, short term work permits will not be issued without advertising in most circumstances.

“The Work Permit Policy was put together based on extensive consultation with industry leaders over the period of approximately one year. This included meetings with the Labour Advisory Council, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress as well as many, many other groups.

“Effective April 1, 2015, policy changes have been made to the application process for concessions and exemptions under the Incentive for Job Makers Act [as amended in 2013] in an effort to retain jobs for Bermudians in Bermuda and make Bermuda a more attractive place to do business. Under the Incentive for Job Makers Act a company can apply for and obtain concessions that include having their senior executives, who are responsible for the continued presence of jobs for Bermudians in Bermuda, exempt from needing a work permit.

Companies that submit applications must have a minimum of 10 Bermudian staff and may be eligible if they meet the following conditions: they have Bermudians at all levels [subject to the availability of suitably qualified Bermudians]; they have entry level positions held by Bermudians graduating from high school or college; they have programmes to develop and promote Bermudians; and they employ fair employment practices. Applications for concessions and exemptions can only be submitted after employers have notified all current employees of their intent to make applications because the application process will require that employers provide evidence of the internal notification.

“Over the past year the Ministry of Home Affairs has put in place many other initiatives to assist the Bermudian worker.

“Last year, for example, we unveiled Part 1 of the National Training Plan – a document which shows sector by sector where jobs exist now, where they will exist in the future, and how we can prepare our people for these jobs. This Plan, whilst led by Government, has been created based on input from all sectors. Last year the Department successfully worked with Bermuda CableVision at no cost to the Government, to have Channel 87 dedicated to posting jobs listed on the Job Board.

“In addition, as of April 1st 2014 the Chief Immigration Officer inherited stronger powers to levy civil penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 against those employers who knowingly hire unauthorised workers without a work permit and against those workers who are performing duties outside of conditions prescribed by their work permit. Criminal penalties for offenses under the Act have doubled.

“Government has also created The Bermuda Job Board – a national employment database operated by the Department of Workforce Development. The Bermuda Job Board is an online platform available to Bermudians seeking employment opportunities with the main objective of consolidating and centralizing jobs available in the Bermuda market.

“As we celebrate International Worker’s Day I want to encourage all of Bermuda to continue to seek collaborative ways to improve the economy and grow jobs for Bermudians. Bermuda works best when we work together,” added Minister Fahy.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Yahoo says:

    Getting my popcorn ready for this one…

  2. Dreamcatcher says:

    Only in Bermuda would you honor guest workers before Bermuda Day. I guess Fahy can smile and congratulate himself first thing tomorrow in his first mirror appearance.

    • Dumbo says:

      Did you miss the first line of the article?

      “Bermuda will join many other countries around the world in recognizing International Workers Day”

      in case you can’t work out what that means, it’s not just a Bermuda thing

  3. Mockingjay says:

    Ohh please

  4. Warwick pond Skink says:

    Isn’t that what Labour day is about…?