Govt: $11 Million In Redundancy Payment Loans

November 12, 2020 | 12 Comments

The redundancy loan payments to Fairmont Southampton workers cost a total of $11 million for 714 positions the Ministry of Finance confirmed, with $8.4 million going to Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians and PRC holders; while over $2 million goes to work permit holders.

The Government previously confirmed that they will step in to assist Fairmont Southampton workers who are waiting for their redundancy payments, making “loans to employees equal to amounts due to them in redundancy, which will require repayment once sums are paid by Gencom.”

Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson previously said that “it is clear that having missed the October 23rd payment deadline, these payments are in doubt” and it is “unacceptable to leave the workers in the dark.”

The Minister added that they ”will also take steps to ensure that the continuing obligations for payments to employees are given appropriate priority by Gencom.”

The Minister told BBC today that “government will not be looking to the employees for repayment of these amounts, the government will looking to Gencom to honour their obligations to their employees,” adding that “government will exhaust all of the available remedies to get the money back, including going to court.”

In September, Fairmont Southampton announced that the property will temporarily close to undergo a complete renovation, with hundreds of staff members made redundant.

In response to our queries on the costs, a Ministry spokesperson told Bernews:

  • “Total of $11.0 million, 714 positions
  • “Bermudian $7.3 million, 430 positions. Including SOB/PRC, $8.4 million, 492 positions.
  • “Work Permit $2.5 million, 222 positions. Off island $2.0 million, 189 positions.
  • “Note, number of positions > number of individuals due to multiple positions.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. Dunc says:

    But you didnt even have to do this?

    • Mary says:

      Air corridors are closing rapidly for people needing to relocate. Bermudians need money to survive as they have not been paid since March. This is a brave and compassionate move. They will recoup the money.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      No, the Government did not have to do this and there is no agreement for repyament by Gencom, at least no agreement that the Minister has mentioned.

      Remember, the Minister was head of a union before being made Minister of Labour, so his loyalty is to the workers, not the bank account.

      Oh, and almost all of the workers given redundancy money by Government are leaving Bermuda with that money, so there is virtually no hope of getting that $11 million back.

      • Mary says:

        The money is coming from the hotel not the workers

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Mary,

          My point is that there does not appear to be any agreement between the Government of Bermuda and Gencom for the repayment of the redundancy mmoney.

          If I pay your Belco bill without being asked, there is no obligation on you to repay me the money I paid Belco on your behalf.

          The same is true between the Government and Gencom.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Correct.

  2. Hey says:

    This is stupid, absolute madness. Dickinson is saying we will take any means to get the money back from the people made redundant, going to court if necessary. How much xxxxx money will that cost for over 700 people. This finance minister is a joke. What about the expats, they are not going to repay the money from overseas are they. The payment is due from gencom to the employees on November 20th, which is 8 days away. If they don’t meet their legal obligation, then fine Gencom.. if Gencom can’t pay then seize the hotel. We should not be paying millions of dollars out for 8 days credit and with no interest charge. We are losing income that we badly need on that money.

    If anyone does not repay the loan, then the money should come from the PLP and especially the finance ministers pocket. Not ours. This was the wrong call, and will cost us millions in written off debt. How about have Gencom repay the government instead, surely Gencom are a lower credit risk.

  3. With uncertain times behind us and unsure times ahead of us, I think the Government made the right decision, the only thing is what is the time frame of repayment from the hotel owners and are we going to be faced with some unexpected law suit from the hotel, saying that Government didn’t need to step in and therefore they drag their feet in paying back the public purse.

    There are some very serious uncertainties ahead especially as we see The U.K. is gone into lockdown, Canada is in Lockdown and now The United States is starting to slowly begin their second lockdown, so it’s just a matter of time before Bermuda is forced to do the same, and then how many Millions will we be continually paying out for the Canadian company for the Airport.

  4. kevin says:

    Bye Bye thats another 11 million gone and wont ever be seen again what makes anyone think that if the hotel had money to do the renovation they would have had a lot more than 11 million put aside. This is a government bail out and nothing else. Im happy for the employees to get their redundancy but it comes at a high price to us

  5. Dreams says:

    How come the government didn’t pay me when my boss packed up and closed his company?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      It’s discrimination. You should complain to the Human Rights Commission!

  6. trufth says:

    Shady, shady, shady! This whole thing is such a shady maneuver between the PLP and GenCom. So very shady.

    The govt has no business being in the loan business. First $800,000 now $11 million? What is wrong with this government? This is NOT THEIR MONEY!!

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