Work Environments Free Of Bullying, Harassment

May 27, 2021 | 2 Comments

“To ensure that employees are allowed to work in environments free of bullying and sexual harassment and assist employers with compliance pursuant to the Act, the Ministry of Labour has created a Bullying and Sexual Harassment Policy Statement for employers to implement,” Minister of Labour Jason Hayward said.

Minister Hayward said, “As many are aware, Bermuda’s Employment and Labour Code, which consists of the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act and the Employment Amendment [No2] Act, will come into force on the 1st of June 2021.

“Pursuant to the amendments to the Employment Act 2000 [the “Act”], all employers will be required to have in place a zero-tolerance policy statement for bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace and recourse for employees for any contravention of the policy by the 1st of June 2021.

“To ensure that employees are allowed to work in environments free of bullying and sexual harassment and assist employers with compliance pursuant to the Act, the Ministry of Labour has created a Bullying and Sexual Harassment Policy Statement [the “Policy Statement”] for employers to implement.

“The Policy Statement defines bullying and sexual harassment in accordance with the Act. It also sets out behaviours that are not to be tolerated and will be subject to a complaint of bullying and sexual harassment.

“The Policy Statement also sets out how someone may bring a complaint of bullying or sexual harassment to the employer’s attention and the disciplinary measures that may be taken against any person within the workplace or under the employer’s direction who subjects any employee to bullying or sexual harassment.

“Pursuant to the Policy Statement, identities are kept confidential save for when disclosure is necessary to complete the investigation or during the disciplinary process. Employees also have the right to report any instances of bullying and sexual harassment to the Human Rights Commission pursuant to Section 14H of the Human Rights Act 1981, especially where there is a claim that the employer is the bully or harasser.

“Additionally, the Ministry of Labour has included with the Policy Statement documentation to ensure that employers are equipped with the necessary tools and protocols to deal with instances of workplace bullying and sexual harassment effectively:

  • 1. “The Bullying and Sexual Harassment Investigation Process template details how the investigation into a complaint of bullying and sexual harassment will be conducted, by who and the timelines.
  • 2. “The Bullying and Sexual Harassment Investigation template details the information collected during the investigation, the investigation results, and recommended next steps.
  • 3. “The Bullying and Sexual Harassment Complaint Form template is a form that employees may use to report instances of bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“Effective 1 June 2021, all employees must be presented with their employer’s Bullying and Sexual Harassment Policy Statement. The employer must have also put procedures in place to assist employees in understanding their policy statement. Any employer who contravenes this requirement of the Act will be liable to a civil penalty which may be imposed by the Labour Relations Manager or the Employment and Labour Tribunal.

“The Ministry of Labour will be hosting a virtual forum on Facebook Live on Thursday, 3 June 2021 at 6:00 pm to discuss the issue of bullying and sexual harassment in the workplaces in Bermuda, what employers are doing to address it and how the Ministry of Labour is striving to eliminate it.

“The document is available to view in the resources section of the Labour Relations Office page on gov.bm.”

The full Bullying & Sexual Harassment Policy Statement follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (2)

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  1. kevin says:

    i know wrong forum but there is no place to object to the proposed laws affecting the work force
    so the union has pushed through a law that only unionized workers can vote if an establishment remains unionized ,,,,,and get this non unionized workers have to pay a % of their wages to the unions ….this is BS
    plp will destroy this country

    • JPH says:

      Your statement is 100% incorrect!

      All workers who pay fees whether members of the union or not will be able to vote in a decertification ballot.

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