OBA Tables ‘Equality Act’ In House Of Assembly

December 10, 2021

[Updated with audio] Today the OBA tabled the ‘Equality Act 2021′ in Parliament, which they said will “help to promote equality for all Bermudians, particularly in the workplace and on Government Boards and Committees” and also “see the creation of a new Equality Council at the Human Rights Commission.”

The Opposition does not often table Bills, and this marks the first Opposition Bill in a few years. Like all Bills it would require a majority vote to pass, meaning the OBA, who hold 6 seats in the 36 seat House of Assembly, would need to have PLP MPs to vote in support of the Bill for it to pass.

Extract from the Act

OBA  BIll Bermuda Equality Act 2021 House

An OBA spokesperson said, “Today the OBA tabled an Equality Bill in Parliament, which will strengthen Bermuda’s Human Rights laws and promote equality.

“The cornerstone of the OBA Bill inserts a ‘presumption of equality’ into Bermuda’s existing laws. Existing laws concerning race, sex, or other grounds protected by the Human Rights Act will be interpreted by the Courts, wherever possible, to achieve the promotion of equality.

“In addition, the OBA Bill will see the creation of a new Equality Council at the Human Rights Commission. The Council will promote equality, opportunity, and equal pay in the workforce, including equal opportunities in training and advancement, to attain managerial and influential positions.

“The Bill enables employment tribunals to determine workplace discrimination claims, and expands the remedies for discrimination, including new civil penalties which will fund the Equality Council. It also promotes equality of gender and racial representation on Government Boards and Committees.

OBA Shadow Attorney-General Scott Pearman — who tabled the Bill — said: “This OBA Equality Bill will enhance our Island’s Human Rights laws, and help to promote equality for all Bermudians, particularly in the workplace and on Government Boards and Committees.

“The OBA Bill strengthens Human Rights laws in numerous ways. It enshrines a new ‘presumption of equality’ in our existing law. It also creates a new Equality Council, to advocate for workplace equality and, importantly, focus on training and advancement in the workforce.”

Opposition Leader Cole Simons added: “We in the OBA believe that Human Rights lies at the core of our society today. We believe in equal opportunity for everyone. One of the strengths of our community is our differences.

“Our community must continue to come together, to strive to become One Bermuda. To do this we must eliminate barriers of inequality. We believe our legislation will help to ensure that all levels of society are open to everyone and that all people a treated equally and have equality of opportunity.”

The Equality Act 2021 follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (12)

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  1. Unbelievable says:

    This is a good move on the OBA’s part but we ain’t ready for the nonsense that ensue.

    • What!!! Slavery was abolished in 1834.
      This will support NOTHING!!
      REMOVE colonialism….the great enslaver !!!

      • SandgrownAn says:

        Your failings are still someone else’s fault?

      • Unbelievable says:

        I rest my case

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        According to the PLP election machine slavery was not abolished in Bermuda until 2012, 14 years after the PLP came to power (400 years of free labour)

  2. iyiyi says:

    Yes , at least they are moving in a better direction even if the current government pays them no mind ….. it’s a start .

    • Equality?? What should happen is the supposed OBA TALK/COMMUNICATE with Bermudians. That is a start!
      Colonialism should be abolished. Tabling INEQUALITY will prove what???
      OBA get no votes for this nonsense!!!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        Colonialism? Where?

        • Ringmaster says:

          Many countries around the world, and several islands to the South, eg Barbados and Jamaica have sold their soul and are now effectively under the imperil rule of China. Maybe Betty wants this instead?

          • saud says:

            Concerned has mental health issues. She’s just a pathetic, homophobic racist. Ignore her like everyone else does. She’s the type who will die, while barricaded inside a public building. LOL

        • saud says:

          She’s saying that the plp are colonizers. Yes, she’s that stupid.

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Don’t we already have robust Human Rights and anti discrimination laws enacted ?
    The only point of this is the PLP will reject it and then in the lead up to the next election while the PLP is still playing the worn out record of pepper spraying , the airport , Morgan’s Point and America’s Cup the OBA will say the PLP is against equality for all.
    Politicking at it’s usual .